The birthstones for October are:
The name Opal derives from the Greek Opallios, meaning "to see a change in color." Opals may range in color from milky white to black with hints of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue. The beauty of an opal is the product of contrast between its color play and its background.
An Opal is a formation of non-crystalline silica gel that seeped into crevices in the sedimentary strata. Over time and through nature's heating and molding processes, the gel hardened to form Opals. The stone is composed of particles closely packed in circular arrangements. When packed together in a regular pattern, a three-dimensional array of spaces are created that give the Opal its luminosity.
Because of their unique make-up, opals are extraordinarily fragile and must be treated with care. It has been suggested that people occasionally soak their opals in water overnight, to prevent them from drying out.
The Opal is believed to have healing and restoring qualities, and symbolizes:
Opals are exceptionally unique from any other stone and which makes them a much sought after gem. The Opal was formerly known as the Queen of Gems because it encompassed the colors of all other gems. Each Opal is truly one-of-a-kind, like our fingerprints.
Tourmaline derives its name from the Sinhalese word "tura mali" which means "mixed stone", and with its rainbow of colors the stone can quickly enhance any jewelry collection. The stone is most commonly found in the colors: green, pink, black, and clear. Additionally Tourmaline is known for displaying several colors in one gemstone. With such a wide variety of colors and combinations you can surely find a stone in your favorite color.
Although the original birthstone designation for Tourmaline was the pink Tourmaline, the practice has become that many people accept Tourmaline of any color for October's birthstone. Tourmalines exist in more colors and color combinations than any other gemstone in the world. Stones with a mixture of two or more colors are well-known Tourmalines. One of the most well-known Tourmalines known as the Watermelon Tourmaline contains green on the outside with a pink interior.
The Tourmaline is a complex silicate combined with various metallic elements; since each contributes a different color, the observer is often confused into believing the gem is a Ruby, Emerald, or Sapphire. Tourmaline may be cut into any style, including step, brilliant, mixed, and cabochon.
The Tourmaline is known as "the stone which inspires and awakens". The stone represents the energy of relaxation by transforming negative energy into positive energy. The Tourmaline gem has been found in the United States in Maine, North Carolina, and California. Recently Brazil, Namibia, Nigeria, and Zambia have become larger producers of the stone.