Opal, the latest trend in jewelery

During the last Biennales des Antiquaires several large houses of the Place Vendôme magnified it. Also, more and more designers and jewelers are creating unique pieces with it.


Bracelet Dior Dentelle Opale d'Orient       Bague Chaumet, Opale, Tanzanite

After centuries of denigration by European civilizations, Opal seemed to have found a place in the jewelery creation.

During the nineteenth century, a rumor spread by the novel "Anne Geirstein" written by Walter Scott, designated this stone as being sign of bad luck.
Yet at the end of the nineteenth century, leading characters such as Queen Victoria or French actress Sarah Bernhardt decided to wear it again.

René Lalique also used it a lot for his Art Nouveau jewels masterpieces.

René Lalique, collier Art Nouveau, diamants, émail et Opales de feu

The name opal comes from the Latin "opalus" meaning precious stone.
Known and appreciated during ancient times, in fact, opal was considered a talisman by the Romans.
The Emperor Napoleon offered to his wife, Josephine, an opal called "the burning of Troy" because of its very pronounced and deep color.

Translucent mineral consisting of hydrated silica of variable color. Precious opal set in jewelry has a rich iridescence and remarkable play of changing colors..
Opal has a hardness and a density slightly lower than quartz: 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.

The opal also contains between 3 and 10% of water. This is why it must be protected from heat or intense light, which can evaporate the water and cause fractures.
Ultrasound, acids or strong solvents should also be avoided.

Opal has three colors: black, white and transparent.
The quality and rarity of the opal is related to the distribution of patches of color.
Some types of opal show no color scheme: it's the case of orange opals called "fire opals", as well as a green variety called prase opal and blue variety found in Peru.

Depending on the color and appearance, there are three families of opal:
- Noble opals, whose base color is gray, blue or black, which have the appearance of porcelain and a characteristic iridescence.
- The fire opals, whose reflections are yellow to red.
- Common opals, widespread, including pink opal.

Boucles d'Oreilles Résille Bouquet d'Opales Collection Dear Dior

The noble opals various colors come from Romania and the United States (Nevada, Idaho, Oregon), but the most popular, the black comes from Australia and fire opals, Mexico.

The iridescence of opal is particularly excited by the size cap, but for Mexican fire opal, the bevelled edge is preferred.

The noble opal (black opal, dark matter to dark gray, with the most vivid colors) is the most popular and Mexican fire opals can be gems of great value.

Bague scarabée Opale, Tsavorite, diamants Noir, Wendy Yue
The intensity of the color scheme and its brightness is the most important determinant of the price of an opal factor. The observed colors will also influence it.

Beware of imitations, doublets and summaries

About the author

Julie Cailleux Mialet, Designer & Gemmologist, has revisited the Gemstone Universe with her High Standard Collection of Necklace, Rings and Earrings by cleverly mixing Pearls, Rough Rocks, Fine or Precious Gems. By her expertise, professionalism, dynamism but also by her Stonecutters and Brokers contacts through the world; Julie will be able to advise you in regards to Gemstone. Gemmology is her passion which allow her to introduce, to her customers, gems that are not well know on the French Market. Ladies that loves gems and jewels loves her creations. Her Necklaces, Rings or Earrings are suited to all type of fabrics, seasons and moods. Her creations are realised in her Paris’ Studio and respect the norm of ‘La Joaillerie Française’ With large variety of prices, quality product, designer style, personalised advise and a sales point at the Paris’ Village Suisse; Les Pierres de Julie is a must go places to find a jewel or unique piece to offer.