Saturday, October 13, 2007

Opal: The October Birthstone (One of Them)

Here it is almost the middle of October and I haven't really posted anything about the October birthstone. The traditional birthstone for October was the pink tourmaline, but more and more people are turning to the modern alternative, the opal - perhaps because of price and availability. If you think of opal as only those wonderful white- looking stones with a fiery play of colour, then you've missed out on the many varities of opal that are available in the jewelry world today.
First, one of my personal favorites is yellow opal. Gem quality yellow opal has the look of rich melted butter - a deep translucent yellow. The first yellow opal bracelet is made with such gem quality yellow opal and the smallest lampwork beads that I've ever used in a jewelry design. The whole time I was making it the phrase "like buttah" was going through my mind.
Next is a pink Peruvian opal necklace made with smallish pink Peruvian opals. Like yellow opals, pink Peruvian opals don't have the fire one finds in the Australian opals, but the luminous quality of good pink opals and the beautiful pink colours make up for it! I also love getting pink opals that have black inclusions because of the way they blend with lampwork beads. The opal bracelet below is made of some very good quality pink opals that are mixed with aquamarine beads.
Blue Peruvian opals are precious to me also. Good blue Peruvian opals with translucence are my favorites although they range from having a jelly-like look to being completely opaque. Their colors range from a beautiful clear blue to aqua topale green to white. Their inclusions range from by favorite black to a tan to a light ochre. I've mixed the blue opals in the bracelet above with lampwork beads by Robin Weber and natural genuine emeralds. Notice the tan/ochre inclusions on the faceted ovals and the clearer colours touched with black on the faceted nuggets.
Opals are fairly soft and do crack easily, so it's important to store them away from your other jewelry, to protect them when you are travelling, and to avoid banging them against objects when you are wearing your jewelry.


jewlery stores said...

Nice work

diamond engagement rings said...

Very interesting post.

DiSpagna Designs LTD said...

I feel that Opals are amazing, one of my favorite stones to work with. The Peruvian Opals are amazing, I feel that the blues are much nicer than the pinks. Fire Opals are pretty amazing, with their variety of colors, but nothing beats Australian Opals, any variety, Lightning Ridge Opals, Black Matrix, its all fascinating. I have learned, though, that the Australian Opal mines are running dry, which is a shame. I got a close friend who mines opals out in Oregon, he was supposed to drop by recently to show me what he's been digging up, but I have a feeling he might have gone back to the mines. I don't blame him, I would rather be digging opals as well. Great post.