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The Beauty of Australian Opal Earrings

2024 Jun, 05
Australian Boulder Opal - The Beauty of Australian Opal Earrings

Australian Opal Earrings – A Serendipitous Union 

Can you imagine trying to find your twin flame in a world of billions? This is the task of Opal Minded Jewellery designer Renata Bernard. Creating an opal earring match is a challenging and rewarding journey that can take years to accomplish.

The beauty of a natural, genuine opal is that no two are ever alike. Created by nature over millennia, each piece of opal is as unique as a snowflake. The higher the quality, the more distinct an opal gem. Unless two pieces are cut from the same gem, finding a ‘match’ becomes nothing short of a miracle. It may take thousands of opals to find a close pairing for earrings, if possible at all.

It takes well-trained eyes, plenty of patience and devotion to the process to couple two unique opals to form a striking and harmonious pair. Each opal has to be assessed not only for the shape and cut, but the range of colours, colour play, bodytone, patterns, performance in different light conditions and at different angles.

All Opal Minded earring sets are a limited edition, skilfully designed by our award-winning opal jewellery designer Renata and brought to life by our expert jewellery makers.

How much are opal earrings worth?

There are several factors to consider when determining the value of opal earrings. Firstly, take note of the phenomenon called “play of colour” in the opal, as this will indicate whether an opal is ‘precious’ or ‘common’. Australian precious opals are universally regarded as the premium standard due to the exquisite ways in which colours shift and change within the opal. Also, their sedimentary formation, which results in a tightly packed molecular structure – making them more durable than opals sourced elsewhere in the world. Ethiopian and Mexican fire opals (hydrophone opals) are, by nature, more porous and, although they can look equally vibrant, their aesthetic qualities may be less durable.

With all the colours of the rainbow, various formation structures, and an infinite number of patterns and cuts, opals escape clear and obvious systematisation and can be confusing to a jewellery lover. Opals can be light in appearance or dark; they can have gentle shimmering colours or vibrant neon-like fireworks. They can be transparent or opaque, and anything in between. Often, they come with the host rock material attached, sometimes with common opal, and rarely as a pure play-of-colour gem. Each opal origin may also present different characteristics worthy of years of study.  You can read more on opal origins here.

In general, opals are valued based on the brilliance of their colour and play of colour, pattern, body tone, clarity, and any perceived beauty spots, as well as size. The imagination and quality of the opal cut and polish also impact its overall value. You can read more on assessing an opal’s value here.

Australian precious opal earrings can range from AU$100 and less to well into high six-digit prices and beyond – depending on the excitement and rarity of the gems within them. The price will also reflect the value of the materials used, the design originality and craftsmanship of the finished pieces.

What makes Opal Minded opal earrings different?

In our pursuit of matching a one-of-a-kind opal with another to create opal earrings, we search for similarities across many opal factors; however, one factor we do not compromise on is quality.

 

Some opal earrings are made from opal ‘split’, which is an opal that breaks naturally along its precious plane. Some may come from opals that have been cut in half in the hope of achieving a mirror image. Yet, there is never a guarantee of achieving an opal match. In one most radical case, we cut an exceptional quality pipe opal from Jundah in half to receive one superbly bright opal with exceptionally bright blue-red pinfire and another with the same quality orange and green pinfire. The colour schemes were incomparable and it was hard to believe that they came from the same opal rough.

Whichever approach is adopted, it is not possible to achieve an identical match of Australian precious opals with defined and quality play of colour. The higher quality gems our gemmologist and designer pursue, the less probable a matching precision will be, which makes for a design challenge but also a mesmerising jewel set.

At Opal Minded, we work with precious Australian opals that have been ethically sourced from our very own Jundah-Opalville mine in Queensland (where the exquisite black opal was first discovered at the end of the19th century), or carefully sourced from other renowned Australian opal fields –Winton, Lightning Ridge, Coober Pedy, and many others. Opals produced from Jundah-Opalville mines are known for having the ‘Jundah-quality’ – meaning they possess exceptional brightness.

