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2 Antique Aussy Black Opals Ancient Persian Lightening GF Studs #31608

Cost: $ 159.99

Two Antique 1920''s Rare Genuine Black "Lightening Ridge" Australian Opal Oval Semi-Precious Gemstones! Mounted into contemporary high quality 14kt gold fil studs.

ORIGIN: Lightening Ridge, New South Wales, Australia. Early 20th Century.

SIZE: Length: 7mm. Width: 5mm. All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: 0.92 carats (the pair).

NOTE:  14kt solid gold settings and other setting styles (french hooks, lever backs, euro clicks, kidney wires, ball/stud dangles, etc., are available upon request.

NOTE:  If you would like only the gemstones, and not the settings, we can dismount the gemstones and offer you the gemstones without the settings.  Just let us know, and yes, we’ll discount the price by the cost of the settings.

:  Popular throughout the ancient Mediterranean, early Persians believed opals fell from the heavens in flashes of lightning (which accounted for their fiery play-of-color). These are absolutely gorgeous, natural "black" opals from Australia originally produced in the 1920''s. These are very uncommon gemstones, difficult to procure. The world''s entire production of gemstone quality black opal comes from one claim in Australia known as "Lightening Ridge". They were originally solid black opal, however they were so thin that a backing was added so as to strengthen the gemstone and reduce its fragility. For those unfamiliar with black opal, it is somewhat akin to, if you will image, black abalone mother of pearl - which is to say, mother of pearl with a black background. Even without direct light, there is a green-blue-violet iridescence to the black color. Then the transformation when struck by full light can be simply breathtaking, as the illumination transforms the opals into a stunning iridescent rainbow of incredibly striking colors and luminescence. If you would like to learn more about black opals, there''s a very authoritative and informative article here: <A href="http://www.opalshed.com.au/types.html">"http://www.opalshed.com.au/types.html"</A>.

The more expensive and high grade (up to $20,000 a carat) opals are almost psychedelic in their transfixing pattern of iridescent coloration. Under magnification the gemstones show the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the early 20th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered detrimental to the value of the gemstones. In fact most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today''s cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-finished gemstones. Unlike today''s computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived almost a century ago.

For this reason antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones mined from deep beneath the earth''s surface were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. But for most, the unique nature and character of these antique gemstones more than makes up for minor blemishes and irregular finishing which by and large are not so terribly obvious as they are in these photo enlargements. The earring settings are of contemporary origin. They are high quality settings manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers. They are constructed of 14kt <A HREF="http://www.csu-saaa.org/auxiliary/GoldFill.html">gold fill</A>. They are not cheap, gold electroplated earrings. It is genuine 14kt <A HREF="http://www.csu-saaa.org/auxiliary/GoldFill.html">gold fill</A>, designed to last a lifetime. It''s a first-class piece of jewelry throughout. We can reset in 14kt solid gold upon request, and there are also many other setting styles available upon request.
In ancient times opal was included among the noble gems and was ranked second only to emerald by the Romans, who sometimes referred to opal as the "cupid stone". The original ancient source of opal gemstones, known in Roman times, was in what is now East Slovakia. Early Arabs believed opals fell from the heavens in flashes of lightning that gave them their fiery play-of-color. Ancient Greeks, amongst many other ancient cultures, thought opals gave their owner the gift of prophecy and prevented diseases. The name "opal" is derived from the Latin "opallus", and from Sanskrit "upala", both of which translate to "precious stone". Opals are generally divided into two groups, white and black. Both share the similar appearance where a spectrum of colors can be seen in the depths of the stone. Black opal, with a body color from a dark gray to black, containing within the full play of iridescent colors, is the most valuable variety of all. For a while in the 18th and 19th centuries, opals were considered to be amongst the world''s most desirable gemstones, and literally a king''s ransom was on occasion paid for a particularly handsome specimen.

3/25/2012 12:00:00 AM
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