October Birthstones: The Enchanting Opal and Minty Green Tourmaline

October Birthstones: The Enchanting Opal and Minty Green Tourmaline

October is a month of vibrant colors, crisp air, and two captivating birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline. This article will spotlight the exquisite opal, particularly in necklaces and earrings, before shifting focus to the refreshing minty green tourmaline.


The Allure of Opals 

Opal is a gemstone like no other. Its allure lies in its ability to flash every color of the spectrum with an effect called "play-of-color"1. This unique characteristic, along with its rich history and symbolism, makes opal a sought-after gemstone for jewelry.

Formed from a hardened gel of silica and water, opals typically contain between 6-10% water23. They take form through the solidification of gelatinous or liquid silica within cracks and voids, often created by decaying organic matter4.

The most popular opals come from Ethiopia and Australia. 

Ethiopian Opals

Ethiopian opals, especially those from the Welo deposits, are hydrophane opals5. These porous opals have the ability to absorb water, often resulting in a change in color or transparency5.

Understanding Hydrophane Opals 

Hydrophane Opals are a unique category of opals that are characterized by their ability to absorb water. The name 'hydrophane' comes from the Greek words 'hydro' meaning water and 'phanein' meaning to show. When these opals are submerged in water, they become translucent or even transparent, and their 'play-of-color' can be temporarily subdued or altered. This transformation is stunning to witness and adds an extra layer of intrigue to these already fascinating gemstones.

It's important to note though, that while this feature might make hydrophane opals even more captivating, it also means they require special care. Exposure to water can make these opals more prone to scratches, so it's recommended to keep them away from water as much as possible.

Australian Opals

Australian opals, designated as Australia's national gemstone6, are revered for their vibrant play-of-color. They are formed during the acidic weathering of rocks or precipitate from water-rich fluids6.

Durability of the Opal Birthstone

Despite their enchanting beauty, opals are relatively soft and require careful handling. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, they score between 5.5 and 6.5. To put it into perspective, this hardness is similar to that of a wine glass.

This vulnerability to scratches, chips, and cracks makes opals less suitable for engagement rings, which are intended for everyday wear7. Instead, we recommend designing opals into earrings and necklaces, where they can be showcased and preserved more effectively.


Opal Jewelry Perfect for Gift Giving

Opal earrings and necklaces make for perfect gifts due to their unique appeal and versatility. No two opals are alike, each possessing its own unique play-of-color, ensuring that your gift is one-of-a-kind. This unique characteristic elevates these pieces from mere accessories to personal statements, making them the ideal gift for individuals who value individuality and self-expression.


In terms of versatility, opals can complement a variety of styles. Their shifting colors can add a touch of glamour to an evening gown, bring a pop of color to a casual outfit, or provide a subtle elegance to professional attire. This makes opal jewelry a versatile accessory that can elevate any outfit, regardless of the occasion.

The timeless appeal of opals also contributes to their suitability as gifts. They've been adored for centuries and their popularity shows no signs of waning. Whether it's for a birthday, anniversary, or just because, opal earrings and necklaces are gifts that are always well received and cherished.

Minty Green Tourmaline

Tourmaline, the other birthstone of October, is a versatile gem that comes in a rainbow of colors. However, there's something particularly refreshing about minty green tourmalines. These gems offer an understated elegance and a unique charm that make them a wonderful choice for bespoke jewelry.

Whether you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or simply treating yourself, jewelry featuring opals or minty green tourmalines can be a perfect gift. Their unique beauty and rich symbolism will surely make any occasion special.

Designing Your Own Custom Jewelry with Opals and Tourmaline  

Designing your own jewelry is a great way to make any occasion special. Whether you are gifting yourself or someone else, custom jewelry allows you to express your creativity while celebrating milestones and special moments.

The design process begins with the selection of the gemstone – either opals or tourmaline. From there, selecting a setting is key in determining the final look of the piece. Pairing opals with white gold or platinum settings would bring out their unique play-of-color, while tourmaline can be showcased with a variety of metal colors to create the desired effect.

Bespoke jewelry doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. It's all about creating something that celebrates and elevates your individual style, whether you're looking for a subtle piece or an eye-catching statement. So why not put on those creative hats and explore the enchanting world of opals and tourmalines?

Tourmaline Variations and Opal Types for October Birthstone Jewelry 

The stunning colors of tourmaline and opals create an array of possibilities when it comes to designing jewelry for the month of October. From pink tourmaline to emerald green, these precious stones offer a range of options for any occasion. Let's take a look at some of the popular gemstones for October birthstone jewelry.

Tourmaline Birthstone

Warm-toned pink tourmalines are a favorite among many. Pink tourmaline offers a gentle yet captivating hue and are believed to have healing properties, making them perfect for gift giving. A personal favorite of this jeweler is mint green tourmaline for jewelry and rings. Paired with diamonds or other colored stones, these gems make an eye-catching statement.


