Edwardian Arts & Crafts Orange Opal Ring

Precious opals are known for their diffraction of light, called ‘play of color’, in which rainbow colors shine from inside the stone like a kaleidoscope of firelight. This pink precious opal does just that in a mesmerizing fashion.

Opals have been used in jewelry as far back as 4000 BC, in Kenya. They were worn in Ancient Rome and considered to hold all the power of every gemstone because of the opal’s magical play of every color. The Romans called this stone, ‘opalus’, which means ‘stone of several elements’. In 75 AD, the Roman scholar Pliny took note, “Some opali carry such a play within them that they equal the deepest and richest colors of painters. Others simulate the flaming fire of burning sulfur and even the bright blaze of burning oil.”

This pink precious opal ring was handcrafted during the Arts and Crafts movement in the Edwardian Era, around 1910. This piece is European, likely Belgian. The pink opal is oval and an ellipsoid or double cabochon. It measures 11 x 8 x 5.9 mm. It is set in 18 karat gold on a size 8 band. This ring weighs 4.2 grams. It is hallmarked with the gold purity mark, ‘18CT’. The ring face measures 11.5 x 9.3 x 6.2 mm off the finger with a band width of 2.4 mm.

Most of the world’s opals are found in Australia. There is an Aboriginal legend that says opals came from where the Creator touched his feet to the ground as he descended from the heavens on a rainbow.

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