Category: Gifts

Planning a Proposal? Here’s What You Need to Know.

proposal

So, you’ve found the girl of your dreams. The one. You’ve seen each other at your best and your worst times. She’s always there to have fun with, support you, and make you laugh. She’s your friend, lover, and confidant. The woman you are absolutely sure you want to spend the rest of your life with. And now you’re ready to take the next step and pop the question.

First of all, congratulations! The right match is hard to find, so cherish her!

Now that you’re sure you’re ready, though, where do you go from here? The world of jewelry shopping is tough for a guy, and this is the single most important piece of jewelry you will ever purchase. I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.

But don’t panic! The experts at Pearls International have all the information you’ll need to choose the ring of her dreams.


The first step is to know what your lady wants.

Most couples today discuss the idea of marriage before the actual proposal. It’s best find out ahead of time if she is ready. In fact, one of the biggest marriage proposal mistakes you can make, according to The Knot, is to propose too early. Have a mature conversation to make sure your views line up – do you agree on the big questions in life, such as where you want to live and whether or not you want to have children later on down the road? After all, you will be spending the rest of your life together.

It turns out that most women actually want an intimate proposal, not a public one. Actually, 66% of women wanted their proposal to include just the two of them, while only 3% were dreaming of a public proposal. It’s not necessary to propose in front of an audience, especially if your hopeful bride-to-be prefers to share her love in private. If she’s the type of lady that doesn’t like to participate in PDA, she is probably also the type of lady that would rather have this most intimate moment occur privately. Plus, it gives you time to reflect and celebrate your togetherness before sharing the news with your friends and family.

The time and place of the proposal isn’t the only thing you should be cautious about, however. The big deal is the ring. In a survey of almost 20,000 couples, proposing empty-handed was ranked as the #1 worst proposal mistake. The ring definitely makes it real. There’s just something about having the right ring that makes a proposal feel more sincere. Remember, this is the most important piece of jewelry she’ll ever own, and one that will be on her finger every day of her life. When you have that big conversation about the future, it wouldn’t hurt to ask about the ring, too. In fact, over 50% of women said that they had something to do with their ring.

What to do if you have a picky lady?

You have lots of options! In fact, 40% of women said that they would want to go ring shopping with their future fiancé. You can also use a stunt ring, like Pearl Girl Sophie’s husband, Josh did. You can read the story of her custom designed ring here!

Stages of designing a one-of-a-kind ring.
Stages of designing a one-of-a-kind ring.

So what is a stunt ring? It’s a stand-in, so that you’re not proposing empty handed, but she also is able to get the ring of her dreams later on. A stunt ring can be an old family heirloom, or an inexpensive one purchased from a jeweler that you can exchange for the real deal later. Your wife-to-be may also choose to have this special ring made into a piece of jewelry she can wear every day.

Temporary Engagement Ring
If you’ve never heard of it, a Stunt Ring is a time honored tradition for guys who have the good fortune (misfortune?) of falling in love with picky ladies.

How much do you really need to spend on a ring, anyway?

The good news is that ladies are actually not as set on having an expensive, lavish ring as you may think. 53% of women said they expected their future husband to spend less than $2,500. 30% preferred a ring with a value of $2,500-$5,000 dollars, leaving only 17% of women who expected something more expensive.

Is a diamond still the way to go?

Diamond Engagement
A classic diamond engagement ring is still the way to go, according to 67% of ladies.

Survey says…yes! Although times are changing, 67% of women still prefer a diamond. 18%, however, would like their ring to feature a colored gemstone. This is another situation where it never hurts to ask! There are lots of lovely diamond alternatives (that are nicer than a CZ) that she may be equally dazzled by. Sapphires are a beautiful choice, and come in white if you want a classic look. Other popular gemstones such as topaz and garnet are available in colorless varieties.

Diamond vs. some popular alternatives.
Diamond vs. some popular alternatives.

