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Eclectic by nature. Created for you.

Opals: Nature’s Kaleidoscope

Close-up of a pile of raw opal showing play-of-color in the gemstones.

Do you love opals, with their marvelous play-of-color and kaleidoscopic effects? I frequently browse opals when shopping for gemstones, but the high price tag on fine opals puts them out of many people’s reach, mine included. Fortunately, opal comes in a vast array of varieties and colors, from the enchanting reds and oranges of fire opals, to delicate pinks and, as I recently discovered, luscious, nature-infused greens. I couldn’t resist adding some of these verdant beauties to my fall collection. While these stones may not display opalescence, they offer a unique beauty of their own.

Australia is the largest producer of fine opals, delivering up to 95% of the world’s supply. More recently, Ethiopia has emerged as a force in the world of precious opals, producing fine quality gems that are more accessibly priced than their counterparts from Down Under. I haven’t worked with fine opals yet, but it’s just a matter of time before they wear down my resistance and make their way into my designs.

The Ethics of Opals

I consider ethical sourcing a vital aspect of my business philosophy. It’s essential for me to ensure that any opals I acquire are ethically mined and sourced. With the growing awareness of responsible mining practices, both Australian and Ethiopian opals are subject to regulations that prioritize environmental preservation and fair treatment of miners.

By carefully selecting my suppliers and being aware of the gemstones’ origins, I’m committed to offering you jewelry that not only captivates your senses but also aligns with your values. Ethical considerations are at the heart of my creative process, ensuring that every piece of jewelry you receive from Tiny Oak Jewelry comes with a promise of responsibility and sustainability.

Lab Opals

Close up of an opal showing play-of-color

Lab-created opals, also known as synthetic or cultured opals, are gemstones that are produced in a controlled environment under laboratory conditions. While they share the same chemical composition and physical properties as natural opals, lab opals are considered more ethical than their mined counterparts for several reasons. First, they do not involve any mining, which means there is no environmental disruption or damage to natural habitats. Additionally, lab-created opals often have a more consistent color and pattern, making them attractive for jewelry design purposes.

Despite the ethical advantages of lab opals, I probably will not be using them in my jewelry designs any time soon. For me, the connection to nature is an essential aspect of my creations, and natural gemstones, like opals, hold a unique story that originates deep within the earth over millions of years. The magical play-of-color found in natural opals is a result of nature’s artistry, and I believe this inherent connection adds a special charm and significance to their beauty.

The Allure of Green Opals

Opals are truly nature’s kaleidoscope, offering a diverse range of colors and patterns that never fail to mesmerize. While the fine opals may be the stars of the opal world, I’ve fallen in love with the unique allure of green opals. These nature-infused gems bring the tranquility of lush forests and serene landscapes to my fall collection. Stay tuned for the unveiling of new pieces that celebrate the beauty and diversity of opals.

Cover image: Photo by J D on Unsplash
Opal image from Adobe Stock

Ethical Opals — Are you buying “conflict-free” gemstones?
Ethiopian Opal
Written with assistance from Chat GPT

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