For the Year of Jewelry Project 2011 - Week 8, I've made a pendant out of my favorite stone, Opal in Ironstone from the Koroit Mining District in Queensland, Australia. Titled "Beneath the Surface" because it's a little like people; sometimes you have to look beneath the surface to really see and appreciate its true beauty.
I've mentioned before how much I've fallen in love with stones in the past 3 years and how they move and inspire me. It seems every jewelry artist has their favorite stone; the one they are known for. One of my favorite artists uses Fordite so often that every time I see jewelry in Fordite, I think of her. Another friend uses Cuprite Chrysocolla (Sonora Sunrise) quite often. As for me, I have fallen in love with Koroit opals and have purchased several at gem shows. This is my 4th pendant using this type of stone. I love how the opal portions shine through the dark, rusty red of the iron, just beneath the surface. I love how each stone is so very different from the next one and how the colors in each stone shine differently depending on the angle of light. I ooh and aah every time I hold one of these stones as I shine light on it and discover its many shimmering bits of opal flashing through.
This particular stone is stunning with its greens and teal blues capturing your eye instantly. I've set in in a fine silver bezel and backed it with sterling silver, adding a little sterling ball as an accent. To give the pendant even more interest and movement, I've added an accent stone of teal colored chrysocolla. The little chrysocolla really brings out the teals and greens of the Koroit opal.
I have another 7 Koroit opals in my collection, so look forward to seeing a few more finished pieces this year. Eventually, I'll save one for myself!
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