Everything to Know About Tourmaline: The “Other” October Birthstone
October is here, and if you’re celebrating a birthday this month, or have a friend with an upcoming birthday, a great gift idea is a pendant or piece of jewelry featuring the October birthstone. While many cultures traditionally refer to opal as the October birthstone, in the US in particular, another stone is making headway in this regard. Tourmaline, which is a beautiful silicate mineral compounded with multiple natural elements, is classified as a semi-precious stone and is a great choice to consider if you’re looking for something unique, that comes in a variety of colours and sizes.
What are Birthstones?
Birthstones have held significance for centuries and are still very popular today. A birthstone is essentially a gemstone that represents (and signifies) someone’s month of birth. Often worn as a pendant around the neck, or another form of jewelry like a bracelet, birthstones are a more affordable gift option when looking to buy a gift for a special someone on a budget. You’ll also find that with birthstones, and in particular tourmaline, you’re presented with a wider range of options, albeit that regardless of your choice the gift will still be unique in its own way. This makes birthstones all the more attractive and there is a rise in their popularity as a result of this.
Why Tourmaline Is Unique
Brazil has been the world’s leading source of tourmaline for over five centuries. In the 1500’s, Portuguese explorers obtained blue and green tourmaline through indigenous people and in their quest to find gold. Initially thought to be emeralds and sapphires, these beautiful stones were used to create jewelry for royalty, as well as wealthy citizens. One of the key selling points for tourmaline (and naturally why it was so attractive back in the 1500’s) is that it comes in the widest range of colours out of any gem you may find on the market. Tourmaline can also be modified easily, so if you’re not looking for a more “rustic” looking stone, you’re welcome to get a more polished option, though often people opt for something more raw, which gives a slightly ‘out of nature’ feel to the piece.
The Different Colours of Tourmaline
As we mentioned, tourmaline comes in a wonderful variety of colours, but you may have trouble tracking down the colour you want without knowing what its household name is. To make it a little easier, we’ve listed the most popular colours for you below, which you can use when enquiring about the colour you’re looking for:
- Red tourmaline is sold as “rubellite”.
- Black tourmaline is known as “schori”.
- Green tourmaline is well known as “chrome tourmaline”.
- Blue tourmaline is commonly referred to as “indicolite”.
- Yellow tourmaline is sometimes referred to as “canary tourmaline”.
- For others, the name is usually used as an adjective, although when doing your research, you’ll learn that the subtle differences between some of the similar looking colours, so make sure you’re asking for exactly what you want.
Finding Your Next Piece of Jewelry
Thankfully, jewelry stores like Jenna Clifford are able to assist you with what you need, simply by asking for the colour and by mentioning that you recently read about birthstones. Internationally there may be more emphasis on providing the scientific name of what you’re looking for, but locally it’s as simple as walking into a store and asking them for their range of tourmaline jewels. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, they’ll be more than happy to assist you in finding what you need elsewhere. For any of your jewelry needs, they’re a good place to start, and make sure you check out their website too, to learn more about the current deals they are running.