Opal is one of our favourite stones here at EC One. A true iridescent beauty, the opal displays a fire unlike any other gemstone. Our jewellery buyer Charlotte loves the stunning qualities that opals exhibit. ‘Opal’s have an alluring iridescence, I love the depth of darker opal’s when you stare into them you feel as if you have plunged in to an exotic Ocean’ quotes Charlotte who always favours gemstones with an added wow factor. The ‘wow’ from an opal appears as a firework display of colours radiating from deep within the stone. The play of colour flashes between rich oranges to deep greens and vivid purples, this exciting quality ensures that no two opals will ever be the same.
This magical element means that opals do not need to be faceted, their spectacular colour radiates through microscopic spheres within the stone. Throughout history opals have been a source of wonder and amazement. The roman's treasured opals and believed them to bring the owner good fortune whereas ancient Arabic cultures thought that opals had fallen from the sky and that the colour infusion was indeed trapped lightning.
The main introduction of opals into the jewellery world was by Australian Tullie Cornthwaite Wollaston in the late 1800’s and from here it was favoured by Queen Victoria and then used in the decadent jewels of the Art Noveau period. Rising in popularity again when Cartier included opals in the 2008 Chimera collection at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, the opal is now found in designer jewellery collections throughout the world.
A new comer to EC One is the talented Marie Walsh from Sorrell Bay Jewellery. Using an inspiring mix of both rose cut diamonds and Australian opals, Marie’s fine jewellery is individual and delicate. We asked her what it is about opals that she loves so much.
'Opals to me signify everything that is beautiful about this stunning planet we inhabit. You can see the world within an opal and their fire and light can be bewitching. I've a lifelong fascination with geology and the formation of rocks, deep within the belly of the world and the science behind them. Each totally unique to their surroundings and the rock, soil or sandy conditions that creates them. Opals are formed from running water over time, silicon dioxide layers that form silica rich deposits within cracks and voids deep within the ground formed by natural faults or decomposing fossils. The movement of water over thousands of years that results in something so stunning we set it in gold and adorn ourselves with at as a talisman. I am a Pisces so I have an affinity with water, maybe this is why I am so drawn to them.'
As the birthstone for October we are celebrating the glory of this incredible gemstone that has a past as colourful as the stone itself.