I’ve been very fortunate recently to have asked to work on several special orders.
One of these orders included working with 9ct gold and Opal.
A most beautiful combination- warm yellow gold hues set nicely with the intense fire of an opal.
I created a simple circular gold disc which is to be engraved and set it with a hanging fire opal.
Opal have always been a mineral that has fascinated me. Since me days studying Gemmology in college- the gemstones with a raw uncut beauty has always taken my interest. Hence my thesis was written purely about pearls!
Opal’s internal structure makes it diffract light; depending on the conditions in which it formed it can take on many colors. Opal ranges from clear through white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown, and black. Of these hues, the reds against black are the most rare, whereas white and greens are the most common. It varies in optical density from opaque to semi-transparent.
Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, which produces 97% of the world’s supply.
Known as the stone of happy dreams and changes bringing to us the understanding and acceptance of our inherent perfection. It has been used to awaken psychic and mystical qualities. Opal with fire inside it can help encourage our intuition and insight.
Opal is sometimes referred to “The Stone of Tears”.
The ancient Greeks believed that opal came from the tears of Zeus the God of lightning after winning a battle against the Titans. His tears turned into opal when they landed upon earth.Indians believed that opal was the ‘Goddess of Rainbows’who turned herself into stone to escape the advances of the other gods. The traditional peoples of Australia the aborigines believed that opal was the ‘Rainbow Serpent’ and were actually fearful of the stone.
From my time in jewellery retail- i was always surprised at how superstitious people were around this stone.
Opal is a relatively soft stone and cannot take heat – therefore making it very difficult for any jeweller to work with. I have often thought that this “Stone of Tears” myth was created by jewellers who themselves may have detested working with this stone!
For me- it was a welcome change of materials and possibly one which i will work into future designs!