Full-Surround Opal Necklace
Escapes for the Day
Sometimes a piece of jewelry and I escape for the day from our jewelry store. Today, I brought our newest, most recent, most spectacular opal necklace for a walk on the coast to the ocean and full sun. The piece is a full-surround opal necklace. Twenty-five graduated cabochon opal gems. 20 inches long, set in 14K and 22K Yellow Gold. Today is August 10, 2019. High summer, lush green everywhere on my walk to Crystal Cove, a place 15 minutes from the store with views of white crystalline quartz and a crystal cave that is revealed when the sea pulls the rocky beach back. In my 28 years in the neighborhood this has only happened twice, revealing an 8 foot cave lined with quartz crystals and yes, as a jeweler, both seasons when the cave appeared I was impressed; I’d never seen anything like it. Next time I will take pictures.
So I have come to the cliffs, I have come to the sea, to this very powerful cove to sit in the sun with this gem opal necklace. The clasp is closed; I’ve arranged the necklace, draped over my blue jean knee. In the north these are colors we never see together. They are colors of spring and fall. They are daffodils, dandelions, violets, and wild strawberries. They are fiddleheads and ferns and apple blossoms, lupine and wild roses, daisies and buttercups, morning glories and irises. As summer winds down blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, golden rod, and yellow-orange-red Sumac leaves. Colors of red apples, peaches and pears, colors of pumpkins and squash. Combine all of the colors together, stir slowly with a big wooden spoon, bake on medium-high for a million years and you have what I see right now. Gem colors so beautiful even God can’t describe. Everything is here – the colors of the world packed into a single gem’s colors, dazzling colors. Nothing I say can begin to capture what’s happening in this full-surround opal necklace.
This necklace is for just one woman. You must come, you must see, and you must choose one, three, or five to take home with you. Your grandchildren will be glad you did.
August 10, 2019
to the Seaside with our Finest Opal Necklace
Crystal Cove. 12:34. High, thin white clouds contrails crisscrossing, diffusing light. High tide and still rising. Amato’s Italian sandwich, white waxed paper, shiny clear scotch tape, four small oatmeal cookies, a small bunch of green grapes. Lobster boat just left after fishing out two red lobster buoys and two traps 50 feet off-shore.
I’ve poured out the necklace into my hand. Poured is a good word for the fluidity of these gems and the smooth, soft touch of the design. The gems are a puddle of light in green and blue with flashes of red and orange and yellow. Curiously, I can feel, in this full sun, the gems in my hand heating by the sun. My palm is warm, where the gems and gold are is warmer still.
The colors are unlike anything in our cool northern forests. The colors are unlike anything I’ve seen snorkeling in New England coves and tide pools; these are gem colors of the tropics. Gems the color of birds and plants of the rain forests, these are the colors of coral reefs and fish of warm Caribbean waters. Today as I sit on the bone-white cliffs of Maine, it seems curious that a small family owned jewelry store tucked way up in the northeast corner of the United States would have this necklace and the definitive collection of the greatest opal discovery of the last 100 years. I’m struck by this irony many times a week, and once or twice a week when I am in the store I go out to the opal showcase to take two minutes just to look. I go just to see what magnificent gems lay waiting in showcase number 10 to be selected in person and taken home, or chosen online and shipped to destinations all over America. Visit us in Portland to choose if you can. We have a collection you won’t believe could be real. You’ll feel the color in your fingertips and shoulders. You’ll feel the color dancing in your head as you try to decide among A, B, or C. Size and color determine price. Simple, clean, classic lines, nothing gussied up, complicated or overdone. We call this simplicity of design “American Danish Modern”. The opals are so beautiful they need no extra help from long over-labored craftsmanship. The gems need no extra help from ego-inspired imagination. There is so much happening in the color, in the infinite variety of patterns and swirls of each gem. You will look, you will look, then look away only to look back again, realizing you’ve never seen this gem before and it pulls you in one more time. We carry no gem that possesses the intensity of attraction as these newly discovered opals from the cloud forests of East Africa.
Indulge us. Trust us. Take a chance. Come visit us in Portland, Maine by boat, car or plane. Or, easier yet, 45 seconds online and you can stand in our virtual store and see it all. New additions every week, all year round. Many pieces have videos showing the color variations well. It’s always better to see the whole collection in person either in our store or online.
Once you have chosen, go home and take your new treasure out in the sunshine. You will be surprised just as I was today. Coral reefs and tropical rain forests flow through the heart of each of these gems. You will hear the birds calling and the monkeys chattering. There’s so much here. Words can only begin to describe.
Pricing: Ten years from now we’ll all look back and say, those were the good old days. I wish I had bought more.
Strength and Durability: Yes, and remarkably, two words that have never been associated with opals found in Australia. We’ve done drop tests with this new opal discovery. Opals dropped three feet onto a granite surface. Australian opals will shatter. These new East African Opals just bounce. I held my breath when we did our first test. After 2 ½ years and hundreds of opals I’m like a proud dad of the high school Valedictorian. These opals are tougher than nails.
