October Birthstone: Opal

I apologize for the delay in my monthly birthstone report, but I just returned from a family vacation at the beach where the Internet was spotty, to say the least. (Did you see any of my beach pix on Instagram?) I was just forced to take some time off the computer. šŸ˜‰ But I’ve just returned, and the writing resumes.

Now I must say that opals have been and continue to be one of my favorites stones. The only downside I’ve discovered over the years is that they are quite fragile, so the opal eternity band I once purchased quickly had two stones break. I find them better suited to rings with the opal featured on the top, as well as in earrings, necklaces and bracelets, of course.

Opals come in a wide range of colors, from white to orange to green and more. There are also many different varieties. Some you may have heard of are Peruvian, Black, Boulder and Fire. (If you’d like to read more about the different types, you’ll enjoy this detailed article I found on CrystalVaults.com) TheĀ name opal comes from the Sanskrit word “upala” which translates to precious stone. Sometimes referred to as the “eye stone,” opals are known for inspiration, hope and optimism. They are purported to aid with:

-inspiring love and passion
-centering the mind
-protection from negative energy

I like it! And I also like so many of the stunning pieces of opal jewelry I found this month. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorites.

Katherine Jetter Opal Corner Ring

Katherine Jetter Opal Corner Ring
Jane Taylor Boulder Opal and Diamond Bracelet

jane taylor boulder opal and diamond bracelet
Pippa Small Fire Opal Eleven Stone Pendant

pippa small fire opal eleven stone pendant
Communion by Joy Warrior of Life Opal Ring

communion by joy warrior of life ring
Variance Australian Opal earrings

variance austrailian opal earrings
Nan Fusco Australian Boulder Opal and Diamond Necklace

nan fusco australian boulder opal with diamonds
Brooke Gregson Diamond Band Boulder Opal Cuff Bracelet

brooke gregson diamond band boulder opal cuff bracelet

Peppina Fire Opal Ring

peppina fire opal ring
Misa Jewelry Compass Earrings (They come in 4 different stones)

misa jewelry compass earrings
Irene Neuwirth Opal Necklace

irene neuwirth opal necklace
Elizabeth Bell Jewelry Ammonite and Opal Cuff

elizabeth bell jewelry ammonite and opal cuff
I actually had to call “time” and stop searching, or this list would be endless. And…in case you didn’t know, October has TWO birthstones. While opal is the one traditionally associatedĀ with the month, tourmaline is also an October birthstone. Who knew?!

Katherine Jetter: Designer

It must have been back when I was about 8 years old or so…my grandmother went on a cruise to Austraila, and she brought me back (what I thought was) THE most amazing necklace. It’s pendant was a kangaroo with some opal chips in it. I had never seen an opal before, and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! Well let me tell you, Australian-born jewelry designer Katherine Jetter takes opals and other Australian themes to a whole new level!

I was drawn to Katherine’s booth at the Couture show because I had seen one of her rings in a glossy publication in my hotel room. It’s called the Madame Butterfly ring, and it’s made of hand-carved white opals, accented with diamonds and a Mandarin garnet in the center. Mesmerizing, right?!

katherine jetter madam butterfly ring
Now THIS is a floral ring!

Katherine is just as lovely as her jewelry, and she generously spent her time showing me her line and educating me about it.

katherine jetter and amy roseveare
Wearing one of her amazing bracelets

Here’s a close-up of the stunning cuff I was wearing. It’s made of 18K yellow gold with diamonds. The detail is amazing! Look at the turtle and the coral — it’s just like you were under the sea! Speaking of turtles, this is Katherine’s signature on all her pieces. Whether it’s prominent, as in this cuff, or hidden in the back of a smaller earring, there is a turtle on each and every piece of her jewelry. According to Egyptian mythology, the turtle symbolizes good luck and protection. I love this sentiment and detail in her collection.

katherine jetter cuff
Great Barrier Reef cuff

The main inspirations for her line come from her home country — the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Though she spent time in the corporate world, she was drawn to jewelry design over 6 years ago. I’m so glad she followed her heart, as her designs are truly unique! (And trust me, I’ve seen a lot of jewelry lines!)

Much of her collection features opals, sourced from Austaila, Peru, and Mexico. I’m not quite sure how she comes up with her exquisite designs, but here’s a prime example. This is the Whitsunday Island pendant, which showcases a lightening ridge black opal that’s over 34 carats! Combined with 18K white gold, diamonds and a moonstone chain, the result is fantastic!

katherine jetter necklace
Whitsunday Island Pendant

Here is how she used white opal splinters entwined in sterling silver with pink mist tourmaline, to create a pair of earrings unlike any I’ve ever seen.

katherine jetter earrings
Hanging vine earrings

I’m clearly not the only one intrigued by her designs. She’s definitely getting a celebrity following. Both Renee Bargh and Naomi Watts will be adorned in her jewels while walking the red carpet at the Australian Film Insitute Awards this Wednesday, June 27th. I think I’ll have to tune in and check it out!