For the Diversity of Tourmaline, The October Birthstone

Legend has it that tourmaline, the birthstone of October, rose from the forge of the Earth and rode the celestial winds into the sweet blue sky, passing through the vibrant arcs of a glorious rainbow before returning to the land from which it came.  

Those that witnessed its return told of a wondrous transformation into a gemstone of true diversity, bearing every colour of the enchanting rainbow through which it passed.

This wonderfully versatile gemstone family indeed has flavours for all. Now we turn our attention to eight facts about October’s prismatic wonder you might not already know. 




A Colourful Name

It’s no surprise that the word ‘tourmaline’ has something to do with colour. It is likened to the Singhalese words’ tura mali’, loosely meaning a stone mixed with colours. Most tourmalines are named after their place of birth or inspiration, with Savannah Tourmaline taking its name from the seductive yellows and oranges of the eastern African Savannah.

Symphony of Elements

Each tourmaline is nurtured to life in a stunning prismatic habitat. Entrancing hexagonal pencil-like structures form and combine with trace amounts of different elements to produce the dazzling prismatic structures that we see today. Sometimes two or even three colours can be produced, resulting in spectacular bi-colour and tri-colour prismatic formations. 

A Cut Above

Gem cutters are quite particular when it comes to tourmalines, as slight variations in the cut adjust the journey of light through a tourmaline’s elaborate internal matrix. With this in mind, an artisanal jeweller can manipulate the passage of light to sometimes stunning effect, resulting in captivating light-shows of changing refracted colours with movement.  

Mistaken Identity

It’s only natural for a gemstone as diverse in colour as tourmaline to be mistaken for other gemstones. In fact, the “Caesar’s Ruby” pendant of the Russian Crown Jewels was discovered to be red “rubellite” tourmaline, and green “verdilite” tourmaline was often mistaken for emerald by the South American conquistadors. 

Resplendent Light-Shows

Tourmalines generally are semi-precious, but some rise to such astonishing levels of pristine beauty (and rarity) that their value surpasses diamonds. The Pariba Tourmaline of Brazil, also known as “cuprian elbaite”, is one such gemstone, rocking a stunningly vivid and rare copper-tinted “lightning” electric blue that makes it ten thousand times rarer than diamonds. 

Smooth and Shiny

Sure, a well-cut tourmaline is smooth and shiny, but we’re actually talking about your hair! Believe it or not, tourmalines come with an abundance of negative ions and infrared rays, which, harnessed correctly, help improve the quality and appearance of your hair. For this reason, tourmalines are used in a range of hair care products and applications the world over. 

The Power of Attraction

The attractiveness of tourmalines was never in doubt, but tourmaline has an additional power of attraction - the power of electro-magnetism - more so than any other transparent gemstone! The presence of metal elements such as iron or manganese causes tourmalines to attract dust and other lightweight particles when the gemstone is subject to intense heat or pressure.

The Calm in the Storm

Some believe the electromagnetic properties help soothe emotional trauma, the perfect remedy for those with a broken heart or buckling under the stress of everyday life. Do tourmalines really stimulate feelings of love and compassion? Do they vanquish turbulent negative emotions and gently move the “patient” into a state of wisdom and tranquillity?

Ever wonder which tourmaline is the perfect jewel for you? Take a look at our stunning collection!

Hang on there...if tourmaline is not your thing, there’s another birthstone for October…


Opal, the Traditional Alternative

Opals are famed the world over for their kaleidoscopic plays of colour. The very word “opal” has its roots in the Greek word “opallios”, which means “to see a change in colour”, and it’s easy to see why. The body of each opal is alive with floating splashes and flecks of vivid colour, each vying for our undivided attention. 

Displays of colour in gemstones have long been associated with spiritual and healing properties. Opals, with their incredible displays of colour, are naturally associated with various properties, from improving success in romance to encouraging hope, purity, and the pursuit of truth. Some were also believed to bestow the wearer with invisibility (although we have seen no evidence).   

 On a related note, opals are associated with the Libra star sign and the planet Venus. Those under Libra are responsible, diplomatic, and always seeking fairness and equality. They are also passionate in love, and when Venus is weak, wearing an opal is believed by some to reignite a Libran’s love and affection. 


It’s now October, so what’s it to be - a tourmaline, with its striking prismatic hues, or an opal, with its kaleidoscopic play of colour?

Again, the choice is yours, and the  possibilities of palette are endless, with literally something for everyone.