October has two birthstones: opal and tourmaline. While they are two very different stones, they both feature a kaleidoscope of colours.
Featuring across our fine collections, opal has an unmatched iridescence, flashing different colours across its surface when worn. The Romans regarded opals as the most precious gemstone of them all for this reason.
Arabic legend told of opals containing lightning – theorising that they fall from the sky during thunderstorms; they are now seen as a symbol of hope, purity and truth.
Opal is formed when rain in dry areas, such as Australia’s outback, seep into ancient rock carrying dissolved silica within it. As the water evaporates the silica is left in between layers of the rock where it becomes beautiful opal.
Tourmalines have one of the widest colour ranges in any gem species. According to Egyptian legend this is because as it passed on its long journey to the surface of the earth it passed over a rainbow.
In reality it is because of slight changes in composition, which results in most tourmalines displaying various colours. Because of their range in colour they are often mistaken for other gemstones such as amethyst, citrine, emerald and ruby.
Feeling inspired? Shop our selection of opal jewellery here.