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An Early Australian Lightning Ridge Solid Black Opal, in a Traditional 9ct Gold Pendant, by Percy Marks

In Fine Jewelry > Opal Jewelry > Show & Tell and Fine Jewelry > Victorian and Edwardian Jewelry > Show & Tell.
Opal Jewelry59 of 109AURORA - an Antique 20ct Gem Quality Solid Black Opal from Lightning Ridge, set in a Modern White Gold and Diamond NecklaceAn Early Australian Lightning Ridge Solid Black Opal, in an Art Nouveau Pendant, by William Kerr
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    Posted 6 years ago

    kiwipaul
    (117 items)

    One of the great names in the Australian opal trade is Percy Marks, a jeweller from Sydney, whose family is still active in opals to this day.

    He's believed to have coined the phrase "Black Opal" for the stones from Lightning Ridge, which he determinedly promoted as Australia's national gemstone for the rest of his life.

    Percy Marks (1879-1935) was the son of a jeweller, and began a jewellery apprenticeship at age 14. Once qualified he soon commenced business on his own account. In 1907 he saw the first stones from Lightning Ridge and headed to the fields to stake a claim.

    Percy found no opal of his own, but bought as many stones as he could afford, and took them back to Sydney. For the rest of his career he was a tireless promoter of opals in Australia and worldwide.

    This piece contains a 12mm x 7.5mm x 5mm solid black opal, of about 3ct, cut in a typical high domed cabochon, with plenty of orangy red flashes licking around it like flames.

    The 9ct rose gold mount is a simple engraved panel with a claw setting. It's quite typical of hand-made Australian jewellery from the late Victorian to Edwardian period, and probably dates to pre-1914, making it another rare survivor of early Australian Lightning Ridge opal jewellery.

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    Comments

    1. kiwipaul kiwipaul, 6 years ago
      The Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for Percy Marks can be seen here: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/marks-percy-7489
    2. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      That is a spectacular opal in a wonderful setting.
    3. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Superb play of colors :-)
    4. Roycroftbooksfromme1, 6 years ago
      love the colors ...very nice piece.................

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