Tourmaline might be the lesser known birthstone of October, but it is by no means a lesser stone. It is uniquely colorful, sometimes containing as many as three colors in one crystal, and, like all birthstones, has fun mystical properties associated with it.
Tourmaline, from the Singalese word tourmali, means “mixed stones,” which references its various color bands found in a singular stone. They have been a more recent addition to the birthstones and were first suggested in 1952, by the Jewelry Industry Council as an alternative stone for October. Because of tourmaline’s spectrum of colors they can be found in, they gained immense popularity. However, they have always held fame throughout history.
For many years, tourmaline was mistaken for ruby, sapphire, emerald and other precious jewels. For that reason, they can be found in several royal jewelry collections. When the errors were found out, it did nothing to scar tourmaline’s popularity. In fact, this gemstone gained popularity for its own unique beauty and colorful varieties all while gathering legends and properties about it. Considered the “stone of the muse,” tourmaline is said to grant high energy, good luck, creativity and romance, depending on its color.
The most popular form of tourmaline is its bi or tri-color properties. Watermelon tourmaline (one of my absolute favorites) has an internal pink color that is surrounded by a thin white layer and finally bordered by a dark green. The effect gives it its name as a slice of watermelon tourmaline appears as a slice of that favorite summer melon!
I prefer to work with watermelon tourmaline or a subset of tourmaline set in quartz, but every version of this stone is absolutely stunning. They can be polished to look like their ruby or sapphire counterparts or cut with a distinctly raw feel. They make great gifts for October birthdays (or anyone who finds the stone attractive), and can be found either in Kress Emporium (downtown Asheville), Etsy or in unwrapped versions in my studio.
To learn about October’s other birthstone, opal, click here!