Tourmaline, The Unknown October Birthstone

Until I started researching this article, I had never heard of tourmaline. However, it is one of the two official birthstones for October, along with opal. Tourmaline comes in every color of the rainbow, so you have plenty of options to choose from for your favorite piece of tourmaline jewelry!

Pink tourmaline ring, 'October Marigold' Tourmaline, The Unknown October Birthstone
Pink Tourmaline and Sterling Silver Ring, ‘October Marigold’

Tourmaline is not actually a single type of stone, but actually a group of minerals that all share similar properties. There are four main species of tourmaline, all with different coloring. All four types form crystalline structures, with a unique three-sided prism. Another interesting feature of tourmaline is that the colors can appear to be different depending on how you cut the stone.

Far and away the most common type of tourmaline is called schorl. This group is characterized by its deep, opaque black color. It is found all over the world and was originally named after the village in Germany where it was discovered. Black tourmaline is believed to have a grounding effect, tying the wearer to their roots with the earth and increasing self-esteem. It was also used in ancient times for protection, especially against evil demons. Today it is used to make beautifully simple and modern jewelry, like this black tourmaline collar necklace.

Tourmaline collar necklace, 'Midnight Sky's Magnitude' Tourmaline, The Unknown October Birthstone
Tourmaline Collar Necklace, ‘Midnight Sky’s Magnitude’

The second type of tourmaline is called dravite. It is characterized by its brown color and can sometimes resemble amber. It is said to have grounding and calming effects, and to lead to a more balanced and positive life. However, due to the more muted color, it is not a very popular choice for jewelry.

Tourmaline stretch bracelet, 'Festive' Festive Tourmaline Stretch Bracelet Beaded Jewelry Handmade in India Tourmaline, The Unknown October Birthstone
‘Festive’ Tourmaline Stretch Bracelet Handmade in India

The species of tourmaline most commonly used for jewelry is called elbaite. This variety was named after the island of Elba in Italy. It comes in every color of the rainbow, and many of the elbaite deposits discovered are multicolored. Many jewelers take advantage of this wide array of colors by combining them all in one piece, such as this tourmaline stretch bracelet featuring pink, green, yellow and black stones in many different shades.

Individual shades of elbaite also have their own meanings. Pink is thought to bring compassion and love, while purple is linked to relaxation. Blue represents honesty and truth and is tied to the water. Green is believed to strengthen masculine attributes such as courage and strength. These earrings made with pink tourmaline would be a great gift to someone to show your love!

Pink Cherries Tourmaline and Sterling Silver Leaf Earrings from India Tourmaline, The Unknown October Birthstone
‘Pink Cherries’ Tourmaline and Sterling Silver Leaf Earrings from India

Even if you are an October baby who loves opals, I am sure that NOVICA‘s talented artisans will help you come to love tourmaline as well! Added to the beauty of this versatile gemstone, is knowing that your NOVICA jewelry purchase is helping improve the lives of artisans from remote areas of the world.

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