You don't need to be a girly girl to love vibrant pinks and colourful sparkles! Especially when they come in the form of gems, and the month of October features two of the most fabulous ones out there: opal and pink tourmaline. If you're looking for a spookier and darker Halloween-themed blog, check out our Halloween jewellery look-book from 2022.
There are many benefits to purchasing opal and pink tourmaline. Both stones have a decent toughness on the Moh's hardness scale and are affordable. One of the images below even contains loose, faceted pink tourmalines, which we are more than happy to have set in a ring for you. We can also order in pieces that feature these gems from a variety of artists we collaborate with.
Caring for these two gemstones is no difficult feat. However, they will require adequate storage and should not be mixed with other stones that are harder or softer. Artina's Jewellery offers a lovely selection of storage boxes and pouches that are free with purchase. We also sell polishing cloths in-store and online to keep your pieces shining.
Many believe that brown opals are discoloured white opals, but this isn't necessarily true. Opals come in many different colours and can have a range of looks, there are two kinds of opal: common and precious. Precious opals have a wide spectrum of colours, common opals do not. The bold pink Honica necklace above features small pink Peruvian opal beads, they are common. Many know this stone as white and sparkling with colours, the following guidelines apply to opals like these as well.
If you own an opal or intend to purchase one, make sure your skin is free of lotions or sunscreen before wearing. You should also take off a bracelet or ring before washing your hands. Most Ethiopian opals are very sensitive and can absorb moisture. If you have a white opal that has turned brown, that is what most likely happened! Follow the cleaning instructions below and take a break from wearing it for a little while so that it can dry and return to normal. Storing opals in a clean, dry place is a great way to keep Ethiopian opals bright and lessen the need for cleaning of all types.
Opals range from a 5.5 to 6.5 on the Moh's hardness scale, so you should not be storing them with harder or softer gems. As someone who has experienced an Ethiopian opal turning brown, I store it in its own place so that nothing touches it, just to be safe.
Pink tourmaline can be worn daily with a 7 to 7.5 on the Moh's hardness scale. However, this also means these stones should be kept away from softer ones, such as ammolite, lapis and opal. Likewise, do not store pink tourmaline with harder stones, like rubies and topazes. Pink tourmaline is a lot less finicky than opal; more attention should be paid to the metal it is set in. Check out the Sunshine Cleaning Cloths we carry, these small, sturdy cloths are great for restoring gold, silver and platinum to their original shine.
As with all fine jewellery, you should make sure your piece is stored in a clean, dry place. The boxes and pouches we offer with your purchase at Artina’s Jewellery are a good example.
Think your jewellery is tarnished and done for? Think again! In many cases, you can restore pieces back to their original lustre and colour on your own. Below are some short and simple instructions for cleaning opal and pink tourmaline jewellery. If you find that the results are still dingy, we are more than happy to clean your pieces for free when you shop with us!
To clean your opal jewellery, fill a small bowl with warm, not hot, soapy water. A mild, fragrance-free dish soap is a great idea. Do not submerge or leave your opal in the solution. Instead, dip a soft cloth in this mixture and gently wipe the piece down. When finished, rinse gently under warm, running water. If the jewellery has glue, you can wipe the piece down with a wet cloth instead. When all soap is gone, pat the jewellery dry with a microfiber cloth.
As for pink tourmaline, you should follow similar rules. For this gem, again fill a small bowl with warm water and add gentle dish soap. Submerging the stone for too long allows for water to seep into tiny cracks and fissures and can cause damage. You can use a soft cloth or soft toothbrush for cleaning. When finished, rinse gently in warm water. Dry your piece thoroughly with a micro-fiber cloth. Additionally, if the piece is not too dirty, you can also simply polish it.
Also read: How to Clean your Jewellery at Home
Many believe that gemstones can affect us on a deeper level. Artina's Jewellery does not recommend using gemstones in the place of medicine, but if you or a loved one is a believer in such properties, opal and pink tourmaline could make for a much more meaningful gift. These stones have a wide range of associations, making them versatile choices.
There are many different types of opals, and they all have different spiritual effects on us. The associations written here apply to most varieties. These stones are associated with creativity. If you are hunting for a gift for an artist in your life, these gems are thought to inspire one to create! Opal is also associated with sensuality and passion, making for a great romantic present.
Additionally, some believe white opals are lucky. If you are shopping for someone who believes in good luck talismans and charms, a white opal could just be the way to go.
Pink opals, like the ones in the necklace by Honica, are believed to have a soothing effect. Think of meditation in a physical form. A calming gift idea if you or a loved one is experiencing stress or anxiety.
This lovely stone is thought to reduce anxiety and stress as well. It is associated with the heart chakra and promotes feelings of love, empathy and joy. Pink tourmaline is deeply rooted in compassion, making it a meaningful present for a compassionate soul in your life as a testament to this trait. This gem is also believed to ward off fear, anxiety, depression and many other states of emotional unrest. Pink tourmaline is a nice idea for someone who believes gems can improve their emotional state. If a loved one is going through a time of great stress and/or sadness, this gem may help brighten their mood.
In closing, both these gems are an excellent choice for those of us smitten with the bright and dazzling. If you're interested in pink tourmalines, contemporary artist Dushka Vujovic uses them in her pieces as does Indigenous artist Richard Lang. Visit Debra Nelson's page to see some unique opal pieces.
As mentioned earlier, we can have a pink tourmaline set for you or an opal piece ordered in. All jewellery pictured is available at our Victoria store, and you can shop the pink tourmaline pendant necklace here. No matter the season or holiday, you can never go wrong with pink and sparkles!
Photography by Danielle Mier