Bling of the Month: Opal and Pink Tourmaline

October's child is born for woe, And life's vicissitudes must know;
But lay an Opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those woes to rest.
~Author Unknown

October's birthstone is an explosion of shimmering colors, not unlike those of a Miami sunset or a rainbow.  The Opal derives its name from the Latin word "opalus," meaning precious jewel.  Prized for its unique ability to refract and reflect specific wavelengths of light, the Opal was called "Cupid Paederos" by the Romans, meaning a child beautiful as love.  One legendary explanation for this gemstone's origin is that it fell from heaven in a flash of fiery lightning.

Ancient monarchs treasured Opals, both for their beauty and for their presumed protective powers.  They were set into crowns and worn in necklaces to ward off evil and to protect the eyesight.  These gemstones were also ground and ingested for their healing properties and to ward off nightmares.

The Opal dates back to prehistoric times.  It is a non-crystallized silica, which is a mineral found near the earth's surface in areas where ancient geothermal hot springs once existed.  As the hot springs dried up, layers of the silica, combined with water, were deposited into the cracks and cavities of the bedrock, forming Opal.  This gemstone actually contains up to 30% water, so it must be protected from heat or harsh chemicals, both of which will cause drying and may lead to cracking and loss of iridescence.  Opal must also be guarded from blows, since it is relatively soft and breaks easily.

Pink Tourmaline

When designing jewelry for October I don't normally design with opal in mind because like I said above it is a very soft stone, so it's not the best choice for fine jewelry. If I do use it, it is in conjunction with other stones. Lucky for us October has two birthstones. An alternate birthstone for October, is Pink Tourmaline, which has the seemingly magical property of pyroelectricity.  Scientifically speaking, this means that when heated, the gem takes on a static electric charge, making it capable of attracting lightweight objects. No wonder this gemstone was revered for its mystical properties centuries ago!
A tiara you can wear every day!
Handmade rose gold ring in pink tourmaline,
diamonds and beautiful pink sapphires. 
Considered the "stone of the muse," it was believed to stimulate the creative process of its wearer. Pink varieties of Tourmaline range in color from pastel pink to ruby red and are mined in Brazil, Afghanistan, Burma, and India.  A gift of this stone is symbolic of hope.  So for all you October babies, a beautiful ring in pink tourmaline like this one above is definitely something that should be on your list. 

Dani K

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