Antique Opal Jewellery



2015-06-26 11:17:18

Antique Opal Jewellery is jewellery which incorporates opal gemstones. 

Opals are a form of silica related to quartz. Precious opal is selected for use in jewelry according to its ability to reflect and refract light and colour. This quality is called irridescence, or "play of colour". High quality opal is able to reflect every colour in the spectrum. It is a soft gem, which does not withstand hard wear.History and Description

Although the first opal was mined in Czechoslovakia in the 14th century, by the 18th century the gem had lost popularity because of superstitions suggesting it brought bad luck. About 97% of the world's supply of opal comes from Australia. However, the Fire Opal is only found in Mexico.

Guide For Collectors

Because of the delicacy of the gem, antique opals may carry marks from wear if they were not given a protective setting. However, this does not affect value, as it is characteristic of precious opal.

Care should be taken when cleaning opal jewelry and rings should be removed when carrying out tasks such as general household cleaning, gardening, care of animals, or contact sports, all of which which may damage the gem.

There are five main varieties of opal which can be found in jewelry: Black opal, White opal, Crystal opal, Water opal (least valuable due to poor play of colour) and Fire opal. Antique and vintage opal jewelry is widely available to buy online.


In January 2012 an opal & diamond pendant was sold by Burley Auction Group for $3500.

In December 2004 an opal and pearl ring was sold by Skinner for $300.

In July 2011 a pair of opal earrings was sold by Specialists of the South, Inc. for $60.

In June 2006 an opal brooch set and oval opal cabochon was sold by Fellows & Sons for £280.

In February 2008 a 14kt Opal Dinner Ring, 57 Opal Stones was sold by Kaminski Auctions for $375.

In October 2010 a 14K opal ring was sold by Keystone Auction LLC for $120.

In November 2010 a gold pendant with opals and pair of diamond and opal earrings was sold by California Auctioneers for $200.

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