However, moissanite is definitely the #1 alternative for engagement rings that still have look of diamond. They rank at 9.5 on the Mohs scale (second in hardness only to a diamond), which is important because you don’t want to have to replace the stone later on due to wear and damage. A hard stone will last you a very long time. So we don’t recommend pearls (as much as we love them!) or other soft stones such as opals for a gemstone alternative, because they’ll need to be replaced frequently. If your lady is in the 18% that would like a colored gemstone, we consider sapphires and rubies to be the best choice as they are high on the Mohs scale. The possibilities are endless, however! There are lots of lovely stones to choose from. Maybe a ‘his and hers’ birthstone ring?

An example of a his and hers birthstone ring. This design features Amethyst (February's birthstone) and Auqamarine (March's birthstone.)
An example of a his and hers birthstone ring. This design features Amethyst (February’s birthstone) and Aquamarine (March’s birthstone.)

Yes, size matters, but it’s not what you’re thinking.

This one will surprise you – only 6% of women said stone size was the top factor when selecting their ideal engagement ring. The truth is that the design of the ring it the most important factor to nearly half of women surveyed, surpassing even diamond quality and ring craftsmanship.


So how can you be sure to get the style of ring she’s hoping for? You could always just ask – or if you’re set on the ring being a total surprise, ask her mother, sister, or best friend for ideas. Make sure your shopping partner is good at keeping secrets though, because you don’t want your intended to find out about her ring second-hand. Alternatively, dig through her jewelry box and/or pay special attention to the types of jewelry she already wears. Check the metal types and colors (Are they white, yellow, or even rose? Has she complained of metal allergies?), size and color of the stones she likes to wear the best, and her overall style. Engagement rings are available in vintage designs for a timeless look, the classic and always popular solitaire, in a range of unique customizable designs and more!

An elaborate vintage style that will impress all of her friends.
An elaborate vintage style that will impress all of her friends.

There is one size that DOES matter – the size of her finger! Ask her for her size, or keep it secretive with our handy ring sizer! She will surely want to wear her ring right away, and you don’t want to have to pay more later to have it adjusted to the correct size.

Still shaking at the thought of what to buy? Contact us to talk to a personal shopping consultant! All of our jewelry comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so that if it wasn’t the most perfect ring she’s ever laid eyes on, you can absolutely bring it back for a full refund or exchange. Call us today at 386.767.3473 and we’ll help you find the perfect ring to capture her heart!


Sources:

An Analysis of Engagement Ring Preferences


https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-proposals-5-biggest-proposal-mistakes
http://weddings.about.com/od/gettingstarted/a/proposaltips

A diamond is forever, but so is moissanite

Rose Quartz and Serenity

Bold Color Choices From Pantone for 2016!

For the first time ever, Pantone has announced not one but two colors of the year! Rose Quartz and Serenity, chosen for their gentle, soft nature, are meant to be paired together. Pantone says the color choice challenges traditional perceptions of color association.

Inspired by society’s change towards gender equality and the younger generation’s boldness and tendency to be less concerned about stereotypes and judgement, this duo is a bold choice.

While Rose Quartz is meant to instill a sense of compassion, warmth, and composure, Serenity adds balance with it’s cooler, peaceful tone.

How to wear it?

Together, of course! Try a Rose Quartz top with one of our blue quartz and pearl necklaces with white gold to add a splash of sparkle.

White Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Blue Quartz

Rose Quartz and Serenity also pair well with all shades of yellow and pink, as well as greens, purples, and deep brown shades, according to Pantone’s recommendations.

Lillac Freshwater Pearl Pendant With Crystal Elements

Why not check out our peach, pink, and lavender pearl jewelry for some more Rose Quartz-inspired styles?


Small Business Saturday: From Our Family to Yours

Family Day, Saturday November 28th

It’s that time of year again. You’ve taken down all your Halloween decorations and started planning who’s-bringing-what to Thanksgiving dinner this year. You’re sending out your holiday wish lists to friends and family, and maybe you’ve done a little bit of gift shopping already yourself. The biggest holiday shopping weekend of the year is coming around the corner with Black Friday on November 27th this year.

