While many people only have October birthstone, those born in October get to choose between opals and tourmalines. These stones come in plenty of stunning colors and shapes, which makes them perfect accessories and simply fascinating to learn about. If you want to learn more, here is your ultimate guide to the opal and tourmaline!

1Stone Facts

october birthstone - opal ring
Opal and Tourmaline are not only stunning gems to look at, but incredibly fascinating to learn about. So, whether you never heard of these facts or just want to brush up on your knowledge, here are five facts about opal and tourmaline!
More than 90% of the world’s supply of opals is sourced from Australia. Australian Opals are even considered the finest in the world.
Unlike other stones, Tourmaline comes in almost every color. These stones can come in vibrant greens and blues, but also in a dark brown or black color. 
While people are not exactly sure how opals are formed, it is speculated that these stones are created from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. 
Off the West Coast of Italy in the late 1600s or early 1700s, Tourmaline was first discovered by Dutch Traders.
Opal has been found on Mars, making it one of the few stones to be discovered outside of this planet. 

2Stone Variety

Opals have more than ten different varieties. Some of its most popular stones are the Black Opal, Light Opal, Boulder Opal, Fire Opal, Matrix Opal, and Peruvian Opal. These stones can be easily identified by their color, shape, and or even price. 
As for Tourmaline, this stone has five major species: liddicoatite, dravite, uvite, schorl, and elbaite. As previously mentioned, varieties of Tourmaline can be found in almost every single color. However, you can usually a tourmaline by its prismatic crystal habit and striations. 

3Stone Durability

When it comes to durability, opals tend to be a more sensitive stone. On the Mohs hardness scale, opal was rated a 5.5 out of 10. This shows us that while the stone is completely fragile, it is definitely a more delicate stone than a diamond or emerald. It is not made for daily wear, and if you do wear it, you should be extra careful.
As for tourmaline, they were rated a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. This means you can wear or use a tourmaline daily without much of a worry. That being said, this stone is not invincible, and you should still avoid wearing it during physical activity. 

4Stone Care

Taking care of your stone is the best way to ensure its longevity. The easiest way to clean your opal or tourmaline is to use mild soap, water, and a lint-free cloth. Doing this at least once a week will keep your stone looking incredible. Furthermore, at least once a year, you should look into having your stone professionally cleaned.