"A Beautiful Gemstone!"
Opal is one of the most beautiful gemstones!
The world's largest jewelers and fashion houses are inspired by their opal jewelry this summer.
They are passionate about the iridescent colors of this gemstone and create small “miracles”.
One of the striking jewels from Cartier's "Magnitude" collection, with an opal matrix, a brown stone with blue and purple light, enhanced with blue and purple sapphires.
- What is Opal?
Opal is one of the most beautiful gemstones. It displays all the colors of the rainbow while for many it surpasses even the diamond in beauty! And it is true!
So many colors, gathered in a small surface, a small gem that shines when you look at it….
Some extremely rare opal gems,in fact, completely change their color when light falls on them!
Opal is a delicate gemstone that displays all the colors of the rainbow. It is beautiful, like amber, and its quality is determined by how translucent it is. It has an unusual structure, as its mass contains an amount of 10% water.
Due to its composition, it forms small beads, that are arranged in space and form various geometric shapes.
The “play of colors” is created thanks to the light that is refracted and diffused in random directions, and they change according to the moment. The most famous opals are almost white while some have a black or red background.
Each opal, however, has different colors. Some have only red or orange, others green, yellow or blue,but red opals are usually the most expensive. One of the rarest is Harlequin, with colors reminiscent of a chessboard (1).
1. Pink Opal necklace from the famous
London jewelry store, David Morris
2. Elegant Opal land other precious stones long earrings
and brooch from the "Dior et Moi Collection",
created by Victoire de Castellane for the house of Dior.
3. Beautiful flower-shaped brooches with opals
and precious stones, Chopard
- Opal in fashion!
Due to its vibrant color palette opal has fascinated designers for decades, such as Victoire de Castellane.
Opal is her favorite gemstone, which stars in almost all of her Dior collections (2).
Victoire de Castellane describes opal as:
“The strangest stone with thousands of designs and countless colors. Opal is a poetic, fairytale stone. Inside you see the earth, the oceans and the stars”.
Opal, equally fascinates jewelry designer Wendy Yue, who confesses:
“The characteristics of this gemstone are always an inexhaustible source of creation and inspiration for me.”
But opal is also the heart of the famous jewelry store Chopard (3), the most popular material in the famous London jewelry store.
Unlike other gemstones, opal is not made of crystal but is formed from a material that is concentrated in the cracks of the rocks. It is also porous and quite fragile!
The water contained in this stone makes it particularly sensitive to temperature changes.
That's why seeing a snake-shaped opal on a ring for Gucci's debut in High Jewelry is quite rare.
Gucci artistic director Alessandro Michele, chose one by one the stones of the Garden of Delights collection, which includes the typical mythical monsters of the house, tigers, lions and snakes.(4)
4. Opal rings for the launch of the Gucci house
in the High Jewelry with the title Garden of Delights.
5. Ring and earrings made of blue opals and diamonds,
from the collection Planetes, Chaumet.
6. Bracelet from Cartier "Magnitude" collection
Opal and pearl brooch, Cartier High Jewelry.
- Why Opal makes the difference?
Cartier often uses black and white opal in his collections. In 2019 an impressive opal matrix appeared in the “Magnitude” Collection, a brown stone with blue and purple light enhanced with blue and purple sapphires (6) . The opal matrix comes from Queensland, Australia, and is a boulder attached on iron. Although globally 90% of opals comes from Australia, only 2% of this total consists of boulders, which are considered the second most valuable after black opal.
But this is not the first time Cartier has used this stone. In 2014 a pendant from the “L'Odyssée” collection had the design of reptile skin. According to Pierre Rainero, director of Cartier’s Style and Heritage Department, the house has been using this type of stone since the early 20th century.
Victoire de Castellane's collection, “Dior et Moi collection”, which was presented last January, plays with contrasts. Black opal with emeralds, red spinel and green glaze emphasize the iridescent colors of opal on pendants and earrings.
7. Jewelry with pink opal and necklace with colorful opal pendant, from the collection of Louis Vuitton.
8. Rings with opals from the Sahara collection by
jewelry designer Lydia Courteille.
9. Ring with opals and gold, Ornella Lannucci.
Pendant from the collection of Eugenie Niarchos
Pink opal is a less rare type of gemstone found in Louis Vuitton collections, in pieces by Fei Liu and Brazilian designer Fernando Jorge (7) .
The Fire Opal on the other hand is completely different. It is a rare opal from Mexico and is especially popular with independent jewelry designers such as, Lydia Courteille (8) and Ornella Lannucci (9), Eugenie Niarchos (9).
Its colors vary, from yellow and bright orange to red, while it is quite transparent.
- How to maintain Opal jewelry!
Opal can be stored for many years if cared for properly.
Avoid abrasions and do not store it in a safe, as it may lose its moisture and break.
A good tip to preserve it, is to soak it in water for a few hours, regularly.
Spring Summer 2021
Opal A Beautiful Gem