Any Jewellery designer looking into the history of earrings for inspiration will discover a richly chequered cultural past spanning thousands of years. Since 500BC when ancient Persian wall carvings depicted soldiers wearing earrings, they have been worn by men, women and children of different cultures. Earrings have been worn by the rich to demonstrate wealth and by slaves to signify ownership. They have been worn as a good luck charm to protect health and as a handy form of funeral insurance. They have held deep religious significance and been denounced as immoral. Today earrings are more popular than ever before with people of all ages and cultural backgrounds. With the range of materials available, earrings are no longer a status symbol for privileged classes, but can be worn by everyone. Modern craftsmen have the advantage of thousands of yeas of experimentation with designs, precious metals and gemstones, to create uniquely inspired earrings for men, women and children.
Opals are the birthstone for the month of October and can be found in Australia, Brazil, the US and West Africa.
It is said that opal is the luckiest gemstone of all because it contains the colour of every other gemstone. Currently Australia provides more than 95 per cent of the world’s opal supply. A German geologist by the name of Johannes Menge discovered opals in 1849 in South Australia. Opals are mined today in three states along the Great Artesian Basin on the shoreline of what was once the great inland sea. These areas is known for its harsh dry climate and is referred to as the Australian outback. It is amazing that such colourful, lively gemstones are recovered from its soil. Although opal is found in small amounts in other countries, Australian opal is considered the finest and brightest in the world and designers from all over the world derive inspiration from the rainbow of colours seen in Australian opal. Each Australian opal is unique and should be appreciated for its own beauty.