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All Things Mettle

Your Quick Guide To October's Birthtones - Opal and Tourmaline

Your Quick Guide To October's Birthtones - Opal and Tourmaline

October is such a fantastic month! (And I'm not just saying that because my birthday is on the 2nd!) The weather starts cooling down, people get campfire fever, and a whole new smorgasbord of delicious seasonal foods are rolled out!

As far as birthstones are concerned, if you're born in October, or shopping for someone that is, than you have every color of the rainbow available to you, or even a stone with every color in it!

There is SO MUCH to learn and discover about opal (and its history- Queen Victoria!), but this is your QUICK GUIDE!


Quick opal tidbits:

  • it isn't bad luck to wear an opal, in fact, most cultures consider it lucky!
  • opals are soft stones, so if you're rough on jewelry, be careful
  • opals are usually around 10% water (they are formed by RAIN!)
  • almost all opals come from Australia

flavors of opals

    What really sets opals apart is their fire and range of color! You can easily get lost looking into an opal and watching the way it plays in the light. If you don't own one already, I recommend having at least 1 in your collection.

    Take this one home with you!

    Opal isn't the only official birthstone for October! Tourmaline is just as stunning and comes in almost ANY color you could want! AND it is frequently found in cool bi-color and tri-color combinations!

    watermelon tourmaline

    A few quick tourmaline tidbits:

    • tourmaline has been confused with other gemstones throughout history
    • it comes in all colors
    • it is pyroelectric (when heated or rubbed, one end of the crystal will become positively charged and the other negatively charged)
    • it is the national gemstone of the US (bet cha didn't know that!)

    I see very few objections when working with people that want an October birthstone. It's easy to see that there is a literal rainbow of options! Perhaps the only issue that arises is that of price, but that is easily moved in either direction! Opals can easily be more expensive than diamonds! But that doesn't mean they have to be be! 

    The same goes for tourmaline. You can find a beautiful and perfect for you tourmaline in any price range.

    As always, I love answering any questions you have, so don't be shy! 

    Happy Birthday, my fellow October babes!


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    How to Wear Statement Rings Comfortably

    How to Wear Statement Rings Comfortably

    The biggest concerns for comfort with a statement ring are:

    1. Does it catch on everything?
    2. Can you still use your hands?

    There's a really easy way to rule out rings you can wear and rings that can wear you- TRY IT ON! If it doesn't "fit like a glove," you're going to risk comfort.

    But there's more to it than that...

    As for concern #1: Does it catch on everything?

    I recommend giving a new potential ring in your life the "sweater (or stocking) test." CAUTION: YOU CAN DAMAGE YOUR CLOTHES WHILE PREFORMING THIS TEST. (Basically, you would TRY to catch the ring on a fuzzy sweater or tights to see if it is going to pull the fabric or scratch. You know, the ole' try and break it test!)

    Well made bezels (where the metal goes all the way around the ring to set the stone) are excellent for comfort! There are no prongs you have to worry about scratching you or others and the stone is set very securely! So, if you're trying to go for best case comfort, shoot for bezels, like these beauties below! I've linked them to their page so you can get a closer look and claim them before they are GONE! These 3 rings fit the criteria above and beyond for a big beautiful ring you can wear all day!

    As for prongs, comfort mostly depends on how well the ring is made. You don't want to purchase or wear a ring if the prongs are coming up or catching a bunch of fuzz under them (unless there's someone that can fix it for you.) It you find that your ring is doing this, take it to a jeweler QUICKLY! If fuzz can get under the prong, then that means it can pull the prong up and you could do some real damage in a variety of ways (lose the stone, break the prong, scratch a human or animal!) Lifted prongs are a cry for help. Find a jeweler!

    Now for concern #2: Can you use your hands while wearing it?

    One of the most important aspects of a larger ring in the front is that it tapers in the back. You've got to be able to bend your fingers, right? I would also recommend that the band is comfort fit inside, meaning that the ring's shank is rounded inside instead of just flat with edges that can be uncomfortable. 

    Rest assured that every Mettle by Abby ring I make is comfortable to wear! I round all the insides of the rings and taper the backs so that you are wearing your Mettle by Abby jewelry as much as possible! Jewelry likes to be worn :)

    You don't have to have a BIG rock in your ring, or even a super BIG ring for it to be a statement ring.

    I love this comfy silver Orbit ring! The picture doesn't do all the sparkling (caused by my hammering a diamond into it to create loads of facets and play) justice. There's a really charming allure when someone in the room is wearing this ring! Find out!

    Or if you're feeling a little more clean and smooth...

    This simple hammered circle band is an easy go-to for any outfit and even the pickiest of ring wearers will miss it when they take it off!

    It can be difficult to find a comfortable statement ring, IF you don't know what to look for. Hopefully I have been able to simplify it a little for you and the knowledge I've gained over the past decade or so in the jewelry industry is helpful to you!

    If you like what you've read, have questions, or just want more good stuff in your jewelry world, sign up below! And thank you for reading!


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