Opal statement necklace with sterling silver box clasp set with faceted moonstone cabachon
This necklace was commissioned by Chalmers Gems to support an article they wrote on opals for the magazine BEAD&jewellery. It appeared in Issue 107 of the magazine.
Working with a variety of opals, including rough nuggets, slices and faceted cabochons, the design grew organically and revolved around revealing the glorious opalescence of the stones. Photography doesn't capture the magic of opals; it rarely does them justice - the one used here show blue, green and violet flashes as well as some of the rarest colour red. The design also included some pearls, small gems and Swarovski crystals as well as a range of seed beads. The necklace is fastened with a sterling silver box clasp set with a faceted moonstone.
Opals have been prized for millenia - the earliest evidence we have of their use goes back to 4,000 BCE. They have never fallen out of favour. These opals are from Ethiopia and whilst Australia has been the dominant location for over 100 years, Ethiopia has come to challenge that in a very short space of time. Also known as Welo Opals, the deposits of this wonderful gem were first identified in 1994, followed by important discoveries in 2008 and 2013. As good quality opals from Australia have become rarer and considerable more pricey, Welo Opal has become a firm market favourite.
I wrote a blog about the creation of this piece, so for more information follow this link