Amongst the many different birthstones appointed to each month of the year, many find October’s associated birthstones to be the most interesting. What one could consider the month of colors, both gemstones associated with people that are born in the month of October offers colorful features, with some civilizations believing that these stones obtained their colors from rainbows. While one of these stones is adequate for everyday wear, the other may only be appropriate for special occasions. Let’s discuss these two gemstones in more detail and determine which is the more appropriate gift for that special someone in your life.
It is believed that the first Opal was discovered in Northern Africa. This discovery dates back to approximately 4000 B.C. More recent indications of Opal includes a deposit discovered in Australia, which occurred in 1850. Today, Australia is the biggest Opal source throughout the entire world, and provides the majority of precious Opal gemstones to a worldwide target market. This is due to the large amounts of seasonal rainfalls that hits Australia; thus causing silica deposits to move downward through the Earth and into the numerous rock layers found underneath the ground.
An Opal’s color reflection features are what makes this particular gemstone so unique. While the base color of an Opal gemstone is black or white, the silica buildup found within the gemstone causes a variety of colors to be reflected when the gemstone is placed in a position where light reflects on it. All the colors found in the rainbow can be observed in such a case.
It is important to note that not all Opal gemstones feature these color variety, since common Opal gemstones do not contain the silica buildup that precious ones do. Opal is also not as durable as many other gemstones, rating fifth on the Mohs hardness scale. This makes Opal more appropriate for occasional use, such as when attending an important event.
Tourmaline is the secondary birthstone of the month October and also features a variety of colors. The stone consists of numerous minerals – the presence of certain minerals cause the color of a Tourmaline gemstone to change.
The first discovery of Tourmaline does not date as far back as Opal’s first discovery, but only toward the 1500s, according to the Gemological Institute of America. It is believed that this stone was first uncovered in Brazil, but the first confirmation of Tourmaline’s discovery was only made official in the 19th century. Today, these gemstones are found worldwide. Some common countries where Tourmaline is quite commonly found include Australia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the United States and Nepal.
Tourmaline is a harder gemstone than Opal, ranking between seven and 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. This makes Tourmaline a much more appropriate choice for those seeking a stone that can be placed in everyday jewelry. Since Tourmaline is still not as hard as a Sapphire or Diamond, it is often advised to avoid placing the jewelry in rings that are worn every day, but rather in other types of daily jewelry, including pendants and earring sets.
Opal and Tourmaline gemstones are associated with the month of October, both featuring a wide spectrum of colors and believed to have passed through a rainbow by some reports. Each of these gemstones has certain features that make each a more appropriate gift for someone born in October, with Opal being the better choice for occasional wearing and Tourmaline featuring a sturdiness that makes it appropriate for more frequent use. These are essential features that need to be considered prior to the purchase of a gift.