Birthstones - October Birthstone - Opal and Tourmaline

Famous for their kaleidoscope of colors, opals are amongst the most popular gems in the world. Often seen in white or translucent creams, opals can actually span all the colors of the rainbow. In contrast, pink tourmaline consists of rich and vibrant pinks, burgundies and even deep purple-esque colors. 


Widely revered and much-loved, both opal and pink tourmaline are stunning gems. Their clarity and color ensure they look stunning set in either gold, silver or platinum, while their meaning and lore make them the perfect gift for family, friends and loved ones. 


What do Opals and Pink Tourmalines mean?


Said to symbolize love and hope, opals have been considered a precious stone for centuries. For Romans, the opal was the most powerful gem because it contained a spark of every other colored gemstone, while Bedouins believed opals contained lightning and maintained they feel from the sky amidst rumbling thunder and dramatic storms.


Many cultures believe opals have supernatural origins and mystical powers. Indeed, it’s the mix of history and folklore, that make opals such popular jewelry gems and design today, as much as their exquisite appearance. 


In modern culture, opals are associated with prophecy, health, purity, hope and truth. Once thought to preserve life, opal rings are sometimes worn for luck and opal jewelry may be chosen for its eye-catching appeal as well as its association with health and hope. 


Admired for its vibrant hue, pink tourmaline has many meanings too. Thought to relieve anxiety and stress, tourmaline jewelry brings wearers peace and tranquility. Often work to bring comfort, it’s also believed that pink tourmaline jewelry can aid with sleep and re-awaken the wearer’s natural insight and to aid enlightenment. 


Both opals and pink tourmaline have a rich and varied history, and they have both been prevalent across various cultures for centuries. Whether you admire them for their visual appeal, their stunning beauty or their mystical origins, both the pink tourmaline and opal stone make wonderful gifts.


What do Opal Birthstones represent?


Opal is the primary birthstone for the month of October. As every opal is unique, they make the perfect choice of gift as they resemble the individuality of the wearer. A stunning choice for both men and women, opal US jewels and gems are ideal for loved ones whose birthdays fall in this crisp, Autumn month. 


Bringing hope, health, luck, purity and truth, the opal birthstone for October symbolizes all of the good things you want to bestow upon the wearer and can be carried with them throughout their life.


However, opal isn’t the only October birthstone. Slightly newer, but no less important, is the Pink Tourmaline. One of the two birthstones for October, Pink Tourmaline offers stability, security, warmth and luck. Associated with stress-relieving and healing properties, Pink Tourmaline jewelry is thought to bring confidence and peace to wearers and is a thoughtful and meaningful gift for loved ones.


What are Natural Opals?


Formed deep beneath ancient rocks, natural opals occur in primarily dry regions following heavy rains. The vast majority of the world’s natural opals are found in Australia, although natural opals can also be found in Ethiopia, Nevada and Mexico.


Following weeks or months of brilliant sunshine, a deluge of rain would soak into the rock beneath ground level, carrying dissolved silica along with it. This mix of silica and oxygen would reside within the cracks of these ancient stones and solid deposits of silica would form as the water gradually began to evaporate. When this happens, the deposits of silica left between rocks and sedimentary layers form the exquisite opal gems and jewels we recognize.


Spanning every color of the rainbow, opals can be found in a variety of hues. White, iridescent opals are, perhaps, most commonly recognized, but natural opal rings may feature spheres of blues, greens, reds and yellows. 


The Fire Opal is a particularly popular choice of gem, especially when set within an opal ring, opal necklace or opal earrings. Sometimes known as a Mexican Opal, the natural yellow, red, brown and orange bodycolor is interspersed with flashes of brighter shades and is reminiscent of the Bedouin belief that opals contain bolts of powerful lightning.


Some natural opal gems show a ‘play-of-color’, although not every opal stone does. A play-of-color refers to the flashing rainbow colors which are visible on many precious opal stones. Whilst stones with a play-of-color can look stunning, opals which don’t feature this burst of technicolor are no less beautiful. 


Indeed, the wide range of colors, hues and visuals ensure that opal US jewels and gems are utterly unique. If you want to select natural opal gems and jewels for yourself or a loved one, you can choose a stone which matches their personality, displays their favorite colors and is set within an eye-catching design. 


What are Lab Created Opals?


Different from natural opals in origin, lab created opals are no less beautiful than their organic counterparts. Since the late 1800s, opals have been grown and created in artificial environments, such as laboratories, as well as being mined. 


Very similar to natural opals in their physical, optical and chemical characteristics, lab-created opals are for use in jewelry, such as men’s opal rings, women’s opal earrings and unisex opal necklaces or bracelets. Although lab-created opals may contain some additional materials, when examined by the naked eye, they are indistinguishable from naturally sourced opals.


Sometimes known as synthetic opals, gems created or grown in a lab environment may appear slightly more uniform in appearance than natural opals. However, this can be a positive feature for the wearer.


If you’re selecting an opal ring with one, primary gem and a surrounding cluster of opals, for example, you may want to ensure that the cluster of opals are similar in appearance. If so, lab-created opals can offer a little more consistency than natural opals and may be favored in some instances.


