Bridal & Engagement
Jewellers Vigilance Canada
October’s birthstone is opal. This is an exceptional gemstone, with flashes and patterns of different colours against a white or grayish background, referred to as “play of colour” by gemologists. This intensity and variety of colours make opals more desirable, valuable and unique.
Opal is considered a mineraloid, but with a lattice structure. The 10% water in their molecular structure plays a part in their display of colour.
Precious opals are primarily found in Australia, although some have also been found in Mexico and the US, with smaller numbers found in other locations as well.
The opal has been a treasured gem since Roman times. Originally associated with luck in the Middle Ages, it was portrayed as a symbol of bad luck in a novel during the 1800s, creating a superstition that continues to this day. However, opal remained a favourite of Queen Victoria, despite the negative connotation.
Opals do not need to be stored in water or oil, as commonly believed. However, they should be worn with care, and never exposed to heat or acid. Opal jewellery may be kept alongside other jewellery, provided it is cushioned, to protect it from being knocked or scratched.
Tourmaline is also a birthstone for October. Tourmaline is best known for displaying several colours within a single stone, from red to green or blue to yellow, among others. However, tourmaline is often cut to show only one colour, so that it may resemble an emerald or a ruby.
This is in contrast to the watermelon tourmaline, which is cut into thick slices with a pink centre, white ring and green edge.
The name tourmaline is derived from the Singhalese word “tura mali”, meaning “stone with mixed colours”. Tourmaline is a silicate mineral, found in many locations, including Brazil, Afghanistan, Africa and the US.
According to an Egyptian legend, the tourmaline passed through a rainbow on its journey from the earth’s centre to the surface. In doing so, it assumed all the colours of the rainbow. Today it is still referred to as “the gemstone of the rainbow”.
Tourmaline has become a favorite among jewellery designers and gem collectors throughout the world. Available in such a wide variety of colours, it is ideally suited to nearly everyone’s taste.
Tourmaline is of medium strength, and can be cleaned and handled with usual care for fine jewellery.