THE BASICS ---
October is a month filled with color as autumn advances and nature’s fall foliage show reaches its peak with rich tones of yellow, red, orange, gold, bronze, and burgundy. Anyone celebrating in October has an equally richly-colored stone to enjoy if they embrace this month’s birthstone, the beautifully varied tourmaline.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW---
• About Tourmaline:
Tourmaline is a relatively hard and durable boron silicate mineral with different elements embedded in its crystal structure. Depending on the element – sodium, lithium, titanium, aluminum, iron, magnesium, or potassium – the color of the crystal changes. Tourmaline occurs in more colors than any other semi-precious gemstone, including black, brown, green, yellow, peach, red, pink, orange, blue, purple, blue-green, and colorless. Tourmaline even occurs naturally in bi-colored and multicolored shades, transitioning between contrasting colors in the same stone. “Watermelon” tourmaline is one of the most popular and desirable shades, with a transition from bold green to rich pink.
With so many colors, it is common for tourmaline to be referred to by many different names. While simply naming the stone based on its color, such as green tourmaline, pink tourmaline, or blue tourmaline, is popular, other names include dravite (dark brown), rubellite (red or pink), indicolite (blue or teal), schorl (black), and canary (yellow) tourmaline. Richer, more vibrant shades with more intense color are the most valuable and desirable tourmalines, and bright, neon blue is the rarest and most expensive shade.
Tourmaline is mined around the world, with the largest and most productive mines found in Brazil. There are numerous high-quality mines in Africa as well, including in Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Madagascar, and Malawi. Other tourmaline mines are located in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Russia, Italy, and Greenland. In the United States, tourmaline is mined in Maine and California.
• Tourmaline Symbolism
Because of this stone’s variety, it also has many symbolic associations and meanings. Tourmaline is believed to help with both mental and physical detoxification, stimulating circulation, and boosting the immune system. The stone can help alleviate stress and promote a healthy mood, improving energy and vitality. Tourmaline is believed to help strengthen bones and teeth, eliminate negative energy, and facilitate a healthy mood. The stone helps foster a love of humanity, and increases compassion, charity, and productivity, as well as eases reconciliation and provides personal protection and purification.
Tourmaline was often presented as a funeral gift in Native American cultures, and is associated with the planets Venus and Pluto for symbolic purposes. In addition to being the October birthstone, it is also the official gemstone for the eighth wedding anniversary, and pink tourmaline is associated with the fifth wedding anniversary.
• Tourmaline Rings and Jewelry
This gemstone’s crystal structure can grow quite large, resulting in stunning pieces ideal for use in pendants and other statement jewelry. But tourmaline is equally popular in all types of jewelry, including bracelets, earrings, and rings, especially Art Deco and other vintage designs where color is highlighted. These stones are often set alongside pearls and diamonds for additional luster and flair, and tourmaline is cut into a wide range of different stone shapes to suit many types of settings and designs. The stone has been popular in jewelry for centuries, and in fact some stones in the Russian crown jewels were originally believed to be rubies but are now believed to be tourmaline.
• Other October Birthstones
While tourmaline is a stunning gem that offers many possibilities for beautiful jewelry for any October occasion, it may not be right for everyone. Opal is another birthstone associated with October, and additional alternative stones include jasper and aquamarine. The October Zodiac sign Libra (September 23 through October 22) is associated with peridot and lapis lazuli, while Scorpio (October 23 through November 21) is linked to ruby and yellow topaz. Therefore, just in case tourmaline isn’t the best choice, there are many other stunning gems to celebrate any birthday, anniversary, or other special day in this colorful autumn month.
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