October Birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline

Do you have a birthday, anniversary or other reason to rejoice in the month of October? If so, then you might want to consider commemorating the occasion with a beautiful ring, bracelet or earring set with an October birthstone. Both Opal and Tourmaline are considered October gemstones, and these gorgeous minerals are worthy of celebrating all on their own. At Royal Design Fine Jewelry, we provide the world’s most beautiful gemstones and precious metals for residents of Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding metro area. Opals and Tourmalines have many unique features, and understanding what makes them so special can make your search for the perfect October jewelry piece even more fun and interesting. 

All the Colors of the Rainbow

Both Opal and Tourmaline are known for their wide range of colors. Though rare colorless Tourmaline does exist, most Tourmaline is found in a range of colors. Popular favorites include solid Black Tourmaline, red Rubellite Tourmaline and Watermelon Tourmaline, which features a pretty shade of pink surrounded by a band of green. Opals are also well known for their beautiful colors. Opals are very unique, and normally have many different colors mixed into a single stone. Many Opals resemble rainbows themselves, and seem to change colors in shifting light. In fact, the name itself comes from the Greek term “opallios” which means changing color. Some opals have a white background with soft, pastel colors throughout, and others have dark black backgrounds with vibrant shades of green, red and yellow. 

How Are They Formed?

Opals go through a unique formation process involving water and silicon dioxide. Over time, as rain water travels through soil, silica particles are taken from sandstone, basalt and other rocks and redeposited in fissures. The silica deposits eventually form a larger stone, yet because they are made from multiple deposits, different areas of the stone will diffract light in various ways. 

Tourmalines are also made from silicate but are crystalline. The mineral compounds can include different elements like iron, magnesium or aluminum, and thus will appear in a variety of colors. They are the only common mineral that forms a three-sided prism and Tourmalines with a high concentration of iron or manganese also have magnetic properties. 

The World’s Most Valuable Gems

The Flame Queen is one of the most famous Opals in the world. The rare “eye-of-opal” gemstone weighs in at over 263 carats and is worth $250,000. Other valuable Opals include the Pride of Australia, The Black Prince and the Andamooka Desert Flame.

Tourmalines of the past were sometimes confused with other gems, like rubies. Therefore, there are many historical crowns and royal jewelry that contain tourmaline. One of the most valuable items is the Russian Empress Anna Ivanovna’s crown. It was made in 1730 and features a 500 carat red Tourmaline. 

Ready for Your Next Opal or Tourmaline Gemstone? Visit Royal Design Fine Jewelry Today

If you’re interested in purchasing new Opal or Tourmaline Jewelry in the Atlanta, GA area, visit Royal Design. Our fine jewelry experts are available to help you find the perfect October birthstone for your special occasion. 

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