Australian opal jewellery is world famous.

Australian opal jewellery is world famous for the following reasons. Well, we are not saying that in some way it’s  somehow different or more creative than jewellery from any other country. But what we ARE saying is when jewellers feature that amazing gemstone OPAL in their designs, something really special starts to happen.

opal pendant set in sterling silver gold finish showing brilliant reds and greens

opal pendant from coober pedy field

You see, the world has been accustomed to a particular “look” in stone set jewelry (jewellery-English spelling), and that ‘look’ is often centered around popular faceted gems such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. Of course there are many other non faceted stones (called cabochons, or dome shaped stones) As a rule, gemstones which are not transparent or translucent are cut with a domed top because they are opaque and dont rely on the deflection and diffraction of light to produce a sparkle, apart perhaps from opaque red rubies and sapphires which sometimes feature a light reflection like a ‘star.’  Hence the term ‘star sapphires’ or ‘star rubies.’  There are of course shell based gemstones called ‘ammonites‘ which in some way are reminiscent of the opal change of color.

Unique Opal Gems

Australian opal (and for that matter, opal from wherever it is found internationally) is totally unique in the world of gemstones. Some opals of course are opaque like other cabochon gems. Notably Coober Pedy milk or white opal which does have a beautiful change of color but it is mainly on the surface of the stone. However Crystal opal (named for its appearance rather than its technical i.d.) can be slightly translucent, allowing the eye to look deep into the gem and be tantalized by colors that come and go and change from one color to another as the stone is rotated.

Summary of Australian Opal Jewelry

  • opal can be any color
  • opal can change from one color to another as its rotated
  • Most opals are Obviously different from one another

What do we mean by ‘unique?’

Some opals are similar to others but none are exactly the same and if you add black and boulder opals into the equation, the exclusivity of these gemstones expands into another realm which the images on opalmine.com well illustrate.

Please feel free to add your comments regarding Australian opal to the blog below

 

 

 

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