Opal Pandora Beads

Australian Opal Joins the “Opal Pandora Beads” revolution

Note: These beads are available by order only. Please contact peter AT opalmine dot com for information

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Opal Pandora beads are a modern phenomenon. But beads themselves? Their history. Their beauty, and what they are made of is truly amazing. How they are made and how Australian opal is fitting in with the modern day ‘multiple stone’ bead phenomenon. Opal Cutter, Peter Brusaschi in Australia tells us all about the modern use of that incredible multi colored gemstone-opal

What is it about Pandora beads?

Beads have been popular since the beginning of known history. They  were being used by the Princess of Ur in Ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), the city of Abraham, the ancestor of the Jews and the Arabs, around 2000 BC. Although, when Woolley uncovered the ziggurat of Ur in the 1927 from its 40 feet bed of sand (it was originally found back in 1853 by British Consul J.E. Taylor.) he found, like most ancient cities that it had been ransacked by thieves. Fortunately, he and his team had the foresight to dig a little further and what they found was probably one of the most significant discoveries of our time. 1800 graves. 16 tombs.

The tomb of the princess of Ur was almost completely intact. The coffin, the mummified figure, lots of artifacts. Ancient carvings. Figurines and what interests us in particular for this article, the beautiful jewelry that was buried with her. Well, not Opal Pandora beads, but certainly beads of many gemstones

Amazingly it would seem that Women’s tastes in jewelry have not changed much over the years.

They still wear similar pendants around their necks. They still attach stud and drop earrings from their ears. Some still wear headdresses and of course, bead bracelets which bring back memories of events and people.

Beads have been fashioned from just about every known material. The Babylonians from Ur preferred that very ancient dark blue stone, still popular throughout the world today, lapis lazuli. I have seen large parcels of this material offered for sale from Afghanistan in Hong Kong. Because this material comes in large lumps, it’s possible to make very large beads out of it.

But in more recent times, beads have been fashioned out of red and black coral, obsidian, amethyst, ruby, sapphire, garnet, and of course, pearl which when sorted from its cheaper baroque cousins, is already in the shape of a bead. Opal Beads from Australia are now available.

Opal Bead cutting  is an art that has been perfected over the years. Much progress has been made since the days when each piece was cut and polished by hand and if you have ever tried to do that, as I have, being an opal cutter, its near impossible to get a perfect round. Lapidarists today use two concave tools in the shape of half a bead. The tool is attached to a vibrating machine that, with the help of different grades of carborundum grit, gradually turns a cube into a sphere.

Opal has been cut  both smooth rounds and faceted. And you can make beads out of flattish opals as well by cutting them into an oval shape with a hole drilled end to end. These types of beads are called rondelles. Of course you can make beads from any shape that you can think of. Squares, triangles, rectangles, free-form to name a few.

You can also combine a number of different gemstones into one silver or gold bead as is done with the Opal Pandora beads style of jewelry which screws on to bracelets and necklaces or can be worn in singles or multiples on an existing neck chain. 

10 Responses to “Opal Pandora Beads”

  1. Margot jett

    Hi! Can you pls advise if you have any opal charms available that will fit pandora? If so can you pls email me some pics and pricing. Thank you, Margot

    Reply
  2. Marcel

    Hello, i want to order such a pandora charm. are there any more, can you send me some pictures?thanks for helping

    Reply
    • admin

      Marcel regarding the opal charms, i do have some left but different shapes and stones to this one. i will send you some pics when i get the chance to process them. i will send you an email to make contact. just reply to that so that i know you got it OK. thanks Marcel, Peter

      Reply
    • admin

      Linda, i will see if there are any of the opal beads left in stock. please let me know which ones or ones you prefer. from the left. a,b,c or d I will send you an email to make contact so i can send you some pics if i find them. thanks for inquiring Linda. Peter

      Reply
      • Linda Morphis

        I love all of them I would one with more of the Blue dangle or round I jus love opals as my Birthday is October. It only let me choose one image but I also like the dangle that has the same color opal! Thank You, Linda

        Reply
        • admin

          ok linda, i will send you an email so i can send you pictures of the opal beads. peter

          Reply
  3. opal mad

    Hi
    I went to a Sydney branch of Pandora last March/ April and they didn’t stock opal beads, well they did but it was pink opal bleuuuggghh :-( I bought an opal bead in Coober Pedy in the belief that it would fit a Pandora bracelet and it didn’t. I had hoped that with opal being you national gemstone I find something for a Pandora bracelet. As such I’d be dubious of buying again in case it didn’t fit.
    When aussie Pandora start stocking then I’ll definitely buy one

    Reply
    • admin

      Jack, if you have a cheap Pandora bead, just send it to me by ordinary mail. i have various Pandora opal beads but like you say, you have to make sure the screw fits. i could check to make sure it does. Peter

      Reply

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