I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers
– L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables
October is one of my favorite months. Leaves are fiery, the air is crisp and yet sun is still present in Seattle. To make it even more special, the birthstone is one of my favorites – OPAL (along with another good one – tourmaline). More specifically, boulder opal. Only found in Queensland Australia, it is formed by water trickling down the earth carrying silicone rich ironstone into rock crevices. Over time, the water evaporates leaving silica which layers as veins of opal within the ironstone. The opal is cut leaving the natural ironstone backing for strength – which can often be seen as the brown hue mixed within the vibrant opal matrix. Because of this formation, Australian boulder opals are each unique, irregularly shaped and can display color flashes called opalescence. I think of the natural distribution of the intense cobalt, aquamarine and lavender as fantasy aquatic worlds. Each stone its own little cosmic legacy, the mystique of opal is fitting for such an enchanting month.
Gemstones with inclusions (minerals or foreign material locked into a stone while it’s forming) are my absolute favorite because they add character and tell a geological story that spans across billions of years. While inclusions can detract value when the objective is a clear stone (most notably in the case of diamonds), there are far more gem varieties that benefit from Mother Nature’s unique playfulness. Rutilated Quartz is one of nature’s best examples. Rutile is the mineral appearing like needle deposits piercing the otherwise clear rock crystal quartz. Rutile can range from hair thin strands to dense fibers and even converge to form a starburst structure. The mineral brings warmth to the otherwise lucid gem and its often golden hue perfectly complements 14k yellow gold. The stones pictured below are unique with fiery rutile embodying the glow of autumn. Above all, their pattern and color will never be replicated just like each individual fall leaf.
I’m over the moon to be featured in the gorgeous Summer/Fall issue of Seattle Met Bride & Groom (on stands now!). Jump to page 81 to see the bold beauty black onyx and diamond ring chicly styled by editor-in-chief Amanda Zurita and photographed by Mary Kalhor.