If you’re searching for ‘opal jewels for me’ or ‘opal jewelry gifts’ for someone else, both natural and lab created opals are the perfect option. With very little to distinguish between the appearance of organic and synthetic opal gemstones, you can be sure that both options can be set in gold, silver or platinum to create a spectacular piece of jewelry. 


Why do people give Opal Rings and Jewelry as gifts?


Both opal and pink tourmaline are popular gifts. While pink tourmaline is often given in crystal form, it is most popular in the form of jewelry. Of course, opal and pink tourmaline rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings are popular gifts for people who are born in October. Their status as October’s birthstone ensures anyone with an October birthday appreciates such a thoughtful and meaningful gift.


However, it isn’t just people with birthdays in October who enjoy wearing opal rings and pink tourmaline jewelry. In fact, their versatility, meanings and striking appearance ensure they’re popular with men and women of all ages. 


Treasures to pass down to family


Jewelry is the perfect family heirloom and it doesn’t get better than a treasured opal necklace or a beautiful pink tourmaline ring set in a gold or silver ring with a unique design and clasp. Passed down to children, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren or to younger brothers and sisters, opal jewelry is the perfect keepsake. 


For the recipient, it’s a wearable reminder of their loved one and a moving way to remind yourself of their hopes and wishes for you. If you want to pass on wishes of health, love and happiness, opal jewelry passed down through the generations is the ideal way to do it. 


Furthermore, the versatility of opal and pink tourmaline jewelry ensures they’re the perfect treasure to go from one family member to another. Unlike other types of keepsakes, jewelry can be well-maintained and securely stored. In addition, it can be worn everyday or on special occasions, and be present at all of your loved one’s important events. 


In addition, jewelry can be customized so that any member of your family can enjoy wearing it. If you want to pass down a gorgeous opal ring to a younger family member, for example, the ring size can be altered to ensure they can wear it safely and enjoy it for years to come. Similarly, if your stunning opal brooch is set within a feminine design, it can easily be reset into a masculine men's opal ring or added to an opal bracelet for increased ‘wearability’.  


The perfect treasures to share with family members, pink tourmaline and opal jewelry can preserve your family’s heritage, bring back precious memories and be a constant reminder of loved ones. 


Alternative Opal Engagement Rings


People often associate engagement rings with diamonds, but alternative engagement rings are becoming increasingly popular. If you’re looking for a unique piece of jewelry to propose to your loved one, opal engagement rings are a fantastic choice.


Pearlescent, iridescent and translucent opals may show every color of the rainbow when the light hits them but their light, creamy and white back bodycolour is perfect to symbolize your upcoming nuptials. White is the color of weddings, so how better to celebrate an engagement than with dazzling light opal engagement rings?


Of course, you don’t have to opt for an opal engagement ring with a light background or bodycolor. Instead, colored opals, such as Fire Opals or those featuring a ‘play-of-color’, can be an inimitable way to celebrate your relationship and your union. 


Colored gems are often chosen as engagement rings because they of their unique hues and striking appearance and an opal engagement ring certainly fits the bill. Whether you opt for a fiery stone, a calming hue or a flash of lightning, opal engagement rings can symbolize the love, hope and unity you hope to bring to your marriage.  


Opal Anniversary Rings


As well as being a fabulous choice for a unique and meaningful engagement ring, opal jewelry can make the perfect anniversary present. Traditionally, opal symbolized the 14th anniversary of marriage, so it’s the ideal choice if you’ve been with your partner for some time. However, there’s no need to be restricted by time-old traditions. Whether you’re celebrating your first anniversary or your fiftieth, a spectacular opal ring is the ultimate way to show your partner how much they’re loved and cherished. 


If one partner has an October birthday, you could even combine your birthstones to symbolize your marriage and commitment to one another. An opal set with a emerald, for example, could be a fantastic way of celebrating the anniversary of a couple with May and October birthdays. 


Opal Promise Rings


A symbol of love and commitment, promise rings are often gifted from one partner to another. In many cases, partners choose matching or complementing rings to signify their unity, and opal promise rings are an exquisite way to cement your love for one another. 


Set within a gold, silver or platinum ring, a Fire Opal, a striking gem full of colors or an iridescent cream, will look stunning on any finger, and the meaning behind the stone is a meaningful way of sharing your love.


Opal Rings as Gifts


Whilst opal rings and pink tourmaline jewelry are perfect engagement rings, promise rings, family heirlooms and anniversary gifts, they can make great birthday presents, Christmas gifts or thank you gifts too.


If you want to express your gratitude to a family member or friend, wish them the happiest of birthdays or are celebrating a milestone event with them, why not treat them to a meaningful opal ring as a sign of your friendship? 


Choosing an Opal Ring


Whether you’re choosing an opal ring for yourself or for someone else, take time to select the right stone and setting. Remember – no two opals are ever the same, so pick the perfect gem for the recipient. 


With a wide range of pink tourmaline and opal jewelry made in the USA, Gems and Jewels can help you to find the perfect selection.