Since 2010, American Express has sponsored a new kind of holiday shopping extravaganza. Small Business Saturday, celebrating it’s 5th birthday this year, is a way for you to get out and show your support for the businesses that make your community unique.

This year, AmEx has introduced a new theme: Family Day! We at Pearls International feel that this is a great way to express what Small Business Saturday means, because so many of the small businesses around the country (ourselves included!) are family owned and operated. Unlike many of the big-box retailers, we have a unique perspective on how much you want to make this holiday season special for your family. Every day of the year, we strive to offer the best shopping experience to our customers. Behind the counter, we have coloring sheets to entertain your kids while you shop, and if you’re not quite done looking but your husband has gone a little dazzle-blind, he’s welcome to hang out on the ever-popular “man couch” — complete with television and magazines to flip through. Not to mention, at Pearls International, you get stress-free, 100% satisfaction guaranteed, warrantied jewelry and gifts, many of which are hand crafted here in our own workshop. That’s an experience you won’t find at the jewelry counter in a department store.

So this year, get out there and #ShopSmall. Still not convinced? Check out these reasons to buy local.

Introducing… Ariki Paua Shell Jewelry!

Ariki Paua Shells

Pearls International is proud to announce we are expanding our inventory of Abalone jewelry to now carry gorgeous, sustainably sourced Paua shell jewelry in Sterling silver!

Our new line, from a New Zealand company called Ariki™, includes amazing pieces hand-inlaid Paua shell that have been carefully selected once personally removed from the local waters by divers. The shells are actually a byproduct of fishing for food – so every part of the Abalone sea snail is used, which we though was super cool, because sustaining our sea life is very important. After all, the ocean makes up 71% of our Earth – so it’s important we take care of it and all the creatures that live there.

After each Abalone cabochon has been cut and set into your pendant or earrings, two layers of clear lacquer are added to protect and extend the life of your jewelry.

Remember, just like with your pearls, Abalone comes from the ocean where it is dark and protected from the sun and daily pollutants such as hair sprays and lotions. Follow these easy steps to keep your Ariki™ jewelry looking new for generations to come:

  • Never expose your jewelry to perfumes, hair sprays, lotion, or other materials containing detergents. With time these may penetrate the lacquer and cause damage to the Paua shell.
  • Don’t wear your jewelry for many hours in the bright sunlight.
  • Remove your jewelry before swimming. Chemicals in the water can damage your shell.
  • Store your Sterling silver jewelry in a jewelry box or other secure storage area when you aren’t wearing it. Believe it or not, exposure to oxygen actually causes silver to tarnish.
  • Clean routinely with a good polishing cloth.

We hope you enjoy our new Ariki™ line as much as we do! Stop by the shop today to see all of the beautiful pieces!

This is the newest way to shop!

Pearls International Digital Showcase Screen Capture
Pearls International Digital Showcase Screen Capture

 

Pearls International is proud to introduce our new Digital Showcase!

We have created many gorgeous custom works for our customers in the past, and now we have found a way to make it easier…and more FUN!

Our new Digital Showcase offers thousands of options for you to choose from when it comes to creating your own special piece of jewelry. You can select from unique rings, engagement sets, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that are perfectly suited to your style. We are now even able to offer you loose diamonds and gemstones!

Have your own stone? That’s great – choose your dream setting, metal type, and accent stones and we will set your stone for you!

Are you a do-it-yourself kind of person? Our Showcase also offers findings, metals, and jeweler’s tools at great prices!

And if your creative juices just aren’t flowing, our Showcase offers fine, completed pieces that can’t be found in stores.

So how does this thing work? Here’s an example of how to create a customized engagement ring – we took the same setting and made two very different pieces of jewelry! (Click the images below to make them larger.)

How to Use the Showcase
We selected this gorgeous halo engagement setting. Here are some of the options the Showcase gave us!
Showcase Ring B
For our first ring, we decided to go with yellow gold. This one has a round diamond with emeralds, peridot, and more diamonds as the accent stones.
Showcase Ring A
For our second example, we chose white gold, a square cut diamond, and sapphire, tanzanite, diamonds, and aquamarine as our accent stones. Wow!