Water intake may be the secret to these opal’s durability and longevity. The new East African opals are thirsty, they drink water. Go swimming, shower, stand in the rain for an hour or live in a humid, tropical climate and the opals will absorb water and the color will fade. Dry the opals out (details online) and the color comes back.
In both instances, warming for several days near a 30-watt light bulb (details online) brings the color back.
Ironically, if your climate is humid year round, too close to the equator, rain forest or coral reefs, it may be best to pass on this new opal discovery. In the northern half of the USA, our experience shows these new opals do just fine. Perhaps that may be why we are so successful presenting opal in the northeast corner of the United States. We are far enough north of the equator.
What this opal necklace will do for you: You will dazzle all who behold because the opals fully surround. You will talk, they will listen. Their eyes will move from yours to the necklace, from one opal to another, and back to your eyes. The pattern keeps repeating. The opals each differ, providing new points of wonder as you move, as you speak.
East African opal is a new find, an important find, re-writing gem opal history. Australians have spent several years in denial, trying to convince themselves that this discovery really didn’t happen. They have worked to try to convince American jewelers that this find in Welo, Ethiopia leaves much to be desired. In some cases, the Australians have successfully convinced some American jewelers. Sit with an Australian opal miner or dealer and just listen to them talk and what you start to hear is utter amazement as they recognize the extraordinary patterns and colors never seen before. Because of the prices at a fraction of the best of what Australia has to offer, the Aussies are slowly coming around.
We call a major necklace or bracelet made from this new find in Welo, Ethiopia, a “meditation piece”. Before you put the necklace on lay it out on a solid color pad in sunshine or under an incandescent light. Spend 10 minutes with it. There are 25 gems. Look at each one. Look at how the colors play within a single gem. How the colors move and morph, shift and change. Look at how well the colors play together. I believe most of us could spend hours simply looking, and come back to do it again many times a year – and have totally new experiences each time.
The New East African Opal Discovery
Our East African Opal jewelry collection is the best opal collection in America. It comes from this century’s greatest gem find.
The colors are other worldly. They are bird of paradise, tropical rain forest colors…exotic red, blue and green colors, warm yellow and orange colors. These new African opals are dripping with colors from the coral reefs. These new colors are plucked from the sky sunsets and sunrises, opals with rainbow swoops running through the gems. These are colors of the celestial winter night sky. Auras of color, ribboning at your hand or wrist, opals of magic and wonder to carry forever with you close to heart.
These are colors you and your friends won’t believe are real. These are colors to enthrall and entertain you, your children, and your children’s children.
A Full-Surround Opal Necklace
I said to Kevin, “I’d like a necklace.”
Kevin said, “Like these?” pointing to opal pendants.
I said, “No, a necklace with opals going all around.”
Kevin said, “With chain in between?”
“No,” I said, “With links like a bracelet.”
Kevin said, “So a bracelet section with chain on either end.”
“No, a necklace with twenty or more opals going all the way around.”
Kevin said, “Wow. I’ve made a few, but only a few. They’re beautiful, the colors. Wow, you’d really like a full-surround opal necklace. It will take me sometimes several months as I cut stones I’ll set special stones aside to get the blend, the flow, the size progression.”
I said, “Yes, I’d like a full-surround.”
He said, “It will cost you.”
I said, “I know the colors, the look, opal from every angle, it’ll be worth it.”
From the Cloud Forests of East Africa
Opal Dreams Await
From the Garden of Eden
I wish we could take the time to reveal the secrets within each gem. To speak to and of the colors whispered inside. I wish you and I could have been there, in the Garden of Eden, millions of years ago when the forces of nature were gathered to choose from the cloud forest’s rainbow colors to mix and blend and form these gem opals.
We are here, though, at the other end of time where gem miners have climbed their 1,000 foot cliffs, gathered these apples of the earth – Eden’s gems – and brought to light opals which no earthly light has touched until this day. Your opal is waiting to be chosen, a gem like no other. Visit us online – over 100 of the prettiest opals ever found, in a new discovery from the cloud forests of East Africa. This is just one in our collection of over 100 pieces of East African opal jewelry. Click and buy, click and call, or visit us in Portland to touch, hold, and choose the opal you will take home.
Prompt free delivery is offered on all purchases shipped to mailing addresses within the United States.
Purchases under $1,000 are shipped free FedEx (please allow 3 to 5 business days for delivery). Upgraded to expedited delivery for $20.
Purchases over $1,000 are shipped free overnight. A signature is required on delivery.
Need a delivery to arrive on a specific day? Ask, we can arrange that. Would it be more convenient to deliver to your business address or directly to the recipient? We can do that too.
By providing us your e-mail address, you will receive tracking information on the progress of your delivery once it is shipped.
For orders over $1,000
Order by: 9am EST tomorrow
Received by: Monday, December 9
Add 1 day for rings
For orders under $1,000
Free Shipping via: FedEx (delivery in 3-5 days)
Click here for more details
Upgrade to expedited shipping for just $20
We realize that sometimes a gift is purchased well in advance of presentation. To accommodate early decisions and to also ensure that you love your new purchase we provide a full 30 days from the date of purchase for a refund or exchange.