The Opal Journal

Yue, a high tech engineer in the bay area, reached out to me about an opal project. She had purchased the opals many years ago and had been looking for a jeweler to help design them into her dream pieces. When she saw The Opal Earrings we made for a client last year, she knew she had found the right person.

I have to admit I was a little shocked when she showed up with her opal groups...There were so many of them!  But her passion for collecting was equally matched by her desire to see them made into beautiful pieces of jewelry.  I know I mentioned she is an engineer, but she is also a craft lover!  It was such fun to work with her on this project and see her problem solving skills in action. She saw the potential to make so many pieces -- a bracelet, earrings, even a necklace -- Yue is an opal lover for sure!

The first priority was to sort the opals and group pieces together by size and color.  After her collection of gemstones was sorted, we talked through the details of her “dream pieces.” Jewelry is such a tangible object - the way a person interacts with their jewelry is very personal.  Turning a “dream” into customized jewelry must ensure each detail is perfect for the client. We translated her ideas into sketches and began brainstorming all of the design possibilities for her opals.


Here are just a few of the designs - and the final one is the winner! Two of the smaller opals with cohesive coloration will be transformed into platinum raindrop earrings!

As the project developed, Yue decided to commission a necklace that would match the earrings. Back to the design process!  We discussed her style and made sure the design of the necklace created a strong statement to complement the earrings.  We developed a Y-shaped necklace featuring a beautiful specimen from her collection with the raindrop extending below the opal.

As with most of the commission projects we do, I try to add something special as a detail.  Going the extra mile makes the work truly special.  Normally on the back of a bezel setting, there is just a blank sheet of metal.  We chose to incorporate our signature wire work on the back of each setting to show the beauty of the stone from both sides.  A nice subtle surprise! The back of the jewelry piece is just as important as the front.  

The set is now complete; Yue is so happy with how we transformed her opals into a one-of-a-kind collection. So happy in fact, she commissioned us to work on another group of opals for a new jewelry collection!

We picked these gorgeous ocean blue Australian opals from her collection for the commission journey. Stay tuned for the next update on these beauties.