Stop in to either of our locations and have a Pearl Girl walk you through the Showcase. The possibilities are endless!

Technology at Your Fingertips

This is the second blog in our jewelry and technology series. To read more about the way technology is affecting the jewelry industry, check out this cool blog on Galatea’s Momento Pearls.

Smart device aficionados everywhere: meet The Ring.

The Ring promotional image

The Ring is the next generation in functional wearables. With this device, you can control apps on your smartphone or tablet, turn appliances in your house (such as your lights and television) on and off, send text messages, and even make monetary deposits and payments online or at your favorite restaurants. This is all controlled with customizable gestures – for example, you could program your ring to turn your lights on when you draw a light bulb in the air, or to send a payment when you draw out a dollar sign. As you can see in the picture, the Ring is only about the size of an average class ring, which is impressive for all that it can do. Logbar, the creators of The Ring, also promise new developments and advances in ring technology this year. The Ring itself has only been available for purchase since December, which is when the first backers of The Ring when it started as a kickstarter project began to get their pre-orders. On schedule to be available starting in May of this year is the Ring Hub – a portable device which will allow you to connect your Ring to your home appliances via WiFi.

Comment to tell us what you think! Would you wear it?

 

sources:

The Ring Input Device Puts Gesture Control And Home Automation On Your Finger

The Ring Is Real

A Pearl That Speaks to You

Tahitian Momento Pearl Ring
Tahitian Momento Pearl Ring

The world we live in is full of mind-blowing technological advances. Every time we turn around, it seems as though there is a new product created to enrich our lives, make every day tasks easier, or keep us connected through the web. The jewelry industry is no exception to this. Designers everywhere are branching away from the traditional and creating new and exciting wearable art that has a lot more to it that what meets the eye. The Apple Watch is one example of this that has become widely popular. In this series, we will explore not only the innovative tech-jewelry on the market today, but also some of the ways modern technology can be used to help you create the piece of your dreams.

Tahitian Momento Pearl necklace and pendant set.
Tahitian Momento Pearl pendant and earring set.

A leading pearl jewelry designer, Galatea, has designed a brand-new line of pearl jewelry that can be used to store your fondest memories. They are chipped with NFC (near-field communication) technology, so that if you hold your pearl up to your smartphone it will show the photos, video, or voice recording that has been imbedded within it – without you even needing to have a special app installed! This very cool technology is a revolutionary way to give someone an emotional keepsake that they can hand down through the generations. Imagine having family photos or videos with a voice recording of your parents, and being able to hand those memories down to your children as well. In the words of Chi Huynh, founder of Galatea, “If you have to find a picture on a computer it is not meaningful. This personalizes it. It is the most meaningful part of someone’s life, and it is right there next to you.”

So how is this possible? They are planning for two types of Momento pearls – one will have the chip drilled into the completed pearl, and the second option (which will be a more limited edition type of jewelry) will have the pearl actually grown around the chip with your chosen memories already inside. This will take approximately 18 months until the finished product is ready. This truly amazing piece of jewelry is set to be available for purchase sometime this year, although as of right now they are still limited and by request only.

http://vimeo.com/114592725

What do you think of this idea? Are technology and jewelry a match made in heaven? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Gemstone Spotlight: December’s Ice Blue Sincerity

“If cold December gave you birth,
The month of snow and ice and mirth,
Place on your hand a turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate’er you do.”

-Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Turquoise
Rough and polished turquoise stones.

If you were born in December, you may find yourself a little confused on which stone to call your own. Turquoise has been the longest standing and most traditional birthstone for December, with zircon and tanzanite recently added. Many also consider blue topaz amongst the ranks of December birthstones. (Fun fact: Topaz is one of November’s traditional gemstones.) Whichever stone you prefer, December’s birthstones all bring a sense of calm, peace, and sincerity you gain from gazing at their gorgeous blue surfaces. And they are all amazing stones, so this month’s gemstone spotlight will encompass not one, not two, but four stones. What a good way to end the year.

