October’s birthstone is the Tourmaline. In the 1500s, a Spanish conquistador washed the dirt from a green tourmaline crystal and confused it with an emerald. However, scientists later on recognized tourmaline as a distinct mineral species in the 1800s. This confusion led to this stone’s identity coming from the word "toramalli", which in Sinhalese means mixed gem. It is a term Dutch merchants applied to the multi-colored, water-worn pebbles that miners found in the gem gravels of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
It is easy to understand why people confuse tourmaline with other gems, however, very few gems actually match tourmaline’s range of colors. From rich reds, to pastel pinks and peach colors, to intense emerald greens and vivid yellows to deep blues, the breadth of this gem’s color range is unrivaled. Tourmaline actually gets its pink hues from natural radiation.
In spite of American roots (California & Maine), tourmaline’s biggest marketplace was China. Much of the pink and red tourmaline from San Diego, California was shipped to China because the Chinese Dowager Empress, Tz’u Hsi, was especially fond of the color. There, craftsmen carved tourmaline into snuff bottles and other pieces to be set in jewelry. San Diego County’s farmed tourmaline mines include the Tourmaline Queen, Tourmaline King, Stewart, Pala Chief, and Himalaya.
Tourmaline has been said to be a stone of reconciliation, one that fosters compassion, healing and friendship. Tourmaline is used for grounding purposes, to stabilize and reaffirm one’s roots to Earth. It is also known to create a commitment towards the completion of one’s goals and is said to protect the wearer of dangers. Known as the “Receptive Stone” as it is soothing, calming, and promotes meditation, spirituality and wisdom.
We can include a Tourmaline stone in any piece of PaulaMax Jewelry. Be sure to browse through our collection and get what you need for someone who has an October birthday, anniversary, an honorable moment, or for someone who wants to wear the “Receptive Stone” all year long!