ROCKING WITH MADE IN EARTH
Famously Australian and captivatingly beautiful, precious opals have an alluring display of color and unique internal structure. In the dreamtime mythologies of Australia’s indigenous cultures, opals were brought to the land via a great rainbow. Where the rainbow connected with the land, rocks and pebbles that glittered in the sun with all the colors of the rainbow were formed. Many other cultures have credited opal with supernatural origins and powers. Today opal is known as a stone for happy dreams and changes as well as the birthstone for October.
Spectral flashes that appear to dance on the stone’s surface are aptly described as play-of-color. This visual phenomena observed in precious opals is in no reference to the body color of the stone but rather its sheen and is due to a reflection of light from beneath the stone’s surface. Essentially amorphous, opals are without a clearly defined external form but rather take on the shape of the space in which they form.
When conditions are ideal, and they are perfectly formed – uniform in size and their stacked structure is orderly and symmetrical, playful, kaleidoscopic flares known as opal’s play-of-color occur. Without this perfect formation, play-of-color cannot occur and the resulting material is called common opal or ‘potch’; an abundant, translucent to opaque, single colored material that is mostly used for backings of composite stones unless it is characterized by attractive color or interesting inclusions (dendrites).
Bunny Bedi, owner and designer at Made In Earth, shares, “Opal prices generally reflect their quality of color and pattern rather than carat weight so they can be seemingly ‘all over the place’ and it can be difficult to know where to shop and what to look for with so many varying qualities, synthetics and imitations in the market. Recently, Made In Earth has been injected with some glorious opals and the response from our collectors has been nothing but positive. Set in simple, modern, sterling silver designs, we’ve given these local stones a fresh look and it’s a competition amongst the fashion savvy and jewelry lovers to get the first pick.” MadeInEarthUS.com