Turquoise has been on the list of December birthstones since before 1912, along with lapis lazuli (which is not heavily recognized as a birthstone today). It is, in fact, one of the oldest gemstones known to man. The name turquoise comes from the French phrase “Pierre tourques”, meaning “Turkish stone” although it was most likely originally mined in Egypt and Iran, not Turkey. Today, we use the word turquoise to describe anything of the blue-green color commonly associated with the gem, which is interesting because the color is actually named after the stone, and not vice versa. American turquoise is mined in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona. A rare translucent variety is found only in Virginia. “Persian turquoise” refers to any turquoise which does not have black or brown veining in the stone. These are more commonly found outside of the U.S. in countries such as Tanzania, Afghanistan, Mexico, China, and Israel. The most valuable specimens are said to come from Iran. The value of turquoise stones based on color and patterning depends on region and personal preference. Most Americans prefer the spidery patterns, while clean stones are generally preferred east of here.

Greenish turquoise with veining
Turquoise stones with veining.

Turquoise jewelry requires some care. It is relatively soft, and the color can be affected by harsh lighting, household chemicals, oil (including natural oils and perspiration from your body) and cosmetics. It is a good idea to remove your turquoise jewelry before washing your hands, showering, or applying perfume and makeup. (Similar to how you would care for your pearls!) Most turquoise pieces are set in silver, although it is commonly found set in gold alongside diamonds in the Middle East. It is extremely popular in the southwest, and is associated with a lot of Native American style jewelry.

It is regarded as symbol of good fortune, happiness, and success. Wearing turquoise, especially in a ring, is thought to keep away evil spirits. Turquoise jewelry in general is said to protect the wearer from harm and relax the mind. Apache indians believed that attaching turquoise to an arrow would increase the hunter’s accuracy. Native Americans have associated the color of the stone with the sky and the Earth, and many people today still think of it as being symbolic of nature. Shamans, healers, and medicine men have talked of the healing properties of turquoise stones, contributing it as a healing agent for heart ailments and blisters, amongst other afflictions.

Looking for a turquoise piece as a gift? It is a traditional gift for an 11th wedding anniversary, and its affordability makes it a great birthday choice. Check out these awesome turquoise pieces from Pearls International:

Freshwater pearl and turquoise gemstone pendant
This lovely pendant features a gemstone bead in between two swarovski rondelles and freshwater pearls. It is available in both blue and green turquoise.

 

Pearl and turquoise necklace
This pearl and gemstone necklace is perfect for any occasion.

The name zircon is derived from the Arabic words for “gold colored,” although it is found in a wide variety of colors (with blue being the most popular, and also the color recognized as December’s birthstone). Stones that are medium dark and pure blue all the way through are the most valuable. It is a dense stone, so a small piece of zircon will have a higher weight than most other stones of similar size. Zircon is most heavily mined in Thailand, Cambodia, and southern Vietnam, though it is also found in Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and etc. Colorless zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia and sometimes fraudulently sold as real diamonds. However, zircon is a natural gemstone, while cubic zirconia is laboratory grown.

Faceted Blue Zircon
Faceted blue zircon.

Of all the blue gemstones (and there are a lot!) zircon has the highest refractive index. This makes the stones look very brilliant, but they sometimes see a double refractive effect, which makes the stone look “fuzzy” around the facets. It is a fairly hard stone, but has a tendency to wear along the faceted edges and is sensitive to hard knocks, so should be treated as occasional wear jewelry, especially in rings. It should also be stored carefully.

Zircon is said to aid in spiritual growth, bring wisdom to the wearer, and help find beauty and peace. It is said to relieve pain, protect travelers from injury and illness, and aid in sleep, including preventing nightmares. Many people in the Hindu culture consider trees to be sacred, and one legend tells of the Kalpa Tree, a sacred offering to the gods that was made entirely of gemstones. In this tree, all the mature leaves were made of zircon. It is said that when one wanted to find peace and seek out certain blessings, they would sit under the Kalpa Tree and meditate.

