Opals and Tourmaline ~ by Grace Augustine

I've always wanted a mother's ring. However, having children born in the months of April (diamond) and October (opal), and my birthstone being an amethyst, it would cost a small fortune that I don't have.

This month we explore the beautiful opal and tourmaline. October is
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one of those months with more than one birthstone. I guess there is a traditional and a modern gemstone, and I'm not sure which is which. So, we'll start alphabetically with the Opal.



Did you know that opals are mineraloids? That means their water content is between 6% and 10%. It is also a hydrated amorphous form of silica. The opal has a pearly, waxy look to it. They come in many colors: black, pink, white, grey, blue, green, purple, yellow, red, brown, and orange. (you can see the various colors at https://geology.com/gemstones/opal/ )And you will always find a fire (known as a 'play of color') in the gemstone. Their MOHS ranking is a 5.5-6.5, making it one of the softer gems, so be careful not to scratch these beauties.

In the early 1900's, numerous discoveries of opal assured Australia
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the leader in production and export of this gemstone. Fire Opals are found in Mexico and Ethiopia. Common and fancy varieties are found in Hungary, Indonesia, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Slovania, and the Czech Republic. Opals have also been found here in the United States in Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Louisiana.

If you want loyalty and faithfulness, then wear opals. This seductive stone intensifies emotional states and releases inhibitions.

The Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious stone and has a
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hexagonal crystal system. This crystalline mineral is found in a variety of colors: green, black, pink, blue, red, yellow, purple, white, grey, orange, and brown (you can see all of the colors and shapes here (https://geology.com/minerals/tourmaline.shtml ) It's appearance is opaque to transparent and on the MOHS scare of hardness, the tourmaline comes in at a 7.0-7.5--a fairly hardy gemstone.

Brazil has been the lead source for tourmaline for over 500 years. The first commercial tourmaline mine was found in 1821 near the town of Paris, Maine, however, the most important source here in the States are the mines in Southern California.

This beautiful gemstone is known for it's power in reducing toxin
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related illnesses. Wearing tourmaline also will aid in reducing stress, improve circulation, and strengthen the immune system.

In this photo, you can see the hexagonal point watermelon tourmaline.





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