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Talent in Unexpected Places: Opal cutting with sandpaper and leather

Is this an opal? Yes it is!

Yesterday morning I was sent an image on FB by someone who asked if the stone was a real opal. As you can see from the image I thought that it was and to me, it looks like Australian material rather than Ethiopian (I would need to see further images to confirm this). The message then revealed that he had cut the stone himself by hand. At this point I was intrigued and a few more questions revealed that he had very little equipment and had “cut” it using only sandpaper and cow leather. At this stage I was a little blown away but the next revelation really got me.…

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Opals have Energy

The Galaxy Ring

We buy opal for lots of reasons, most obviously because it’s beautiful but also there is often something more. It speaks to us. It tells us a story about our best selves. Opals have energy. Life is about stories, we hold on to things because of the stories they tell us, the memories we cherish. Opal is the ultimate storyteller, it’s been in the ground for millions of years, waiting to be discovered. From miner, to cutter, to you. This journey could have taken days or it could have taken years but just imagine the energy and the stories contained in that piece of hydrated silica! Justin and I each…

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Opal in wood: Designer spotlight

Opal and Peach Bangle by FreestonePeach

You may not know but I am addicted to Instagram. Recently a virtual friend Benjamin (@thirdcoastgems) showcased an extremely talented designer called Joel (@freestonepeach) He is working with opal in wood and a whole bunch of other gemstones. A North Carolina native, he came to work with gems and timber via hospital construction and an MBA.  As you do! Joel has spent quite a bit of time in Japan and feels much affinity with the nickname given to him there.  Shibui is what they called him. Loosely translated it means “cool”, but more accurately it is translated as ‘seeking beauty in a modest and simple way without being flashy’. Joel describes it best; I am a…

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