No question that opals are hot. But would you invest in a multidesigner collection that featured only opals?
You and your clients would have to be big fans of the stone. You’d have to be an expert curator. And if you were Vincent Perugini, owner of Vincents Fine Jewelry in Pelham, N.Y., you’d have to have a copilot with great taste, excellent industry relationships, and, ideally, a huge following on Instagram. Someone like A Thousand Facets, the upstate New York-based blogger and social media influencer.
As we recently reported, this week marks the launch of Fire & Forge, a limited-edition capsule collection assembled in collaboration with A Thousand Facets and sold exclusively at Vincents. Featuring the work of 14 designers, the pieces include Australian opals (several from the famed Lightning Ridge mine) and showcase the full range of the stone’s unique fire patterns and color stories.
“I see hosting this collection as a huge honor,” says Perugini. “We are always looking for new ways to get our clients excited about what we’re doing, so when A Thousand Facets asked us to be the sole retailer, how could we say no?
“I saw no risk at all in the venture because our clients are drawn to pieces that include opals. And the designers we asked to participate in the project are all amazing artists. We always enjoy working with designers who bring something fresh, new, and special to our clients.”
Certainly, other jewelers have smartly given opals pride of place in their stores, highlighting a necklace here or a knockout cocktail ring there, but with Fire & Forge, Perugini had to be all in.
Yet the jeweler has no qualms about giving the all-opal collection prime real estate in his store, even during the make-or-break holiday season. Granted, the pieces are being offered through a consignment arrangement, but he’s priced everything very attractively. There’s a Sam Woehrmann ring going for $615, and many of the pieces clock in at less than $1,500.
The designers were able to choose from a selection of Australian opals cut by Loren Gurche, an emerging lapidary artist wunderkind that A Thousand Facets discovered and is nudging into the spotlight. From there, the designers then placed the stones in one-of-a-kind settings that showed off their individual aesthetics.
For example, Hannah Blount saw the potential for an almond-shaped stone to encase a beetle’s wing. Ruta Reifen chose a satiny white oval shape and then dressed it in one of her signature gold ring settings, adding pastel blue and lavender sapphires the way a couturier might add ribbons or embroidery.
See below for a peek at these pieces and a few more standouts.
Fire & Forge launches Nov. and the work will be on display, and available for purchase in-store and online, through Dec. 31, 2017.
Beetle Pendant with opal and genuine beetle wing on an oxidized silver chain with 14k gold accents, $1,430; Hannah Blount
Ring with black opal, sterling silver band, and 22k gold bezel, $615; Sam Woehrmann Folded Lotus Earrings with opals, Malaya garnets, and recycled diamonds in 22k gold and sterling silver, $1,750; Karin Jacobson
Sweet Thing Ring with opal, light blue pear shape sapphires, and round violet sapphires in 14k gold, $2,500; Ruta Reifen
Stingray Pendant with opal in 14k gold, $1,265; Rachel Atherley
Double Teardrop Ring with opal in 18k gold, $1,950; Monica Marcella
Ring with a semi-black opal, sterling silver band, and 22k gold bezel and dots, $2,250; Ananda Khalsa
Asymmetrical necklace with rectangular opal, blue sapphires, and rose-cut diamond in 18k gold, $2,500; Yamane Studio
(Top: Ring with custom-carved opal in 22k gold and silver, $2,600; By Jodi)
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