Opal Essence




No two opals are ever alike. Pick one up and you are mesmerized by the patterns and dance of light coming from within. This “play of color” is the result of water trapped in silica cells, created a million years ago in places such as Australia, Mexico, Nevada and Idaho. The largest percentage of precious opals are mined from deep pits in Australia, including the most sought-after dark opals with backgrounds ranging from black to red. Opals with blue, purple and green “fire” are also prized for their color and transparency. Less precious are the “opalized” milky stones. In Boulder opals from Yowah, Australia, the ironstone matrix produces interesting abstractions on the surface of the cut opal with names like harlequin, pinfire, flame and flash. Some veins of opal are so thin that after mining and polishing, the opal is backed, then topped with a quartz cap — the “triplet.” This adds strength, protection and another diffracting surface. Opals are often jewelers’ favorite stones. In February they’ll be off to Tucson’s huge gem show searching for that fire within, the essence of opals. — Susan Laughlin Barbara Smith McLaughlin, Stratham (603) 686-6802 www.barbarasmithmclaughlin.com Jennifer Kalled, Kalled Gallery, Wolfeboro (603) 569-3994 www.kalledjewelrystudio.com
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. 2016 It List
    Our 2016 It List is the who’s who of New Hampshire. In a time of fact-checking the...
  2. Katrina Simpson is breaking military ground
    Meet the first woman in the National Guard to graduate from the US Army infantry officer basic...
  3. Local artisanal food and drink gift ideas
    The foodie on your shopping list will love any of these 15+ local items
  4. Sweeten the season with the Cookie and Candy Tour
    Visitors can tour 11 Mount Washington Valley inns decked out in their holiday finery, offering...
  5. Dealing with Panic Attacks
    Symptoms can feel like a heart attack.
  6. Holiday Eating in Eaton
    There's no better time to visit the White Mountain town of Eaton than during holiday cookie season.
  7. Pilobolus: The Pioneers
    New Hampshire-born troupe Pilobolus celebrates their 45th anniversary this year. Here, take a...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags