October Birthdays In Our Family
Soon after I posted about October’s Opulent Opals, I discovered that tourmalines are also October’s birthday gemstones. In this month, we celebrate birthdays of two important people in our lives.
My father-in-law, the head of our extended family, turns 80 and we celebrate with a small lunch at home. I investigate tourmalines a little and discover that it is a stone of reconciliation, compassion and cool-headedness. Well that just sums Dad up completely.
Shopping At La Putri
Intrigued, I pop over to La Putri with M5. After all, I don’t believe in just studying the theory of gems! Fortunately I’m able to catch boss & designer, Shuet Li, for a practical session. I love my other La Putri jewellery items, a jade butterfly ring and a bespoke amatrine ring; all with my children’s birthstones. Hence I know I can rely on Shuet when I want good stones, bespoke designs and great conversation about gems.
Tourmalines of Every Colour
Shuet pulls out boxes filled with colorful tourmalines. I learn they are a complex silicate that contain boron, with the greatest range of colours of all gemstones.
The first tourmalines she shows me are pink ones. There’s an impressive 8.43 carat pear shaped rubellite, from the Latin word for red which I prop up as a ring. Then there’s the emerald-cut rubellite which looks great next to a pair of bi-coloured pink tourmalines. There’s also a 7.29 carat fancy cut forest green one. Apart from these loose stones, I’m also shown a cute pair of watermelon slices, (so-called for their pink & green colour) set as earrings.
Spotlight on Paraiba Tourmalines
I ask to see some incandescent Paraibas. Originally from Brazil, these contain copper, producing a spectrum of blue-green colours. Since its discovery in the 1980s, Paraiba-like tourmalines have been mined from Mozambique & Nigeria. I made mention of these in my talk about rings during at Jeweluxe And The Fellowship Of The Ring. Shuet has quite a few.
So how does one choose paraibas? According to https://www.gemsociety.org/article/paraiba-tourmaline/, “Color is more important than clarity. Eye visible inclusions are easily tolerated and only make slight value differences. Cutting is critical. The gems need to be brilliant to obtain maximum value. Windowing and mediocre scintillation reduce the value considerably.” Well that makes sense, for most gemstones, color and brilliance are key.
M5 & I decide on a pretty set of paraibas to make into something special. Both M5 & Shuet start drawing designs. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Of Unconditional Love
As I close the chapter on tourmalines, I cannot help but check which are most suited for doctors. I read that pink tourmalines represent a love of humanity and sympathy. According to https://www.jewelsforme.com/tourmaline-meaning, it is “an excellent stone for healers… as it allows them to better listen to and understand their patients. It carries the virtue of unconditional love.” As I read this, I realise that tourmalines represent someone else in the family.
I had mentioned another October birthday baby, and that is the children’s nanny, Merle. Scrolling through family photos, we see her always. She isn’t just helping to hold the smaller children; in fact, she holds us all together. Last night, M4,5,& 6 celebrated her birthday instead of going trick or treating. Why? Because we are grateful to this October baby for her virtue of unconditional love. Happy birthday, Merle!