It may no longer be October, but opal season is forever.
It really is an all-season stone, isn’t it? Thanks to its flashes of color, which can be electric or pastel or even both at the same time, there’s not a holiday or time of year that opal doesn’t vibe with.
That much is true for this week’s Britt’s Pick, a gorgeous opal ring by New York–based jeweler Naomi Sarna. The Matrix ring, as it is named, has what I perceive as a very futuristic design, akin to something you’d find at a modern art museum. Its gorgeous gold finish and multicolor diamonds and gemstones are incredibly striking, but it’s the fiery, orb-like opal that puts it over the top.
“Several years ago I purchased the rough and cut this cabochon,” says Sarna of the center stone. “I have another one that’s a little smaller, not quite so high. I wanted to highlight this gem in some way because the colors are so fabulous in it, and I didn’t want to put a typical bezel around it.”
Instead, the designer created a platform for the opal to really shine—atop a shield. “I have been fascinated with the medieval period for a very long time and thought about medieval shields. They have a domed area called a boss. Putting my opal in the center of a round area seemed too expected, and I wanted to do something a little unexpected!”
The design is unexpected, which is, of course, what makes it so special: A designer needn’t do much with such a lovely stone, but Sarna’s asymmetric, heavy metal creation is a beautiful home for it.
“All of my rings go to the side—most rings are symmetrical with the center on top of the finger,” the designer says. “This means that the ring usually will flop over to the side. I designed my rings to nestle comfortably between the fingers, so by extending the flatter area into the shank gave it an unusual shape. I liked the way it wrapped around the finger on one side and then the top of the ring fits comfortably over the next finger.”
Sarna opted for a smattering of fancy color diamonds to complement the opal, and a pop of color from tsavorite garnets. As for the eye-catching finish: “I almost never finish a ring with a high polish. The minute that you put on something that’s highly polished it gets a little scratch in it. So my finish, which I believe is very complementary to the stones that I use, allows the ring to look beautiful and new for a very very long time. It’s a utilitarian and yet sophisticated finish.”
Top: One-of-a-kind Matrix ring in 18k yellow gold with 6 ct. La Perla mine Mexican fire opal, fancy color diamonds, and green tsavorite, price on request; Naomi SarnaFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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