Kalpa Tree
An illustration of the Kalpa Tree.

The next December gemstone is Tanzanite, which was discovered in Tanzania in the late 60’s, making it a relatively new stone on the market. It is interesting because it is not found in any other parts of the world, while many other stones are mined all in several countries. In fact, the entire mineable area of tanzanite at present is only five square miles, surrounding the volcano Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tanzanite gemstone cuts.
Tanzanite gemstones in several different cuts.

Tanzanite comes in a variety of blue-violet blue shades, and can show brown or yellow coloration in certain lightings. It is often heated to remove the brown and yellow hues, leaving you with a blue or blue violet gem. There is little history on this gem, as it is still so new to the market.

Faceted blue topaz
Faceted blue topaz.

The final gem considered in the list of December birthstones is blue topaz. Topaz is discussed in our prior blog on November’s birthstones, as topaz is considered to be a birthstone for November. However, November most primarily recognizes the yellow shades of topaz, while December only considers the blue varieties. Topaz is a very popular stone due to its durability and its affordability. In fact, it is the second most popular colored gemstone on the market, outranked only by sapphire. Blue topaz comes in a variety of shades. All deep, saturated blue stones are treated to enhance color. Most natural blue topaz is a pale blue. Pearls International’s jeweler has a fondness for natural blue topaz, and if you visit our Daytona Beach shores location you can see our chandelier made with natural blue topaz crystals, hand carved by our own Jim Stradley. We also have pearl and topaz pendants and earrings available for sale.

Blue Topaz and Pearl Earring and pendant Set
Pearls International’s natural blue topaz and pearl pendant and earring set.

According to legend, wearing topaz can improve your eyesight. Topaz was also said to change color in the presence of food or drinks that had been poisoned. It is also thought to cure insomnia and asthma.

 

sources: www.almanac.com, www.gemselect.com, www.birthdaygems.org, www.gia.edu/turquoise-history-lore, www.americangemsociety.org

Gemstone Spotlight: November’s Stone of the Sun

“Who first comes to this world below 
In dreary November’s fog and snow, 
Should prize the topaz’s amber hue, 
Emblem of friends and lovers true.”

-Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Topaz
Topaz gemstones with varying colors.

The topaz is the traditional birthstone for November, with citrine having been recently added as a secondary stone. Topaz colors include clear, brown, yellow, orange, pink, and red, as well as the well-known blue topaz. Many examples of topaz seen in jewelry are treated to bring out the color, as topaz is most often found in pale and light colors. This is especially true in blue topaz.

Blue topaz changes in color
The topaz on the right has been treated to bring out the bright blue colors within the stone, while the topaz on the left is a closer representation of its natural color.

This stone is found in many countries around the world, with the most common source being Brazil. It is a symbol of affection, has an interesting history of legends, and holds a few interesting metaphysical properties. Topaz has been said to increase strength, fight against insomnia, cure asthma, and improve eyesight. The ancient Greeks believed that this stone held the power to make the wearer invisible in an emergency. Both the Egyptians and the Romans associated topaz with their sun gods (Ra and Jupiter, respectively). The Egyptians believed that it was colored with the energy of Ra, and regarded it as a very powerful amulet to protect against harm. These legends more than likely refer to yellow varieties of topaz, as well as citrine, which was once confused with similar specimens of topaz, although they are unrelated.

Need a piece of topaz jewelry for a gift? We have a gorgeous topaz pendant and earring set, in natural, untreated, hand faceted blue topaz.

Pendant with blue topaz and freshwater pearl
Pearls International blue topaz and freshwater pearl pendant.

 

Freshwater pearl and blue topaz earrings
Freshwater pearl and natural blue topaz earrings.

Citrine, the second stone for November, is the yellow or orange variety of quartz. The word citrine comes from the French “citron,” meaning “lemon.” Naturally yellow citrine is primarily found in Brazil and Madagascar, although some of the citrine market today is actually heat-treated amethyst.

Natural Citrine Crystal
Natural citrine crystal.

