My birthstone is an Opal. This stunning gem comes in an incredible assortment of colors (from the bottom of the ocean blue to the palest seashell pink) and has an ethereal shimmer, but I have rarely seen it featured in a piece of jewelry that I like. They are often made from cobbled together inlays and embellished with dark woods or silly flourishes. Usually one sees white opals set in sterling silver which look washed out and cheap, like bubblegum machine mood rings. Internet searches were futile since I didn't have any descriptors to clarify what I was looking for. I would know it when I saw it.
While in Vienna, I saw some extraordinary examples of Art Nouveau jewelery, including several breathtaking pieces showcasing opals. Now I knew which search terms to enter: antique and Art Nouveau. That search turned up this beauty.
I love everything about this piece (except the $10,000 price tag.) I love the scale of it first and foremost- dainty jewelery is not my thing. I like over-sized, exceptional statement pieces. I love how the stone itself is the showpiece- one giant, unbroken hunk which can catch the light and dazzle. The teardrop shape is artistic and sophisticated- it reminds me of something Georgia O'Keefe would have worn in turquoise. The square cut sapphires and emeralds on either side enhance the design and accent the colors shining from inside the opal itself.
Then while catching up on my pile of summer magazines, I clapped eyes on these showstoppers in Martha Stewart Weddings. There is no price tag featured on either the website or the magazine- price upon request is never a good sign for people on a teacher's budget. Nevertheless, what I love about these earrings is how the opals are the star- not upstaged by other elements. And of course, it doesn't hurt that they are my two favorite colors on earth- blue and green.
What is your birthstone? Do you have a piece of birthstone jewelery you are in love with? From the looks of these picks I'd better start saving immediately if I want an incredible piece of opal jewelery for my 30th birthday the October after next. (Actually, it may have to wait till 50!)