Reviving the Magic: The Journey of Crafting Opal Dangle Earrings

 In 2020, we created a project that brought to life a pair of opal dangle earrings, a creation that filled me with immense pride.   

The opal’s mesmerizing luster fused with the delicate gold detailing of the setting to reveal a conversation between materials that only considered craftsmanship can unveil. Reflecting on this project, I realized that it was a conversation worth revisiting. After a project concludes, I take time to revisit my approach to design, pondering over new directions and reflecting on my role in directing the “conversation” of the creative process.  The gold details peering through stone sparked my curiosity of how these materials could speak in new and interesting ways.

Our journey took an exciting turn with the discovery of a pair of perfectly matched, pear-shaped opals weighing 20.25 carats. These semi-translucent stones have spectacular fire that make them a perfect starting point for revisiting this design.  My dear client, Zoe, shared in our excitement and we began to develop new designs to capture the alluring spirit of the stones.

2 beautiful pear shaped opal

The original earrings were a graceful display of craftsmanship, featuring opals set within an 18k gold bezel. A slender strip of gold encircled the gemstones, accentuated by an intricate gold structured overlay that embraced the stone.  These beautiful new stones provided an opportunity for a challenge.  I envisioned the fire of the stones captured using only our signature gold wire work without the use of a bezel. Opals are a fragile stone, so trying something new with a valuable gem was a little risky. But with Zoe’s unwavering support I moved forward with the project and embraced this new venture. 

Crafting these earrings required unparalleled precision. Using 0.25mm diameter 18k gold wire, I gently developed the setting around each opal, using extreme care and a steady hand under the microscope. Each connection, delicately fused as I held my breath, was a testament to the intricate interplay of strength and finesse. See the process in action and witness the meticulous effort involved in bringing these earrings to life.

The culmination of this project was nothing short of spectacular. The earrings, a blend of artistry and engineering, were met with admiration and joy. Zoe's delight was palpable, and her decision to commission us for another project shortly after receiving these earrings was the highest form of praise. 


Following the completion of these opal earrings, I've been inspired to incorporate this mesmerizing stone into our permanent collection. After an extensive search for the perfect opal gemstones, we discovered some exceptional specimens at the 2024 Tucson Gem Show. We're excited to debut these new pieces at the 2024 ACC Baltimore show, marking a new chapter in our journey with opal. Each piece is a celebration of the gemstone's unique beauty, and we can't wait to share them with you.