Opal Jewelry

"Gem Nerds" Episode 2: Opals! Learn about this fabulous organic gemstone from Lex & Jen.

Watch the video and read the transcript below.

- Good afternoon, my name is Lex Harrison at Park City Jewelers in Park City, Utah, and today, we're gonna talk about opals, and of course I want to introduce you to Jen, she never needs an introduction, she's one of the most popular people here in the store, and she's on these videos all the time. And so Jen, let's start talking about opals.


- Alright.

- So one of the first things I'm gonna just mention, why don't you tell these people how many years old these opal gemstones are.

- Well, opals are very old. They were first discovered in 4,000 B.C. And then in the 1800s, they discovered a big mine in Australia, where they find a lot of the opal that you find today. You know, most people think all the opals come from Australia because of that. My personal story is, I'm an Idaho boy, and Idaho actually has opals, it's called Idahopal, which is kind of a very beautiful stone, they're just kind of different. Now, where are the other places opals come from?

- Ethiopia is another source, and they find some of the most beautiful fiery opals in Ethiopia.

- It's a beautiful gemstone and it's getting very, very popular, this is a beautiful gemstone that's on that. You know, opal has a lot of different aspects of it. Is there another piece down here, Jen, that you really like well?

- Well, I love the boulder opal. This is the boulder opal right here, and what that is, it's the opal that is found in the iron stone. So opal is a silica and a lot of times, rainwater will deposit it into little crevices, so it's deposited into the sedimentary rock a lot, and the most interesting thing is they find it in all sorts of things like seashell, rock, bone, wood, I mean, pretty much anything, they've probably discovered opal, it has been opalized. So, this is what the boulder opal looks like in the finished piece of jewelry. Fascinating.

- You know, it's a beautiful gemstone, and one of the reasons why it's one of my favorite gemstones is because each opal's a little different. Each has its own color, its own flavor, its own sparkle, so it's just not the same old gemstone, so that's also one of the reasons why it's one of the most popular gemstones from other people. The gemstone opal's also used for one of the birthstone months. What month is that?

- October.

- October, it's a great one. There's a few others, but it does very well on that. You know, also, there are other ways that they do opals. They do 'em not only in a cabochon form, but why don't you tell us right about these, because these are kind of unusual pieces.

- Yeah, these are really interesting because they are faceted, and you don't see opal faceted very often. So it just gives a nice play of color when you're displaying those in the sunlight and light.

- One of the reasons they don't facet very often, is opal is a fairly soft stone, correct, Jen?

- Correct.

- Yeah, so when you love the gemstone, we kind of tell people it's a little cautious, so you gotta wear it with a little bit of care, just because it is one of the more softer gemstones, it happens, it goes on that way. Anything else, Jen, that you find so exciting about opals?

- Well, we did just get this new ring in, and this is worth coming in to see, it is spectacular and it's one of the biggest Ethiopians opals that I've seen, too.

- That is a fantastic piece, we've just had in the store a few days, I want to make sure that everyone see it, because it is such a fiery and very unusual piece. There's not one person that's walked out of here that I showed this to or Jen has showed this to that does not say, this is a dynamite piece and thank you for showing me that, I've never seen anything quite like that. And that's how all of our opals are in our store, we've got beautiful gemstones that we're going for here at Park City Jewelers, with a lot of different ideas and fires, and of course, we do a lot of custom work here, don't we?

- That's right. We can do anything with opal.

- We can. So, anyway, we'd love to have you come down, come and take a great look at our store. We got beautiful gemstones from all over the world, some of the most unique ones that we have and so we got a lot of exciting things. So I always tell people, when you come in to Park City Jewelers, it's an experience, it's just not an ordinary day. Hum-done or hum-day, excuse me, whatever they say about it real boring. And we have something else that's very famous that people come in for, Jen.

- Homemade ginger snap cookies.

- That's right, we have our homemade ginger snap cookies that we go through dozens every day. And so, these are almost as popular as our gems. Anything else?

- I think that's about it.

- Alright. Well, you know what, from Lex Harrison at Park City Jewelers and Jen, one of our famous gem nerds, come in often, we'll do these some more, so keep tuned for the next one. Have a wonderful day.

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- The average size of a woman's ring is 6.5 and men's is a 10.

- The ring should fit nicely and be comfortable to wear. Ideally, the ring will slide over the knuckle with relative ease while also feelings secure enough that it won't fall off.

- The best time to size a ring is when your fingers are warm. Finger size changes according to temperature with cold fingers being smaller than warm fingers.

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