I’m super into crystals, I love them in any form, rough from the ground, tumbled and carefully cut into beautiful gemstones. I love the fact they come from the earth, that our planet can produce such wonderful things from a combination of minerals, circumstance, pressure and time. We get these incredible nuggets of joy !! So, I am proud to announce that this is my first in a new series of blogs where I look at the birthstones for the month to come. Cx
At the end of last month, the studious Virgo merged into the harmonious Libra. The gemstones associated with October are the Tourmaline and opal.
The tourmaline comes in so many different colours. Pinks, greens, blues, even black, and then a combination of them all, which is greatly illustrated within the watermelon tourmaline (image above). The tourmaline is relatively hard stone so will wear well in everyday jewellery, but wouldn’t do well in high heat situations.
There are 7 tourmaline (mineral) types with their own healing properties, then they also come in combinations of those so generalising healing can be difficult. So, to summarise, tourmaline can bring balance one way or the other, it keeps us focused, morally intact (whatever that means to you, no judgement here!), combines our spirit, soul, intellect and body and brings harmony. It can help with emotional blockage, encourage dreams and help with empathy and calm anxiety. Depression is helped by reliving stress, instead focusing on love and tenderness. It keeps us mentally focused with the ability to asses our decisions along the way. It appears to work best on our physical flow and movement throughout the body, the metabolism, immune system, water and blood circulation. Due to this it helps regeneration of blood and skin cells, cleanliness of organs and detoxify.
Pink tourmaline, topaz, silver 2019. Handmade by me (Chloe Michell)
Opals are incredibly beautiful, many are like looking into to night sky, or fiery sparks of reds amongst blue, the mineralogy of these is fascinating. To cut a long story short, the capturing of water and gas while silicic acid solidifies creates silicon dioxide globules, when mixed with light create the wonderful colours within the opal. However beautiful these gemstones, they are very soft and not really recommended for everyday wear in rings, so I wouldn’t make these for one off pieces, however I will consider them for remodels. I do have a little stash ready for earrings sometime though!
In mythology these stones are seen to be bad luck, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. The opal spiritually awakens our desire to the joy and variety in our lives. It makes us more aware of our sexual selves, maybe pushing our emotions a little further than we would normally go, encouraging the love for life. Mentally it brings a light heartedness, bringing a love for the arts and encouraging spontaneity in us. The opal is thought to help purify blood and boost the immune systems keeping us healthy mentally and physically. The pragmatic energy of this stone is also thought to have a general health enhancing quality just because it strengthens the will to enjoy life.
The original ring a client gave to me to remodel. The Australian opal was a gift to her from her brother who now lives in Melbourne and carries the highest sentimental value.
The original silver, gold and opal have been used to make the finished ring.
In conclusion I would say both of these complex stones can bring harmony when things are feeling out of balance, may it be physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally. As for use in jewellery the opal can be enjoyed however you choose, just be aware its not the kind of ring you could go gardening or washing up in all the time (or showering). The tourmaline however, has so many different colour options and the ability to be hard wearing that you could have it in many different jewellery types. For me, the lady who rarely removes her jewellery (purely laziness, apart from changing up the earrings) wears my opals on my ears.