Australian opal was formed millennia ago, when underground trickles of liquid silica became trapped and compressed by immense earth movements. They solidified into cracks in the rock where they lay untouched for millions of years. Then in 1915, a boy prospecting for gold in Coober Pedy, South Australia, found a glistening seam of colour in a rock and opal mining was born.
The Coober Pedy opal is the delicately-hued Crystal Opal, known the world over. But the opal mined in Queensland has an altogether different character. Here, the veins formed in iron stone and the dark pigments of the rock lent the opal a deep velvety beauty, more colourful and dramatic than their Crystal cousins. Known as Boulder Opals, these mysterious, flashing gems are Annette’s personal passion and have become synonymous with her style. They are the inspiration behind her Opal Range.
Whilst the beauty of opal is formed by nature, it takes the skill of a highly-trained cutter to release it. Knowing where and how to cut the stone to reveal the beauty within is a rare art. Then it’s down to Annette, assessing the colour and shape of each gem, to design a setting: pendant or ring, bangle or ear drops, each stone must be shown at its best, lending its own complex character to the piece.
“Knowing where and how to cut the stone to reveal the beauty within is a rare art”
Our Opals Range
Many of the pieces you will see in the Opal Collection have been commissioned, but Annette always stocks opal jewellery in the showroom to sell, or to use as the starting point for a discussion about a new piece. You are welcome to call in to see jewellery made from these unusually beautiful gems at any time.