Birthstone of the Month - Opals and Tourmalines
A Tale of Two Birthstones. October birthdays are one of the few months where there is a choice, and a tough choice it is, as both Opals and Tourmalines are the stones of October!
While we don’t believe as the Ancients did that an Opal wrapped in a fresh bay leaf will make us invisible, we do believe there is something magical about Opals, one of the birthstones of October. With their rainbows of flashing of color, Opals diffract light and can take on a range of colors from white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown to black.
Because it is a hydrated form of silica, Opals are classified as a mineraloid, as they have no chemical formula or crystal structure unlike other forms of silica which are classified as minerals. An Opal’s water content can range from 3 to 21% by weight making them a more fragile stone than some others.
Where are they found? On another planet, in another country and right here in the United States. In 2008, NASA announced that Opal had been found on Mars. Bringing it back to Earth, Opals are the national gemstone of Australia, where 97% of the world’s supply is mined. And, even closer to home, Black Opals are the official gemstone of Nevada.
From the Sinhalese world turmali, which means “mixed”, Tourmalines have the widest array of colors and color combination of all gemstones. While there is a current trend to use the actual color before the word Tourmaline, some of the more popular Tourmaline names include Chrome Tourmaline, an intense green Tourmaline caused by chromium impurities, Rubelite, a red or pink Tourmaline and the highly desirable Paraiba or Indicolite Tourmaline, a very rare neon blue Tourmaline caused by inclusions of copper. The most well known of the multi-colored varieties, is the Watermelon Tourmaline. When carefully cut, this Tourmaline displays bands of green, pink, and white, just like its namesake. Look closely at a Tourmaline, then turn it slowly and watch the color change depending on the angle, this is called pleochroism.
Tourmaline grows in pencil like crystals, one of the reasons this mineral is frequently emerald cut. It is also very hard, a 7.0 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it extremely durable and wearable. Tourmalines can be found in many places including Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), several African countries and in California and Maine.
Arthur Weeks and Son Jewelers carries both Opal and Tourmaline jewelry, online and in our store. From gorgeous Rings to sparkling Pendants, we have something for everyone in a price range for every budget. If you don’t see exactly what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Philippa Roberts Jewelry's signature look is simple, organic shapes combined with beautifully cut gemstones. Her love of the ocean plays a large role in the selection of clean, blue and green stones in many of her pieces. Philippa’s creativity stems from the nature around her, yet she also incorporates a feeling of the urban, with lines and patterns that imitate architecture and design seen around the city. Philippa creates all the original pieces by carving in wax or fabricating in metal. Her selection of new stones for each season defines how her collections will come to life.
From the opening of our family store in 1896, four generations of fathers and sons have built our family business and proudly helped generations of families and loyal customers find the perfect gift to mark life's special occasions. Now, all of that knowledge, commitment and stunning selection is available right here.
John Weeks, is the fourth generation owner of Arthur Weeks and Son Jewelers and is a registered jeweler with the American Gem Society. The AGS is one of the jewelry industry’s most prestigious organizations. John also has his Diamond Degree from the Gemological Institute of America. In addition, Arthur Weeks and Son Jewelers is a member of the Jewelers of America, an A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau, and a member of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce.