Different Opals from Different Countries
I designed and fabricated this ring for a customer who wanted a large middle finger ring which would showcase a special opal. I ordered this black opal from Australia for her, and was excited to see how stunning it is when it arrived.
It is a 3.5 carat black opal from Lightening Ridge, Australia. The pear-shaped opal is 16 mm long by 12 mm wide. It flashes brilliant red or green fire, depending on the angle at which it catches the light and the angle from which you view it.
My customer and I worked together to design the ring. Clearly, the opal was to be the main feature. We decided to offset it in a wide band, approximately 14 mm, forged from 20k gold.
I bezel set the irregularly shaped stone to provide it with some protection against accidental knocks. The bezel is 24k gold. The opal is accented with two 0.12 ct diamonds of VS clarity and D colour. They are also set in 24k gold. The diamonds are 3 mm in diameter, chosen to be big enough not to disappear beside the large opal, but not so big as to compete with it.
My client is pleased with her new ring, and I am happy that she is happy!
These earrings feature fire opals from Mexico. Fire opal is, to me, a slightly confusing name for these rich, orange coloured stones. They are the colour of glowing coals or fire, rather than having flashing colours, called fire, as do opals such as the black one in the ring above. I bought these opals from a family of indigenous opal miners whom I met in a village near Tequisquiapan in Queretaro, Mexico.
These earrings are made from 20k gold with 24k gold accents. They combine several elements which I saw and admired in a display of pre-columbian native gold jewellery from the Monte Alban archeological site in a museum in Oaxaca, Mexico. I was puzzled by the bells I saw in many of the jewellery pieces in the museum because they do not have clappers. After I made the bells for the bottom of these earrings, I realized that they don’t need clappers because they ring by hitting against each other. 20k gold bells make a lovely sound!
The opals in these two pieces are only two examples of different types of opals; there are many more types. Individual opals are unique, which is, for me, part of their charm and appeal.
I am always happy to discuss a jewellery project with you. Please feel free to email me.