From Mine to Store: The Story Behind Daniela Villegas’ Stunning Black Opal Ring



Jewelry designer Daniela Villegas wasn’t looking for a black opal when her gem buyer showed her the colossal dark gem at the center of this whimsical scarab ring. “I saw it and said, ‘Okay, I don’t care about the other stones you have—I need this one,’?” recalls the Mexican-born, Los Angeles–based designer. The stone’s rare proportions and gorgeous iridescent coloration prompted ­Villegas to name the finished ring after Heracles, the divine hero in Greek mythology, whom Villegas first learned about when reading ­Homer’s Odyssey. “It was one of the first books my dad gave me,” says the designer. “And Heracles was the greatest of the Greek heroes; he was the gatekeeper of heaven and the god of strength.” Before designing the ring, Villegas had a dream about the stone. “I dream about all my pieces,” she says, “and in this case, I woke up thinking Heracles
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