Citrine’s sunshine-like color has earned it a spot regarded as a positive energy stone, and it is thought to cure depression and radiate success, prosperity, and abundance. These qualities have given citrine nicknames such as “merchant’s stone” or “success stone,” and many places of business keep a citrine stone at the cash register.

Citrine and CZ Pendant in Sterling Silver

Amongst other metaphysical properties, citrine banishes negative energy, and will never absorb negative energy from its surroundings, meaning it never needs to be cleared or re-charged. The healing properties behind the stone are endless, both mentally and physically. It can relieve emotional trauma, repel nightmares, aid in digestion, help overcome addictions, and promote self confidence. It is said to carry the power of the sun with it.

Faceted citrine stones
Faceted citrine stones.

sources: www.almanac.com, www.gemselect.com, www.americangemsociety.org

Gemstone Spotlight: A Variegation of Colors for October

“October’s child is born for woe, 
And life’s vicissitudes must know, 
But lay an opal on her breast, 
And hope will lull those woes to rest.”

-Gregorian Birthstone Poem

Opals
Opals, October’s traditional birthstone, often show a flamelike effect in their color variations.

 

Tourmaline Stones
Tourmaline comes in a great variety of colors, including bi- and tri-colored stones.

October is another of those lucky months with two stones to chose from. Opal is the traditional October stone, with tourmaline added as a secondary stone in 1912. The fantastic thing about being born in October is the amazing range of colors these two stones have to offer. Opal is made when silica gel seeps into cracks in sedimentary rock and is naturally heated and molded over time. This gives the wide range of colors seen within the different varieties of opals, and gives the stones a 3D effect – you see different colors at different depths within the stone.

Tourmaline comes in a variety of single color stones, as will as bi- or tri-colored stones. This effect is known as color zoning. A popular variety of multicolored tourmaline is watermelon tourmaline, which has a color gradient of green to pink/red, often with a colorless zone in between.

Watermelon Tourmaline Butterfly
Check out this adorable watermelon tourmaline butterfly!

Tourmaline is found in Brazil, the U.S., Africa, and Afghanistan. An intense green variety called chrome tourmaline is found in Kenya and Tanzania. The word “tourmaline” comes from the Sinhalese word “turmali,” meaning “mixed,” referring to its stunning color varieties. According to Egyptian legend, tourmaline passed under a rainbow on it’s way up from the center of the earth, and therefore absorbed all the colors of the rainbow, giving us the varieties we see today.  Tourmaline is thought to enhance creativity, and is a stone of love and friendship. Another trait that sets tourmaline apart from many other stones is their ability to hold an electrical charge when heated and then allowed to cool.

Shopping for an October birthday present? Pearls International offers this amazing pearl enhancer with chrome tourmaline, which is a perfect addition to any of our pearl necklaces.

Chrome Tourmaline Pearl Enhancer
Our pearl enhancer with chrome tourmaline.

Opal also comes in many varieties, including black opal, fire opal, and milky opal. Australia produces a large percentage of the world’s opal, primarily black and white opal. The greek word “oppallos” means “to see a change of color.” This word is derivative from the Sanskrit word “upala” which means “valuable stone.” The Romans also have a word, “opalus” meaning “a stone from many elements.”

Opal pendant in Sterling silver

African Aborigines have a legend about the creation of opals that also involves a rainbow, interestingly enough. It was believed that the Creator came down from the heavens on a rainbow, bearing a message of peace for all people. When his feet touched the ground, the stones around him began to sparkle with all the colors of the rainbow, and thus opals were created. Metaphysically, it is thought to cure depression and bring real and true love to the wearer.

Fire Opal
A gorgeous fire opal. Look at all those colors!

When buying opals as a gift, remember that they contain 3-30% water, and are a very soft stone, meaning they are best for occasional or light wear.

 

 

sources: www.americangemsociety.org, http://4csblog.gia.edu/2012/october-birthstone-about-tourmaline, http://www.colonialjewelers.com/learn/about-gemstones/opal-tourmaline/, www.almanac.com, www.gemstone.org, www.gemselect.com