Opal and Tourmaline
Opals are valued for their shifting colors in rainbow hues – a phenomenon known as “play-of-color,” which is often compared to fireworks, galaxies and volcanoes.
The opal birthstone can be found in many places. The fields of Australia are the most productive in the world for the October birthstone. Ethiopia, Mexico and Brazil are also important sources.
This October birthstone ranges from 5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. To prevent jewelry set with harder gems from scratching opal, store it by itself. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are just a few of the gems that can scratch the October birthstone.
Tourmaline is the newer October birthstone and very few gems match tourmaline’s dazzling array of colors.
Tourmaline offers a color palette for every mood. Among the most popular are the pink and red rubellites, the emerald green “chrome” tourmalines, and the neon green and blue-to-violet “paraíba” tourmalines.
WHERE IS TOURMALINE FOUND?
This October birthstone is most commonly found in Brazil, but it is also mined in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique (among other countries in Africa). California and Maine are historically important producers of fine tourmaline in the United States.
The tourmaline birthstone is rated 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness and is generally suitable for everyday wear. These colorful gems are usually stable enough to withstand light and most chemicals, but heat can be damaging.