by Nandita Ray
Opal can be fashioned into any item of jewelry. But the jewelry that really does the opal proud is the earring. Placed on the ear it has the right angle to shimmer and glitter and cast its spell on the wearer and the beholder. The fascination with this stone is never ending.
Jewelry is fascinating. It not only looks fashionable but it is an investment.. The glitter of gold, the sparkle of diamonds, the deep colors of the ruby or emerald, the different hues of the other gems are always enthralling. One of the most enticing precious stone is the opal. Its power to attract and hold a person’s eyes is magical. Its appearance is dramatic. An opal sitting delicately or dangling stylishly, from an ear lobe, mesmerizes one with its brilliant colors. Not just one color but a host of sumptuous colors, rich deep black, flashing blues, striking purples, flamingo pinks, a rainbow of colors. It is a feast for the eyes. Catch a glint of sunray, the opal flashes out myriad colors. The stone has a natural brilliance within it. It looks luminous. Therefore a good opal is as expensive as a diamond.
Opal can be fashioned into any item of jewelry. But the jewelry that really does the opal proud is the earring. Placed on the ear it has the right angle to shimmer and glitter and cast its spell on the wearer and the beholder. The fascination with this stone is never ending. Though it can be fashioned into various types of jewelry, the most popular piece of jewelry is the earring. This is because the earring places the opal in an advantageous place. It is here that it catches the glint of sunlight and as a result shimmers and glitters, casting its spell. The presence of silica gel causes refraction of light and the spheres of silica gel acts like a prism and breaks into the different colors.
In order to bring out the play of colors, the stones are cut and polished into different shapes. Impurities are removed. Sometimes they are covered with a coating of plastic to protect it. When made into earrings, the opal looks smart and attractive. Earrings can be made into studs, knots, hugs, danglers, hoops, prong sets, chandeliers. They can be just opal earrings or can be mixed and matched with either silver or gold. It can be inlaid also.
Black opal which is the most expensive of all opals is rare. The dark background is the perfect way to display the inter mitten colors. Startling blues, a touch of fire red, burnt orange make it a perfect pair to own. This most desirable of all opals comes from the Lightening Ride, in Australia. Mexican Fire opal is also expensive. Worn as studs it looks impressive.
Crystal opal is the second best. It is transparent and the color display has a field day. Rainbow colors, violet, blue, pink, a touch of sea green, maybe even a dash of red, make it a very desirable piece to own. It is truly multi colored. The more transparent it is the more expensive it gets. Worn as a stud or in knots or set in the traditional prong set or as a cluster of grapes, this gem radiates not only warmth but looks like the luminous moon at its very best.
The white opal is opaque. It has different colors too. But it is not very expensive. It is also called light opal. Though it looks stark to the naked eye, under light it has a natural glow, though subdued. The dominant color that flashes out is light blue and crimson. A cluster of opals, a chandelier of opals or inlaid with other gems, complement the opal has an elegance that is understated. An earring looking like this enhances the appearance and makes casual dressing look perfect.
Earrings made with doublet are very common and not at all expensive. This is because a thin layer of opal is fixed to a dark base to provide sufficient depth to the gem. This is an affordable piece of jewelry. An expression of who you are. Wear it as a stud, a swinging chain, a dangler or even as a huge rock sitting on your ear lobes.
Triplet is also a common. It is an opal that is covered with a coating. The coating can be either plastic, or a slice of quartz. Since opal is generally a oft stone it is open to bruises. It is called a triplet because the opal which has been already fixed to a base is now covered. This makes it three tiered. Due to its enhanced color, the gem glows and shimmers like an expensive piece of opal.
Wearing earrings made out of opal is like wearing a Donna Karen piece if not an Armani.