We’re not normally the type to play favorites, but when it comes to birthstones, it’s hard to argue with October babies’ good luck. The month boasts opal and tourmaline as its designated gems, both of which are notable not only for being two of the prettiest stones you can buy (in our humble opinion, at least) but also for their relative accessibility. Depending on the size, quality, and rarity of the stones, you can find jewelry featuring real gemstones at almost every price point, from under $100 to north of $1 million (and, to be fair, that opal literally glows in the dark).
Also, both come in practically every color of the rainbow. While the milky-white, iridescent variety of opals might be the first to come to mind (as seen in the photo above), rarer types include pink, blue, red, brown, and black—all of which are characterized by what gemologists refer to as “play of color” (a.k.a. the shifting, lit-from-within spectrum of hues you see when look at the stone from different angles). Tourmaline, likewise, can be brown, yellow, green, pink, red … or even contain multiple colors in a single stone. One of our favorite varieties is called “watermelon tourmaline”; it’s cut to highlight layers of green, yellow, and pink to resemble the summer fruit.
In the gallery, shop 15 pieces of opal and tourmaline jewelry you’ll covet whether or not you have a birthday coming up.