Exciting things can happen when a jewelry designer gets bored. This is the situation Anit Dodhia, the San Diego–based talent behind Kaali Designs, found himself in recently.
Last February, while at exhibiting at JCK Tucson, Dodhia was already feeling the urge to stray from the abundance of rustic champagne and gray diamonds in his collection. “The market is too saturated with these stones at the moment,” he says. And opals—beautiful, blue Australian boulder opals with their streaks of orange and green fire—seemed like the perfect antidote.
Not that opal jewelry isn’t readily available at all ends of the market, but that doesn’t make it any less desirable. A colleague introduced him to an Australian supplier who’s partnered with an opal miner who also happened to be exhibiting at JCK Tucson.
Dodhia had worked with Ethiopian opals on a few occasions, but this was his first adventure with the Australian variety. And when compared to the neutral palette and low-key luster of rustic diamonds, “They have more life, they are playful, and are fun to work with,” he says. “I’ve always loved Australian opals but never had a good opportunity to buy them.”
Once he got some in his hands, he got to work on designing a collection around them—the first pieces, a handful of rings and pendants, all feature Dodhia’s signature clean, elegant-meets-boho textured gold settings and are priced from $880 to $1,355 wholesale.
And having just attended Las Vegas Jewelry Week, there’s more to come. “I bumped into my supplier at my hotel in Vegas,” says Dodhia. “I wasn’t planning on seeing him because I knew I would go crazy buying more, and, of course, that’s exactly what I did.”
The new additions are already in production; turnaround time for wholesale orders is two to three weeks, perfect timing for late July and August. Because there’s nothing better than summer sunlight hitting an Australian opal just so. And Dodhia’s pieces are just right for the season’s fashions, whether it’s the printed tunic, pants, and jeweled sandals thing or “Hi, I live in my beach cover-up.”
Top: Assorted Australian boulder opal pendants with diamonds in 14k gold
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