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. Rainy Day Adventures: 52 Museums to Visit in New Hampshire
    When the summertime impulse to get out of the house encounters bad weather, don't just hunker...
  2. Determining the Soul (and Future) of the North Country
    Adventure awaits in the North Country, but it lacks that unique vibe to lure travelers from afar....
  3. The Best Gardens to Explore This May
    Let there be flowers! A new season of gardening begins this month, and we've highlighted our...
  4. The Hard Facts on Avoiding Kidney Stones
    The things that lead to a less-healthy lifestyle help propagate kidney stones. Here's how to keep...
  5. SALT Kitchen & Bar at Wentworth by the Sea Marriott Hotel & Spa
    Find a creative, seasonal menu at this New Castle eatery.
  6. Forget Man Caves—Build a She Space
    Rooms designed for downtime for the woman of the house are all the rage. Learn how to set one up...
  7. A Presidential Statue Returns Home
    Saint-Gaudens' Standing Lincoln returns to the artist's New Hampshire studio this month.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags