October Birthstones: Part II

As you already know from our last post, October is one of the lucky months. It has not only one, but two gemstones associated with it! In Part I, we learned about October’s original birthstone, Opal. More recently, another stone was added to make it easier and more affordable for the public to get jewelry associated with their birth month. In 1912 the National Association of Jewelers created the first official list of birthstone, and declared Pink Tourmaline (sorry guys!), the alternative gem for the month of October.

Pink Tourmaline:

There are multiple kinds of tourmaline, seeing that it comes in pretty much every color of the rainbow- which is what makes tourmaline a fan-favorite through time. The first tourmaline crystal was discovered in Brazil, and it was bright green. The Spanish conquistador confused the vibrant for an emerald. It’s easy to understand why tourmalines are easily confused with other gems, but VERY few gems match tourmaline’s intense range of colors.

            Pink Tourmaline, however, was first discovered in the 1600s by Dutch explorers off the west coast of Italy. History also shows us that, for a time, pink and red tourmaline were assumed to be rubies. Although pink tourmaline tends to be ‘pinker’ in color than rubies, the similarities are so strong that even the stones in the Russian crown jewels- which were believed to be rubies for centuries, are now thought to be tourmalines!

            For centuries, cultures all around the world have had different beliefs of the virtues wearing tourmaline can bring. It’s be known to keep the digestive system heathy and strengthen bones. In the 18thcentury, a Dutch scientist claimed that a tourmaline wrapped in silk and placed against the cheek of a feverish child would induce sleep… (say what?!) Ancient ceremonies in India used tourmalines as a tool to bring insight and help in the discovery of that which is good, while exposing who or what was the cause of evil deeds.

            Tourmaline has been known to have many positive attributes in the spiritual realm. The gem is what is called a “receptive stone”, which means it is soothing, calming, and magnetic. It creates peace and promotes communication between the conscious and unconscious minds allowing psychic awareness to blossom! While being a receptive stone, tourmaline has also been said to be a ‘stone of reconciliation’, and fosters compassion and cool headedness. It’s known that this stone of reconciliation radiates energy that attracts money, healing, and friendship.

Although there are MANY different types of tourmalines, pink tourmaline is the rarest of the family- even more rare that rubies! There are so many reasons to sport pink tourmaline, even if you weren’t born in October! And, unlike October’s primary birthstone opals, it’s notknown to be unlucky if it’s not your birthstone. Whether pink tourmaline is your style or not, October babies have two totally different, dazzling, and mystical gems to choose from to represent the month they were born! (lucky!)

October Birthstones: Part I

As October arrives, our thoughts go to darker places.

Fitting, considering the original birthstone for October is Opal, and opals come with a long, confused, and somewhat dark history! There’s one thing we need to cover first before we get into the histories of Opals, because they aren’t October’s only birthstone! In 1952, Pink Tourmaline (sorry guys!) was also declared the birthstone of October by the National Association of Jewelers. (See October Birthstones: Part II, to learn more about Pink Tourmaline!)


Opal was discovered around 1850 in Australia, and since then, Australia has produced nearly 95% of the world’s opal supply. Wearing opals is definitely
worth the extra care that the gemstone requires. For most of its written history, people have believed the gem was associated with good luck. However, recent superstitions that are not back up by any sort of evidence, claim that opals bring bad luck. This superstition caused a plummet in the opal market for nearly 50 years, until 1877, when the first black opal was discovered in South Wales, Australia.



Symbolism of opals can be traced back far into human history—all the way back to the Bronze Age! According native originals of Australia, the creator came to earth on a rainbow, leaving colorful stones where his feet touched the ground, while ancient Arabic legends state that opals fell from the sky in bolts of lightning. Among the ancients, opals were a symbol of fidelity and assurance. It was also associated with having strong therapeutic value for disease and when worn as an amulet, could increase powers of the eyes and mind.

During Medieval times, blonde maidens wore opals because they were believed to prevent their hair from darkening or fading. They also thought opals could make a person invisible whenever they wished, and for that reason it was called Patronus forum.

