October's Gemstones - Tourmaline & Opal

October’s gemstones are tourmaline and opal, both of which have rich and colourful stories.

Tourmaline, available in many colours, can also have one gemstone with several colours in it, being true to the meaning of its name as ‘stone of mixed colours’. Indeed the Ancient Egyptians believed tourmaline found its variety of colours when, on its journey up from the earth’s centre it passed through a rainbow. Tourmaline is mined throughout the world and is highly sought-after because of its wide range of colours. It’s 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale making it a hard stone that’s perfect for wearable jewellery. 

The Ancients believed opal to be the queen of the gems. Many scholars argue the word comes from the Greek word opallios, meaning ‘to see a change in colour’ as precious opal shows a variable interplay of internal colours as its internal structure makes it diffract light. It comes in a rich array of colours from grey, red, orange, green, blue and more and its typical country of origin is Australia where it is the national gemstone. It’s a more delicate gem with a hardness of 5.5 on the Mohs scale but with extra care will wear and last for generations. 

Tourmaline Lotus Bud Necklace (below left) and Reef Opal Earrings (below right).