Tourmaline and Opal: October Birthstones

10 October 2016

The October birthstones are two remarkable types of gemstones, namely tourmaline and opal. While they are both visually appealing, they differ from each other in a number of different ways. Each one will enhance the jewellery of one’s choice when he or she wishes to wear his or her birthstone daily or to special events. Below, we share a brief description of each of these gemstones along with other pertinent information.


As a crystalline boron silicate mineral, a tourmaline gemstone can contain a variety of elements such as iron, aluminium, sodium, potassium, lithium or magnesium. Its classification is a semi-precious stone and it comes in the wide assortment of colours ranging from clear or yellow to black, which makes it easy for people to confuse these stones for other types of gemstones. The origin of this stone dates back to the 1500s in Brazil, where a Spanish explorer first discovered it. Tourmaline’s name derives from the Sinhalese word ‘tura mali’ and means ‘mixed gems’.

This gemstone is rated 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale and is durable for this reason. It also contains high clarity with limited inclusions. Tourmaline gemstones will vary in price depending upon their size, colour, hardness and clarity level. In addition, this stone is ideal for earrings, bracelets, rings, pendants and other pieces of jewellery.


The first bit of interesting information about opals that you may like to know is the fact that they are the Australia’s national gemstone. In addition, this country mines 95 percent of all the high-quality opals in its outback area. These stones come in a wide assortment of base colours from white to black with a mix of other colours to provide special enhancement. In fact, many have compared these stones to fireworks, galaxies or even volcanoes to describe their mixture of colours.

The name ‘opal’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘upala’, which means ‘precious stone’. Certain ancient cultures believed this stone was unlucky, but the opal is believed to be a symbol of truth, purity and hope according to the Europeans. Today, you can find jewellery in various types of metals, including silver, yellow gold, white gold and even pink gold that contain these attractive gemstones.

Contact our experts here at Ken Ross Jewellers to learn additional details about tourmaline and opal as the October birthstones. We manufacture, supply and maintain fine jewellery along with offering a variety of high-quality watches. You can even custom order pieces to suit your specific preferences.

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