In starting and running a business, I have learned a huge amount about myself. It's no wonder given all of the changes and developments that have come with Original Eve that I have been attracted to opal for so many projects as Opal, October's birthstone, is said to help you know yourself.
There are several varieties of opal, each named according to the color of the gem's background, but the characteristic that truly sets opal apart from any other gemstone is its exotic play-of-color, a phenomenon that causes light to break into rainbow colors in a variety of patterns when moved.
Opal is composed of tiny silica spheres that are arranged randomly, like oranges in a basket and are compressed by the heavy desert land under which opals form. As light bounces off of these curved surfaces, the spectral colors appear in a variety of patterns, flashing across the surface of the stone.
This ring from the Azores Collection features a beautifully vibrant jelly opal that has wisps of play-of-color suspended throughout the translucent gemstone. To make the play-of-color pop against the 18k yellow gold setting, the opal was backed with black rhodium. The color contrast brings out the fire of this gorgeous phenomenon.
While play-of-color is opals most remarkable characteristic, not all opals display play-of-color. Opals that do not display play-of-color are referred to as “Potch” opals.
Some of the most beautiful Potch opals I have encountered are the fossilized opals you will see in my Into The Amazon collection. These gems were formed in Indonesia. As ancient wood petrified just beneath the surface of the earth, the carbon of the wood was replaced by silica to create opal. This environment was abundant with Cuprian (aka: copper) which is why these opals have such a gorgeous turquoise hue.
At times, it is possible to see both potch opal and opal that displays play-of-color in the same gem. I have been drawn to opals with bold hues of potch opal that are arranged in striped patterns next to phenomenal opals. Check out these two pairs of earrings from the Amazon and Azores collections featuring this rare opal aesthetic:
But, perhaps my favorite opals to date come in this beautiful strand of individually faceted beads that take on an ethereal purple and teal glow depending on the light. These Australian opals are truly mesmerizing and do everything that opals do best: Manipulate light, play with color, and capture the imagination.
If you would like to read more about Opals, please be sure to check out the Original Eve blog post HERE.