Saturday, October 29, 2011

Boulder Opals

"And lo! the beautiful opal - That rare and wondrous gem - Where the Moon and Sun blend into one is the child that was born to them." - Ella Wheeler Cox

I was at Ketner's Mill Country Craft Fair a couple of weeks ago and a lady came by with a stone (it always amazes me when people have these things with them) that blew my mind. It looked like a solid tiger's eye or jasper, but it had a window with shimmering opalescence. She asked if I could wrap it in copper, and I did, and she was so happy with the wrap that she hugged me (she'd apparently been told a price once that was ridiculous, and had put off having anything done with it for a very long time). I'm still kicking myself for not having my camera with me to take a better picture of the finished pendant; it really was amazing. There are some crappy pics I took with my phone on Facebook.

I decided I needed to figure out what that stone was ("opal" was all I had) and get my hands on some for myself, so I found a supplier and spent more than I probably needed to, but I am so excited to get them and wire wrap them in time for Christmas. The pictures above are two of the seven I bought, but still pictures really don't do them justice. The fine veins shimmer and dance with color and iridescence when you move them.

Boulder opal was discovered in Australia in the 1870s. The opalescent veins can be many different colors, and run through ironstone matrix, which means that every one of these is very different. It's hard to cut them into traditional cabochons so they're usually cut kind of free form.

I also got some other beautiful stones from my usual supplier that will be getting some attention shortly. There is a new option on the website to choose a stone and have me wrap it custom for you. I don't know if any of these will make it there, but there are lots of pretty stones available. And, as always, if you've been carrying around a stone (it has to be bigger than about 10 mm for wire wrapping) that means something to you, and you'd like it custom wrapped, contact me.