All about Opal and Tourmaline - The Birthstones for October

All about Opal and Tourmaline - The Birthstones for October

If you were born in October then Opal and Tourmaline are both your birthstones!

Opal is one of the most beautiful and unique gemstones in the world. Magnificent colours, such as iridescent pinks, purples, reds, blues and greens, appear like little galaxies trapped in stones. You can never get bored gazing into Opals!

At Silver Scene, our Opals have been individually hand picked by co-owner Marcus, bringing only the best quality Australian Opals to our designs. 

     

 

Tourmalines occur in a variety of colours, ranging from magenta to teal blue. This stone can come in almost every colour and is known as the ‘Rainbow Gemstone’. 

At Silver Scene, we tend to use Tourmalines as accent stones. Our designers use Tourmaline as a secondary stone to enhance and complement the colour of the primary stone used in each design.

Opal and Tourmaline complement each other very well, as you can see in these stunning pieces below.

                

 

Opal

Facts

Australia produces 95% of the worlds Opals. These range in colour from white, pink, purple, red, blue and green. Opal is formed when water from rain seeps down into crevasses in the rock. Once the water evaporates, the silica that is left behind dries out and hardens into precious opal. 

‘Mexican Opal’ is a variety of Opal, found in Mexico. It comes in bright yellow, orange and red colours while still displaying the typical flashes of 'fire' and iridescence of Opal. This type of Opal is found in volcanic stone around the Yucatan Peninsula. 

Opals are valued individually depending on the colour and the amount of 'fire' of each Opal. The Opal 'fire' are the flashes of red or pink that can be seen when light hits the stone.

Pictured is one of our past One-off 18k Gold and Sterling Silver Opal Shell ring designs. Opal shell is a very special variety of Opal. Originally, the opal fields in Australia formed along the bottom of a large inland sea. There was a variety of different marine creatures that called this sea their home. When the sea dried up the shells were trapped under the mud and over the years became to be part of the opal formations.

History and Legends

The ancient Greeks believed that Opals were formed from the tears of joy wept by Zeus when he defeated the titans, and that the Opal bestowed prophetic powers.

Most civilizations see Opal as a lucky stone. In the Middle Ages, it was considered that it could provide great luck as it carried all the virtues of each gemstone whose colour was represented in the Opal. 

Following the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Anne of Geierstein’ in 1829, Opal acquired a less popular reputation. In Scott’s novel, the Baroness of Arnheim wears an Opal talisman with supernatural powers. When a drop of holy water falls on the talisman, the Opal turns into a colourless stone and the Baroness dies soon after. Due to the popularity of this novel, people began to associate Opals with bad luck and death and within a year of the novel being published, the sale of Opals in Europe had dropped by 50%.

Healing Properties and Beliefs

Opals have always been associated with love and passion, it is a seductive stone that intensifies emotions and releases inhibitions. It is believed to stimulate originality and creativity. Wearing opal is said to bring loyalty, faithfulness and spontaneity.

It is believed to reflect the mood of the wearer and is a very emotional stone. Even known to ease childbirth and regulate insulin!

Opal is truly a spectacular stone.

 

Tourmaline

Facts

Tourmaline contains boron and is a silicate. The crystal is formed by hydrothermal activity, hot waters and vapours carry the elements for crystal growth. The wide range of colour compositions is due to colour zoning within crystals.

The name Tourmaline comes from Sinhalese (Sri Lanka) word tura mali, which translates as the stone of mixed colours.

The gemstone is mainly formed in Brazil, Africa, Madagascar and in Southern California, USA.

Pictured is one of our past One-off designs using Watermelon Tourmaline, a variety of tourmaline which is highly sought after due to the rings of colours which are 100% natural. The more common type of Tourmalines have been used in this design as accent stones, enhancing the beauty of the main Watermelon Tourmaline.

History and Legends

Ancient legend states that Tourmaline is the stone of many colours because of its travels along rainbows where it captured the rainbows' many beautiful colours. 

During the early 1700’s people believed that green Tourmalines were Emeralds, and pink/red Tourmalines were Rubies. Later in the 1800’s scientists discovered the stones were their own unique mineral. Tourmaline was given its own identity after all the confusion. Anna of Russia’s crown has a huge red Tourmaline at the top of the crown. It was thought to be the classic Ruby but in fact a red rubellite Tourmaline.

The last Empress of China, bought extremely large quantities of Pink Tourmaline from the USA. She was even rested on a Tourmaline pillow when she sadly passed, as a symbol of eternal love for her favourite gemstone

Healing Properties and Beliefs

Tourmalines are renowned for their detoxifying properties and their ability to boost the immune system. It is believed to keep the digestive system healthy and strengthen bones and teeth.

It is said to have the ability to cure depression, counteract fear and remove negative energies.

Kati Johnson
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