You may be wondering where all the superstitions of bad luck came from? Well, the unfortunate wrap Opals have gotten over time is the fault of one man, Sir Walter Scott. In 1829, Sir Walter published a bestselling novel, Anne of Geuerstein. It followed the story of the princess known as Lady Hermione, who was known to wear an enchanted opal in her hair which gave off firey red flashed when she was angry and sparkled when happy. She was falsely accused of being a demon, and dies after a drop of holy water accidently falls on her opal and destroys its play of colors. The public took this novel a bit seriously, associating the gem with terrible luck. Within months of the novel being published, the opal market crashed.


Mystical Properties:

  Opals have been associated with many mystical properties in both the mental and physical realms. They are known to amplify one’s traits, both good and bad- so when wearing an opal, be sure to think positive thoughts! Opals are also known to stimulate originality and ‘dynamic creativity’. They have been characterized as a “seductive” stone, since they are known intensify emotional states- this makes sense considering Opals have always been associated with love, passion, desire & eroticism!

            There are TONS of beneficial effects of opal in the physical realm. They have been known to be helpful with treating infections, strengthen memory, easing child birth, eyesight, and overall preventing infections and bad health!

The list of mystical properties opals has accumulated through its written history seems as though it’s never-ending. Nevertheless, even if you weren’t born in October how could you NOT want to sport these gems? With mesmerizing colors, and lucky juju with love and passion, and not to mention immunity from infections and memory loss- these gems are the triple threat! Literally!

September Birthstone: Sapphire


As September approaches, many of us start thinking about football season and pumpkin spice lattes…. UNLESS your birthday is in September. Then you’re thinking about what you’re going to get from family and friends, & HOPEFULLY you’ll get a big beautiful Sapphire, since it’s your birthstone of course!


There are few gems that have held attention throughout time as well as Sapphires. Sapphires are more commonly recognized by their rich, royal blue color. However, this gem can occur in all the colors of the rainbow. Minus red (that’s a ruby!). The most value however, goes to the boys in blue. The bluer- the better- the more expensive,  when it comes to sapphires. No matter the color, all sapphires get their extraordinary hues from traces of elements such as iron, titanium, and chromium. It’s also an insanely hard stone- measuring a 9 on the Mohs Scale, second only to Diamonds! Because of their hardness, sapphires are valuable in many areas other than jewelry… like scientific instruments, high-durability windows, watches and other electronics. Who knew this precious stone is so versatile, right?! Now that we’ve covered the facts, we can get on with the fun part- the legends and lore of sapphires. Because sapphires are among the earliest known gemstones in history, their symbolism is extremely diverse and includes many different subjects in many different cultures.


Traditionally, these gems have been prized for their celestial blues & violets, which is why the stone has been long connected with the planet, Venus. Sapphires were named after the Greek word, “sapheiros”, meaning blue. Thus came the belief that the world sat on an enormous sapphire, which painted the sky blue with its reflection. The Greeks also believed that carrying sapphire stones into Delphi amplified the questioner’s wisdom when consulting the Oracle at Apollo’s Shrine. The stones would clear their minds, allowing them to better understand answers given.An extremely popular medieval belief also mentioned that sapphires were an antidote to poison and that, supposedly, the gem increased overall strength and health for whoever wore it, warding off any illnesses and washing away poison.


Throughout time, royalty has also known to sport these gorgeous blue gems. The British Crown Jewels, are totally loaded up with blue sapphires- you may be familiar with the 12-carat oval sapphire engagement ring Prince Charles proposed to Princess Diana with in 1981 (holy smokes!) Now Princess Kate wears the ring! Royals often wore sapphires for dual purposes- not only to show off wealth, but to protect the wearer from envy and infidelity. Supposedly, people believed sapphires had the power to bring harmony between lovers as well as peace between adversaries. (we’ll remember that one!)

