Opal and Tourmaline: October’s opulent birthstones
As we approach October; the month when the nights are drawing in, the mercury begins to drop, and the memories of wonderful Summer days are behind us; many people fall into a slight slump. Whether you have seasonal depression, or the promise of a new beginning in September has fallen by the wayside; it’s understandable if you are struggling to keep the bounce in your step. There are some who will recommend the power of October’s wonderful birthstones to recharge you, with both Opal and Tourmaline being mysterious gemstones that have been used to create some beautiful jewellery.
Robert Weldon / GIA / Opal in its boulder form
Opal has a long history. Pliny the Elder, a famous Roman historian, described opalus (the word for Opal at the time) as “a precious stone containing the fiery flame of the carbuncle (Garnet), the resplendent purple of the Amethyst, and the sea-green glory of the Emerald – all shining together in incredible union and exquisite pleasure.” That certainly describes the wonderful iridescent effect that Opal has, with the variety of colours that get picked up in the light.
The name Opal actually is believed to originate from the Sanskrit word “upala”, meaning “precious stone.” Pliny the Elder also associated the stone with Ops, the wife of Saturn and goddess of fertility. It has another beautiful meaning in Greek, with the word opallios translating as “the child of love,” and “the delicate complexion of a lovely youth.”
Opal was considered in the ancient world to be the most mysterious of all the gemstones that had been discovered at the time. Opal was worn by people, as it was believed that the stone had the ability to soothe someone’s soul, strengthen their sight, and provide you with great luck. They believed this was because the Opal possessed all the virtues of the gemstones; garnets, amethysts and emerald; whose colours reside within it.
If you believe in the metaphysical powers of gemstones, Opal is supposed to act as a prism for your aura. This means it would emphasise all of your existing qualities. Others also say the stone reflects a full spectrum of light energy to your system; soothing and clearing the emotions within your body, and boosting your will to live.
Opal jewellery has always been popular, due to the stunning iridescent colours that Opal has. It is also traditionally the gift given for your 14th wedding anniversary.
Anthony Lent / Double Headed Serpent Opal Ring
If you want to look at some wonderful opal jewellery, this double headed serpent ring is especially interesting. We are raised to be afraid of snakes, but there is an undeniable beauty to them. They are both the Biblical personifications of evil, but they also symbolise health and healing.
Robert Weldon / GIA / A selection of different coloured Tourmaline gemstones
Tourmaline is a stone with great myths that surround it. Egyptian legend says that the stone was formed by coming through a rainbow as it rose from the earth’s core, leading to its wonderful variety of colours. It comes in the widest range of colours in the gemstone world, with almost every colour represented, even black.
The name of the stone comes from the Sinhalese word toramalli, which means “stone with mixed colours”.
However, because of this vast range of colours that tourmaline could come in, the stone was often mistaken for other gemstones. For example, one of the “rubies” in the Russian crown jewels, the “Caesar’s Ruby” pendant, was actually a red tourmaline.
CrystalBar / Rough Black Tourmaline
Tourmaline has a variety of different associations, depending on the colour of the stone. Each colour of tourmaline is believed to have its own healing property. Black tourmaline for example is believed to protect the wearer and give them a sense of self-confidence. Whereas Pink tourmaline embodies love and is associated with compassion and gentleness. Finally, green tourmaline promotes courage, strength and stamina.
Due to the wide variety of colours that Tourmaline comes in, there is a wide variety of pieces of tourmaline jewellery you can find.
Jason Merritt / Gwyneth Paltrow wearing red tourmaline earrings
Here you can see Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a stunning pair of red tourmaline earrings to a red carpet event.
Or if you prefer green tourmaline, there is this stunning leopard ring with a brilliantly cut green tourmaline gemstone.
Boucheron / Tourmaline Leopard ring
If that is too flashy for you, these green tourmaline and bamboo earrings are slightly more demure.
Silvia Furmanovich / Green tourmaline and bamboo earrings
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