Opal and Tourmaline - October's Birthstones
October is an unusual birthstone month since there are two recognised birthstones, Opal, the traditional birthstone for October, and Tourmaline it's modern equivalent.
Both stones come in a wide spectrum of colourways, and have been used extensively in jewellery making for centuries.
The primary source of Opals is Australia, but Ethiopia, Mexico and Brazil are all important suppliers of mined stones. Australia traditionally supplies white opals, whilst Fire Opals are generally found in Mexico, and both White and Black Opals originate from Ethiopia.
For many years Opal was believed to be a symbol of purity, hope and truth, and is traditionally given to celebrate a 14th wedding anniversary.
The different colours of tourmaline are thought to have their own healing properties. Black tourmaline is believed to protect the wearer and give a sense of self-confidence, whilst Pink tourmaline embodies love and is associated with compassion and gentleness, and Green tourmaline promotes courage, strength and stamina.
Tourmaline is traditionally given to celebrate an eighth wedding anniversary, and most of the world's tourmalines are mined in Brazil, whilst smaller mines throughout Africa and some in the US still provide a valuable source of high grade Tourmaline.