Trend File: Opal Madness

Iridescent, glowing, gorgeous opals.

They began popping up at fine jewelry trade shows, including JCK, four or five years ago. And now they’re literally everywhere in jewelry design—and their popularity shows zero signs of waning.

Jewelry lovers have been collectively pooh-poohing the old superstition that wearing opals is unlucky if the gem is not your birthstone (this belief actually sprung from a fiction book in the 1800s—not ancient tribal lore, as is sometimes cited).

Opals are worth the risk, anyway. The luminosity and variety of the stone are unparalleled. And it’s a rare gem that looks and feels bohemian as well as wildly elegant.

Here, some of our favorite new (and enduring) opal styles:


Threaded opal stud earring, $685; Maria Tash 

Opal and gold earrings, $6,500; Rock & Gems Jewelry 

Fly by Night opal ring, $8,950; Steven Webster 

“Milky Way” opal and gemstones earrings, $110,000; Erica Courtney 

Dew ring, $515; Jennie Kwon Designs 

Opal earrings, price upon request; Kimberly McDonald 

JCK Magazine Editor