12 September 2011

A Rainbow Myriad of Opals

Lalique opal and gold pendant necklace.

Opals are a very unique but often forgotten gem stone.  A favored gemstone of many royal women, including Queen Victoria of Great Britain, opals have a darker side. Queen Alexandra of Great Britain believed that opals were bad luck, and upon Queen Victoria's death and her subsequent inheritance of much of Victoria's jewellery, she had all the opals in the tiaras and other baubles replaced with other gemstones. Most notably is the Oriental Circlet worn by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. It originally belonged to Queen Victoria, and contained opals (it must have been lovely!), but Queen Alexandra had these replaced with rubies.

A Lalique brooch

A delicate Lalique brooch in the form of two entwined gold woman and a thin thread of emeralds with opal adornments.

An opal-set crescent brooch.

A complete and large opal parure, consisting of a necklace, ring, brooch, large pendant earrings, and two bracelets.

An enamel, gold, diamond, pearl, sapphirea nd opan pendant.

Opals seem to shine best when surrounded by diamonds.

A large and impressive opal and diamond tiara.

A brooch with a black opal surrounded by diamond wings.