The Sapphire stands as one of the most sought after and oldest gems known in our world. With all their mystical properties and connections to cultures throughout time, this stone is sure keep your mind clear and body free of illness!




July Birthstone: Ruby

As summer temperatures rise, what could be a better representation than the fiery color of July’s birthstone, the ruby.

The allure of rubies has worked into nearly all cultures around the globe from the beginning of history up to modern times, and with that history comes tons of legends and lore about the gem.


There’s no recorded time of when the first ruby gemstone was discovered; however, there are records of the transport and trade of rubies in literature along the Silk Road in China, which was a trade route that connected China with other ancient kingdoms like Persia and Rome as far back as 200BC. The gem is also mentioned 4 times in the bible and considered the most precious of the 12 gemstones created by God. To sum it up, rubies have been revered and valued for most of human history!

The finest rubies were found in Burma and have been mined there since at least 600 AD. Burma’s ancient warrior were known to have the gem inserted into their flesh before battle, believing they would bring them invincibility and luck in battle (wearing them as jewelry just wasn’t enough!). Even through most of the middle ages, rubies were considered a stone of prophecy, and people thought that they would darken in color when danger was near.


British Imperial crown dating back to the 1300s. The gem is known as the “Black Prince’s Ruby”. The stone is actually Spinel, but the difference between Spinel and Rubies was not discovered until the late 1700s.

Red has long been symbolic for our strongest emotions: love, anger, passion, fury and power. Strong associations with blood and fire were also tied in due the gem’s red hue, and ancients thought those who risked their lives were believed to have a special connection with the gem.

In the 8th century, an Arabic book on dreams talked about the significance of dreaming about rubies. It stated that if a king dreamt of a crown set with rubies, his enemies would fear him more, and great joy and fortune was headed their way.

Along with representing births in the month of July, the ruby also symbolizes the 15th and 40th anniversaries of marriage. With the gem’s passionate red hue, it makes the perfect romantic gift… no matter which month you were born in or how long you’ve been married!

Mystical Properties:

Because of ruby’s association with blood and fire, the list of mystical properties that the gem is said to have goes on forever. In the middle ages, rubies were believed to cure liver problems and counteract poison… and even restore youth and vitality when ground into powder and rubbed on your skin! (How about adding some ruby powder to your daily skincare routine?!)


Physically, the gems are thought to energize and balance, overcome exhaustion and detoxify the body and blood. Emotionally, rubies can be recognized as the stone of courage, which legend tells us that a person with a ruby can walk through life without fear of evil or misfortune. The gems are also known to increase motivation and the setting of goals.

Being the most historically significant gemstone, there’s no wonder the legends and lore that the gem has acquired over the centuries. The desire for this fiery stone is just as great today as it has always been and because it symbolizes passion, wealth and success, it’s a great gemstone for anyone to wear; whether your it’s your birthstone or not!

Rubies in Pop Culture:

I’m sure you’ve heard of Dorothy Gale’s red ruby slippers? From the iconic, technicolor film “The Wizard of Oz” which hit the box office in 1939. The film came in a time of war and hardship, and won the hearts of people with a magical escape from reality filled with witches, flying monkeys and munchkins.

Now, the pair that Judy Garland while filming the movie weren’t exactly covered in real rubies. Approximately 2,300 iridescent red sequins were sewn onto each shoe. This is because there were 6-7 identical pairs made for Judy to wear throughout filming. 

The ruby red slippers did not become a reality until 1989, when Harry Winston created a pair to commemorate the film’s 50th anniversary. The iconic slippers covered in genuine rubies totaled a whopping $3 Million, featuring 4,600 rubies totaling over 1,300 carats, and 50 carats of accent diamonds.

Harry Winston genuine ruby slippers.




https://www.gia.edu/ruby-history-lore http://tappers.com/blog/2016/07/26/the-history-of-rubies/ https://www.jewelsforme.com/ruby-meaning https://www.gemsociety.org/article/history-legend-rubies-gems-yore/