What makes Opal Minded opal earrings so exceptionally desirable? To begin, each opal gemstone that is selected and partnered has been meticulously assessed by our gemmologist and gemmology-trained designer. Every element and detail is painstakingly considered. Not only is the marrying of two unique opals done with scrupulous attention, so too is consideration of how the opal earrings will be worn, how they will move with the head of the wearer and how the exquisite colours will dance with the motion of the wearer.

During the gemstone selection process, our designer, Renata, carefully examines how the opal earrings will display in a gift box, how they reflect in the mirror, how the opals are seen by the wearer and how the opals may be viewed by others. She considers how the opals present when worn during daylight hours and how they appear ‘after hours’ in a dimly lit restaurant or bar. Then comes the design functionality – are these opal earrings to garner attention at a black-tie event, or are they destined to be an earring set that is understated, timeless and elegant? Once every aesthetic and functional consideration has been made, we then set our stunning opal earrings in 18-karat yellow or white gold, rose gold or sterling silver.

Whether you are after earrings that are modest and suitable for everyday wear or you are seeking something ultra-glamorous and commanding attention, we guarantee a pair of Opal Minded earrings will turn heads for all the right reasons. If you are seeking something truly one-off, we offer a bespoke design service with our Creative Director – Renata Bernard, and a stunning curated selection of unset opal gems to choose from.

Please get in touch with us if you are interested in creating something bespoke. We would love to help bring your vision to life.

A Sample of our precious Australian Opal Earrings

Our opal earrings have been designed for the timeless, chic, and discerning woman. While some of our earrings make more of a fashion statement, others are classic and understated – they all make for timeless family heirlooms. Opal Minded jewellery is designed to be treasured and passed down through generations.

How to clean opal earrings

Caring for your precious Australian opal earrings is easy, provided you follow a few simple guidelines to ensure maximum longevity, wearability, and enjoyment.

Read more on how to care for your precious opals here.

The most important thing to know about your opal earrings is what type of opal gem material they are made of. Are they a solid one piece stone, or a composite opal?

Composite opals (opal doublets and triplets) should not be cleaned using ionic or sonic cleaners and should not be soaked or immersed in water, as this may damage the opal over time. For this reason, we recommend removing your composite opal earrings before showering or swimming. It is possible that the glue binding them may withhold water for a long time, but this is never guaranteed. It is possible that repeated exposure to water will be destructive to the beauty of opal earrings, regardless of how outstanding the gem material is in them. A soft glass cleaning cloth is the best thing to use for cleaning composite opals, even if you are unsure if your opal is solid or composite.

To clean a solid opal, use mild soap with water and a soft cotton cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals and a silver polishing cloth, as these can dull your precious opal over time. Opal Minded solid opals can be cleaned in ionic cleaner, which is a fast and easy way of removing any wearing residue from a well-loved piece of opal jewellery, and which restores some shine both to the gem and its setting. This holds for all solid natural Australian opals with an Opal Minded Certificate of Authenticity.

Where can I buy Opal Earrings?

Our Opal Minded team has vast and impressive experience in assisting local and international clientele with special opal earrings requests and expectations.

Opal Minded’s mission is to increase the world’s happiness quotient by way of Australian opals, so we are only too pleased to oblige our clients around the world by taking additional photos and videos to showcase our opal earrings in different lights and desired environments. We aim for our clients to experience life-long satisfaction with their selection, so it is important to us to create a realistic representation of our jewels. We work to ensure that the recipient will fall in love with and be satisfied with their Opal Minded purchase for a lifetime.

Of course, there is nothing quite like viewing a precious Australian opal in person. To add to the excitement and enjoyment of selecting your opal earrings, we recommend a visit to our Sydney boutique in The Rocks. An in-person visit will grant you a magical moment in time to explore and appreciate the wider world of opals. We can even arrange a private viewing if you prefer.

In the meantime, start falling in love with our captivating opal earrings and learn more about these incredible gemstone here.

View our full collection of limited-edition opal earrings

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