Posted 5 years ago
Lightning Ridge Black Opal was a spectacular new gemstone that burst upon the 20th Century. Great jewellers embraced its arrival, and created fabulous and extravagant pieces with magnificent stones.
In the home of opal in Australia they didn't have Lalique, or Tiffany, or Marcus & Co. However they did have the greatest opal in the world in their backyard. Gem quality black opal could be pulled out of the ground by any lucky punter who made it to the fields.
The jewellery made locally in Australia was usually quite simple, like the 18ct gold ring above, set with a marquise shaped black opal that's 12.5 x 5mm and weighs 1.81ct.
There's no circle of diamonds to enhance the stone, just a simple split shank setting that wouldn't be out of place in an antique Georgian or Victorian ring.
The opal is the star of the show. This is gem quality black opal. It exhibits a strong play of colour right across the face of the stone, and will throw its brilliant spectrum of colours up to your eye in almost any lighting conditions.
This simple ring, probably made in Australia in the 1920's to 1930's, is set with a Lightning Ridge black opal that's now worth well over $1,000 per carat (wholesale), and I suspect the prices today will look soon look cheap.