October 4, 2010
Spotlight On: Opal and Tourmaline
Not many gemstones rival the beauty and splendor of the opal, October’s birthstone. It is the national gemstone of Australia, and has long been considered a symbol of hope, innocence, and purity. The ancient Roman naturalist, Pliny, once described the opal as ‘made up of the glories of the most precious gems…the gentler fire of the ruby, the rich purple of amethyst, the sea-green of emerald, all glittering together…’ Since the Middle Ages, people have believed that opals have magical and spiritual powers, enlightening and protecting those who wear the gemstone.
Opals are mined in Australia, Mexico, and the United States, and create a spectrum of vivid colors with wh ...