It’s October – Can you believe it? As we draw closer to the end of this month, it is that time where we unveil the birthstone(s) of the new month. If you’re an October baby then this blog post is just for you. October’s birthstones consist of opal and tourmaline. If you’re interested in learning more about your birthstones then read further. Here is everything you need to know about October’s birthstones, opal, and tourmaline:
Where is opal on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness?
Opal is considered to be a very fragile gemstone as opposed to the gemstones we’ve uncovered over the past few months. Opal varies from 1.98 – 2.25 on the Mohs scale. If you’ve been reading our monthly birthstone blog posts, you would know that the Mohs scale goes up to a 10 (diamond). Opal is therefore considered to be very soft and can scratch easily.
Are there different kinds of opal?
Yes, precious, common, and fire opal.
|Precious White Opal||Precious Black Opal||Common Opal||Fire Opal|
|Image Source: Opal Auctions||Image Source: Catawiki||Image Source: Jan’s Jewelry||Image Source: Pinterest|
Precious opal is either white or black. If the opal’s background is anything other than black such as brown or navy, it is still referred to as black opal. Precious opal is known for its many different flashes of color which are caused by humidity within the stone. If a precious opal were to crack, it would most likely lose those flashes of color as the water within the stone would seep out.
Besides precious opal, there is opal which is known as common opal and obviously less expensive compared to precious opal. Common opal comes in a variety of milky colors.
If the opal has some translucence and falls within the orange to red color range then they are considered to be fire opal.
Where is opal mined?
Opal is found throughout the world including Brazil, Mexico, United States, and Australia. In fact, Australia is known to produce 95% of the world’s precious opal and is their official national gemstone.
What does opal represent?
Opal is said to represent justice, harmony and will protect you in times of danger.
|Myth: Be aware, there is a superstition that if you aren’t an October baby, you shouldn’t wear an opal or it will bring you bad luck. Unlucky for you if you’re not an October baby! That’s if you believe in superstitions of course.|
If you’re an October baby then you’re in luck because you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to your birthstone, tourmaline. When one talks about tourmaline, people often think that they’re talking about pink tourmaline. However, if you know your gemstones you’d know that tourmaline comes in an array of different colors.
Where is tourmaline on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness?
Tourmaline comes in at a 7 on the Mohs scale which makes it a considerably durable gemstone as opposed to the opal.
Are there different kinds of tourmaline?
Yes, elbaite, liddicoatite, dravite, and uvite.
|Elbaite Tourmaline||Liddicoatite Tourmaline||Dravite Tourmaline||Uvite Tourmaline|
|Image Source: Crystal Classics||Image Source: Pinterest||Image Source: Crystal Classics||Image Source: Crystal Classics|
Elbaite tourmaline offers the widest range of gem-quality tourmaline colors. They can be green, blue, or yellow, pink to red, colorless, or color-zoned (such as the watermelon tourmaline).
Where is tourmaline mined?
Tourmaline is mined in Brazil and many parts of Africa, including Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, and Namibia.
What does tourmaline represent?
Tourmaline is said to be a gemstone of reconciliation, that fosters compassion, cool-headedness, and radiates the energy that attracts money, healing, and friendship.
This brings us to our next discussion – Jewelry.
Opals wouldn’t necessarily be the first choice of stone when it comes to making jewelry due to their fragility and softness. Opals are so soft that jewelers often have trouble resetting them. There are two specific techniques known as opal doublet and opal triplet that have made the making and wearing of opal jewelry possible without worrying whether it’s going to crack. Furthermore, if you use protective settings, minimize exposure to risks, and store your opal jewelry properly, you can wear opal jewelry on a daily and expand its lifespan.
Tourmaline is considered a far more desirable stone to make jewelry with as opposed to opal due to its durability and strength. Tourmaline can be worn on a ring, pendant necklace, earrings, etc. for everyday use. If you’re an October baby shopping for birthstone jewelry, we highly recommend tourmaline jewelry as opposed to opal jewelry.
Are you an October baby? Do you own any opal and/ or tourmaline jewelry? Are you superstitious? Do you believe that your opal brings you good luck or has it brought you bad luck? Let us know by clicking the comments button below.
Written by Bianca Mac Donald