Opal, one of October’s birthstones. Opal gemstone truly unique because each gem is adorned with one-of-a-kind color combination. The name opal thought to be derived from the Sanskrit “upela”, meaning “precious stone” and later the Greek derivative “Opallios” meaning “to see a change of color”. A cave in Kenya, Louis Leakey, famous anthropologist, uncovered the earliest known opal artifacts. Dating back to about 4000B.C. Since 1800’s Australia has dominated opal production with more than 90% of global output.
Opal is a hydrous silicon dioxide (SiO2·nH2O). The water can range from 6%to 21% of total weight. It is amorphous, without a crystalline structure, and without a definite chemical position. Therefore, it is a “mineraloid” rather than a “mineral”. It takes about 5 to 6 million years to make a 1cm Opal to mature. On Mohs’s hardness scale 5.5 to 6.0. making this gem incredibly soft. Most people see this majestic gem as a delicate flower needing to be protected. Opals must be protected from heat, quick temperature changes, and harsh chemicals which will dry out the stone, possibly cracking it or even losing the flashy rainbow hues. A quality Opal can be a higher priced gem, but more due to caution that must be taken when cutting and polishing this gem.
Stop in at either of our locations for more details of how to care & clean these delicate gems. Opals are known for being October’s birthstone along with celebrating the 14th wedding anniversary and or wedding presents. No matter the occasion, opals are sure too radiant a passionate energy and light up your special moment.
Pink Tourmaline is the alternative birthstone for October. Tourmaline has such an exciting wide range of colors. In fact, Tourmaline has one of the widest color ranges of all the birthstones. For the month of October, the pastel to vibrant deep pinks are your alternatives to Opals! Pink Tourmaline was discovered by Dutch traders off the west coast of Italy in the late 1600s or early 1700s. The name tourmaline came from the Sinhalese term “turmali” which was the name given to all colored crystals at that time.
Pink Tourmaline has been known to be the “Stone of the Muse”, stimulating the creativity laying deep inside of its wearer. It has been said to have the magical property of pyroelectricity. Scientifically meaning: when the stone is heated, the gem takes on a static electric charge, making it capable of attracting lightweight objects. The Tourmaline is accorded a place of honor in its part in the studies and experiments with electricity conducted by Benjamin Franklin. The Rainbow Gem.
On the Mohs hardness scale this gem is 7-7.5, making very wearable jewelry. Tourmaline grows long-pencil like crystals. This stone is known as the” peace stone”, believed to dispel fear and make wearer calm. Not only does this stone make a great birthday gift, it sends a message of hope. Hope for love, hope for wellness, hope for peace, and hope for the future!