Ever wondered what the opal-obsessed Justin keeps all to himself? We dive into my private gem collection in this weeks episode to see the opals so special that I just couldn’t let them go.
I love to collect objects with nostalgia, and maybe you do, too. Some shells from the beach next to your annual family holiday cabin; a postcard from your first overseas trip; the birthday cards your Grandma sends you each year. Whatever it is, at some point, objects can become more than just “things”.
A lot of the opals in my collection hold more than just monetary value. They hold triumphs, failures, and hard lessons. They hold special memories. A glance at they can bring a flood of emotion. Some of them are worth a lot to the world, and others worth more than the world but only to me.
Today I want to share with you some of my private gem collection. I started this collection with my father to pass on to my son, his kids, and so on.
They are some pretty damn impressive gems in there, too.
Justin’s private gem collection
The first piece is a gorgeous gem that I bought in the rough from a dealer; he wasn’t confident in cutting it, and it didn’t look that impressive from the outside. I had a sneaking suspicion that this rough could be a win and decided to take up his offer. This gem cut way better than either of us expected and has some of the best color I’ve ever seen.
The second piece is some jewelry that Ruth made out of a hard lesson for my father and me. Dad and I were working on this beautiful opal when we discovered a nasty sand blob right in the centre! Forced to be creative, we dremeled out the sand and stuck a diamond in the centre. Ruth worked her magic and voila! A unique and eye-catching pendant that we created together!
The third opal showcased today has to have some of the brightest neon green I have ever seen in opal. I couldn’t let this crystal opal go after falling in love with its electric jellybean color!
In the same claim as that crystal, I uncovered one of the best examples of a dark opal I have ever seen. The color in this beauty of a gem is just delicious!
Next off the bat came out of a parcel I paid a whopping $50,000 for that ended up being the rare win we all dream of. I convinced my Dad to keep this stone, and we started a family heirloom collection. This gem was the king gem from that parcel, and it always makes me smile!
Want more? Check out part one here!
Get ready for some tears; this next story hits a nerve for me. I keep this fractured specetite garnet because it came out of my Dad’s favorite ring. Every time I saw my Dad, he would rave about his ring and, shortly before he passed, he gave it to me. My wonderful wife Ruth had the ring resized for me although, sadly, the jeweller wasn’t careful. When she gave it to me on the day of my Dad’s funeral, I put it on my finger and realised the garnet had cracked right through. It broke my heart. I cut and placed one of my opals inside, but I still keep every part of this ring in memory of my amazing father.
Phew! Now, let’s bring it back up with a feel-good gem. This next opal came in a parcel full of grey rubs. Once I started cutting, the rubs turned blacker, and blacker, and blacker! I was buzzing cutting every one of these gems because they were so much more than I expected! I kept one to remind me of that feeling; the love and excitement that opal can bring.
Next up, one of our latest jewelry designs from Ruth! The Saxon Ring has a masculine look that can be rocked by any wearer. We made this design as a create-your-own option so that you can choose the opal that speaks to you. This one has a blue-green opal in it, just for me!
Last but not least, this part of my collection blows my mind every time I look at it. My Dad carved this green tree frog out of a solid piece of potch and is a reminder of his artistry and incredible talent.
Thanks for watching!
Almost all of my collection are opals that have special meanings to me; sentimental value that goes beyond their monetary worth. I hope seeing more of my private gem collection inspires you to curate heirlooms that you can pass on to your family, too.