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Specs The opal in this ring is rare and significant. It is a solid crystal opal from the Coober Pedy mines in Lightening Ridge, Australia. It flashes reds, blues, purples, yellows, greens, and every color of the rainbow. The opal carat weight is 6.42 carats. Very fine grade diamonds (FG color, VS clarity) totaling 1.08 cttw. surround the stone, in addition to half of the shank of the ring, all of which is set in the finest platinum. The opal is set with an open back because it is such an extraordinary crystal opal specimen. Very rarely does a stone of this caliber of quality and color become available. Our Talisman Collection GIA gemologist searched for over 15 years to find a stone of this size, shape and caliber. It is one-in-a-hundred-million.
Story My father and I had a challenging relationship when he was alive. He was my mentor while simultaneously serving as my most harsh taskmaster and a searingly brutal critic. Years after his death, family friends told me stories of pride about my career that he reiterated to them. I wish I had known this while he was still alive. However, when we were in agreement on something, there was no stopping us as a team. He rose to the highest pinnacles of success in his character and his career and kept our family in check at the same time, formidably. I miss him every day.
From the time I was a toddler, I've been in love with gemstones. My dad knew that I would grow up to work in the jewelry and gem trades. He didn't like it, and wanted me to work in a more stable industry, but when opportunities arose for him to celebrate occasions with gifts of jewelry to my mother, he had me design the pieces, encouraging me and working with me to devise loving mementos with deep sentiments.
There was an ad on the back of a Travel & Leisure Magazine in the late 1970's/early 1980's that ran for a long time. It was for a Piaget watch, with an Australian black opal for a face, surrounded by diamonds with an 18k band. My mother, father and I had many heated discussions over dinner about opals. My father and I loved them. The colors and the light in the opals were our favorite stone and we would marvel at the beauty of this ad. We kept passing it back and forth, hiding it in each other's papers, wrapping it inside other gifts. All the while writing each other little notes that we would paper-clip them to this ad. There was no way we could afford such a watch, but my dad kept our exchange of the back of the magazine ad going for over 20 years, saying "someday, when you have your own store, you'll have opals even more beautiful than this one."
So now my dad is gone, but not forgotten. And this year I turn 50. And I finally have my store. And I do have opals as nice as the one in the ad. Every time I bring them into inventory, I feel a positive presence of my father and a little luck in accompaniment to the experience.I specialize in opals in my gemological work not only because they are my favorite, but because the spirit and charisma of my dad shines through those colors in the magnificent stones. It is my greatest and most sentimental thrill as a jeweler/gemologist to pair people with opals.
This is the watch from the old Piaget ad:
RIP, Dad. I miss you every day, with love, and never stop hoping I make you proud. I could never have reached my dream of the Talisman Collection without your help and guidance. I mentally reiterate your "sayings" every day I do my work. Thank you.
Note: It's ten years since I posted this, I'm sixty now, and still love this watch. :-)