As you may have noticed, the jewelry industry is having a major love affair with opal right now. Not that the colorful, luminescent stone hasn’t always been special, but of late, it’s found a home in some incredible, unexpected designs that highlight its fabulousness in such a way that it’s become the king of the jewelry showcase. And what better time than October, where the month’s birthstone is in its prime. You may recall that back in July, I admitted (incredulously now) that I was never really a fan of opal before coming to the jewelry industry—and even for some time after that. Clearly, I hadn’t seen it in the right setting. Because now, I can’t think of anything better to be utterly fascinated by.
Suna Bros. (both pieces)
One of the coolest things about opal is that it comes in so many varieties, each one as stunning as the next. I seem to be most drawn to the black opal, with fiery, dramatic color and moody elegance.
Yael Designs (both pieces)
I’m pretty sure my initial attitude towards opal (what used to be all things “meh”), was caused by underwhelming encounters with the white opal. Its milky smooth appearance and lack of color went completely unappreciated by me for quite some time. As time has gone on and I’ve had the opportunity to witness remarkable designs and high-quality gemstones, I’ve come to really love them. Sure, the colors don’t pop as loudly as they do on a black or Boulder opal, but the understated hues are dazzling, mesmerizing, and highly sophisticated. It probably doesn’t hurt that Yael Designs can make anything look elegant. But still, I’m a believer now. It’s the idea that the white opal glows from within: It doesn’t brag, boast, or beg. The more I stare, the more enchanted I become.
Maybe the most obviously dazzling is the Boulder opal, boasting regal blue hues and sparkling shocks of color that shoot through the gemstone. It can mimic the snowfall and ice when included in winter’s jewelry collections; in the summer, it’s a cool drink of water reminiscent of oceans’ enchanting colors. Maybe that’s why it’s the muse of many a jewelry designer, found often in the down-to-earth, organic designs from Margery Hirschey, a standout in that department.
Finally, the last variety of opal (for today, though by no means the last overall) is fire opal: a juicy, bright chock of orangey-red that, if I didn’t know any better, I wouldn’t call opal. When smooth and unfaceted, it flows like lava and exhibits that sparkle-under-fire appearance that you’ll see in most opals. With facets, it’s a neon pop worthy of any Tangerine Tango aficionado. It’s just such a cool stone, so different from its counterparts, and anyone that wears it is sure to get noticed. So the question is, why don’t we see more of this on the red carpet?
Two of our favorite gemstones combine into one colorful treasure trove on our Pinterest board moonstone + opal.@jckmagazine
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