Traditional October Birthstone: Opal 

Often thought of as the traditional birthstone for October Opals are known for their play-of-color, which ranges from deep blues to yellows. Depending on the desired look, they can be used in a variety of settings. For a more subtle effect, a white opal is a great choice for their gentle hues that blend well with other colored stones. A fire opal, on the other hand, has vibrant oranges and reds that are perfect for a striking look that lives up to its' blazing name. The Boulder opal offer beautiful blues and greens, while black opals boast a stunning array of colors. Lastly, opal doublets combine different types of opal to create unique designs for any occasion.


Other Colored Stones 

If you're feeling adventurous, why not explore other colored stones? Emeralds and sapphires offer a deep green hue that exudes elegance. Rubies have an intense red color with a touch of glamour, while aquamarines feature light blues and greens for a subtle effect. Tanzanites are also becoming increasingly popular due to their unique violet hues. With so many options to choose from, the possibilities are endless!


October Birthstone Jewelry 

Whether you’re looking for a special gift or an elegant accessory for yourself, October birthstone jewelry offers something for everyone. Combining tourmalines and opals with diamond accents can create unique pieces that will be treasured for years to come. 

And there you have it - a range of gemstones and designs to make October birthstone jewelry truly special! From minty green tourmaline to black opal, these precious stones are sure to bring joy and elegance to any ensemble. 

October Birthstone Precious Stone Beauties

The October birthstones, opal and tourmaline, offer a beautiful range of colors that are sure to spark joy. With their captivating colors, unique symbolism, and versatility in design, these precious stones make for the perfect gift for any occasion.

Remember, all gemstones, including opals and tourmalines, require proper care to maintain their beauty. Avoid wearing them during strenuous activities, clean them regularly with mild soap and warm water, and store them separately from other jewelry to prevent scratches. 

With the right care, these October birthstones can be treasured for generations. We hope this article has inspired you to create jewelry pieces featuring these precious stones!

FAQs about Opals

Let's dive deeper into the mesmerizing world of opals, a gemstone known for its unique play-of-color and versatility. In this section, we'll address some of the most frequently asked questions about opals, providing you with the knowledge and insights to make confident choices when selecting or caring for this October birthstone. Whether you're a newcomer to gems or a seasoned aficionado, this FAQ will help unravel the mysteries of opals.

What are opals used for?

Opals are primarily used in the jewelry industry due to their unique play-of-color. They are cut and polished into cabochons and set into rings, necklaces, brooches, and other types of jewelry. Opals may also be used for ornamental purposes or collected as gemstones.

Are opals good luck?

Opals have been associated with various beliefs and superstitions throughout history. In some cultures, opals are considered a symbol of good luck. However, in others, they might be seen as bearers of bad luck or misfortune due to their color-changing property.

How do you take care of opals?

Caring for opals involves avoiding extreme temperature changes, harsh chemicals, and abrasive cleaners. It's advised to clean opals using a soft, dry cloth or with mild soap and warm water. Opals should be stored separately to prevent scratches from other jewelry.

Do opals have healing properties?

In crystal healing and folklore, opals are believed to have several healing properties. They're often associated with emotional healing, creativity, and spontaneity. However, these beliefs aren't scientifically proven and should be considered symbolically.

Why do opals change color?

Opals change color due to their unique internal structure. They are made up of microscopic silica spheres that diffract light, causing the play-of-color that you see. The size and arrangement of these spheres determine the colors that are displayed.

Additional Resources

Looking for more information about October birthstone jewelry? Check out these helpful resources: 

  • Gemselect offers a variety of gemstones to choose from, ranging from traditional October birthstones to other colored stones. 
  • The Gemological Institute of America provides detailed information on how to care for and maintain your jewelry. 

Now that you know more about the dazzling world of opals and tourmalines, let your creativity run wild! Create something unique with these precious stones today. 

Shopping for October Birthstone Jewelry

Finding the perfect piece of birthstone jewelry can be a daunting task. To help make the process simpler, here are some tips to consider when shopping for October birthstone jewelry:

  • Consider the type of gemstone you want. Do you prefer traditional October birthstones such as opals or tourmalines? Or would you rather explore other colored stones like emeralds and sapphires? 
  • Set a budget for yourself. Jewelry can be expensive, so it's best to decide how much you're willing to spend on the piece beforehand. 
  • Look for reputable jewelers who use ethically sourced gemstones and materials. This will ensure that your purchase is of good quality and the stones were obtained in an ethical manner. 
  • Keep in mind that jewelry is a personal purchase. Make sure to pick something that speaks to you and your individual style! 

Now that you know some tips for shopping for October birthstone jewelry, start exploring the world of opals and tourmalines today and create something that celebrates your unique style! 

Reach out to us at Emily Gill Bespoke Ltd.







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