October’s Birthstones are sure to please.  Why you ask?  Because you have twice the fun in picking from the plethora of colors that Tourmaline provides.  Additionally, Opals can contain a myriad of color within each stone.  So you see, you can have twice the fun in October with your choice of two different stones.  However it’s time to look deeper into both of these stones, as they each have a story to tell.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline is the most vibrant of all gemstones.  Tourmalines come in a variety of colors: pink, red, green, blue, and multicolored.  It facets well and the hardness level is 7 to 7.5  This makes it an excellent choice for rings, earrings, and pendants.  Furthermore, value for Tourmaline is quite generous.  The typical colors can be reasonably priced, but the more rare the color, the price can go up dramatically.  For example, Paraiba is a rare form of neon blue tourmaline.  Discovered in 1989 in Brazil and due to its very short supply, Paraiba is extremely expensive.  If given the chance to view this beautiful stone you should.  Only then will you understand the pricing for this magnificent stone.

In addition, many people believe that there are benefits to wearing tourmaline.  The Global Healing Center, for instance, believe that wearing tourmaline supports detoxification of the body.  The science behind this  actually includes information on far infrared radiation found in Tourmaline.   Apparently Tourmaline transmits far infrared radiation in the 4-14 micron wavelength. Bottom line?  When wearing Tourmaline, you can help to boost the immune system and thereby helps in detoxification.

Opal

Moving on to the second half of our highlighted stones for this month, we have Opals.  Opals are unique.  In the first place, they come in a variety of types: precious, black, fire, and boulder, to name a few.  Secondly, opals can flash every color of the rainbow.  Finally, if you thought it would bring you bad luck to wear opals, then think again!  Yes, that’s right!  For thousands of years, Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and Arabs believed opals to bring prosperity, good luck, and good attitude.  So when did the myths about opals and bad luck begin?

After researching, the best explanation given is it began around the time of the Black Plague.  Apparently, after a victim succumbed to the Plague, the opal she was wearing, became dull.  Additional stories about the wearing of an opal and death were intensified during this time. Lastly, another reason for the “bad luck” myth, came from diamond traders.  Allegedly during the 19th and 20th centuries, opals were extremely popular.  This popularity impacted the diamond market.  It has been determined that most of the rumors were started by diamond merchants, to protect their market.

Bottom line of Opals

Here is what you really need to know about opals before determining whether they are a good buy or not.  You have probably heard that opal is a soft stone.  That is correct.   Water content in opals range anywhere from 5 to 21 percent.  This is due to opal being a silica base.  In actuality, it is the water that helps to form the opal.  Without getting technical on you, just realize opals are soft.  The range from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Moh’s scale.  This means that earrings and pendants are great for opals.  However, if thinking of an opal ring, bear in mind the softness value.  This is not to say you shouldn’t, but when designing an opal ring, choose a bezel set over a prong set.  Equally important, treat this type of ring like a cocktail ring.  Worn on special occasions.

So there you have it,  Opals are beautiful, and if planned out right and with the correct setting, will give you years of enjoyment.  So what are you waiting for?

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