A Change in Color: Opals in Custom Jewelry Design
Although the origin of the word “opal” is subject to debate, the meaning of the Greek term opillos, “to see a change in color,” is an apt description for the visual impact of this gemstone.
The International Colored Gemstone Association describes the opal’s splendor as a reflection of nature: fire, lightning, rainbows, and seas:
The group of fine opals includes quite a number of wonderful gemstones, which share one characteristic: they shine and sparkle in a continually changing play of colours full of fantasy, which experts describe as “opalising.”
Do you have a custom jewelry project in mind that needs a splash of color? Are you looking for a special gift for someone born in October? Opals are a wonderful option. If you’re considering using opals in a custom jewelry design, keep this fact about this beautiful gem in mind: since opals are actually combinations of silica and a small amount of water, they can become brittle if left in a storage space that is too dry or exposed to extended heat. The solution: wear your opal jewelry often and close to your skin so it will receive humidity from your body and the air. Pendants are an excellent choice for showcasing and preserving your opals. Take a look at some of the opal pendants our CustomMade jewelry makers have created for their customers.
What inspires you? What’s the story behind your vision? To capture what you want in your custom made jewelry, “a jewelry designer must be part artist, part anthropologist, and part psychologist,” says Gary Dawson of Gary Dawson Designs.
Design is everywhere. Inspiration may come from a variety of places. Color, texture, heft, feel, the smooth curve of beach worn granite …. a moment, an era, a lifetime. The thing that draws me to expression in precious metals through custom jewelry is adaptability to most any design consideration. From moonlit, tropical beach scenes to a Hopi wedding shawl or ancient Chinese pottery designs, virtually anything that interests you may serve as a starting point. This includes hobbies, shared activities, or aesthetic attractions.
Does an aurora-like dance of color and light appeal to you, as captured in the Aurora Opealis pendant, made from an Ethiopian opal, a .20 ct round brilliant diamond, and 14k yellow gold? Share your inspiration with Gary and have him create a similar piece or a new design for you.
Perhaps a maker’s other completed works have motivated you to take the custom plunge. A customer of Rona Fisher Jewelry Design liked Rona’s “River Pebbles” jewelry collection and wanted her own opal and diamonds from jewelry pieces she no longer wore to be included in a new pendant design. Rona and her customer exchanged 3D computer renderings and suggestions via email, and the result, this opal pendant with 14k white gold and 18k yellow gold, was exactly what the customer had envisioned. Imagine your own gemstones and unused jewelry reborn as part of a signature collection or a new custom design and contact Rona Fisher with your project request.
Do you admire nature’s fire in living things? The beautiful color play of these reversible, hand carved floating opal horses by Vickie Riggs Designs makes each of these medallions a unique tribute to “the beautiful spirit of the horse.” Your custom project by Vickie Riggs can be created in a variety of sizes with or without a sterling silver inset and with your choice of chains or cords and opal stones.
Bring a change of colors to your next custom made jewelry project. When you post your jewelry ideas on our “Get it Made” Project Board, specify that you’d like to include opals in your design. CustomMade artisans interested in your project will then get in touch with you, and you can discuss your ideas with them in greater detail.