Opal is Australia’s national gemstone. It is also the birthstone for October and symbolizes hope. Opal represents the star sign Libra, Aquarius, Pisces and Cancer. Opal is said to enhance intuition, inspiration, imagination, creativity, memory and emotional balance, opal is also said to aid eyesight, lungs, pineal, pituitary glands and the heart.
Opal is found in Western Queensland near Quilpie and Winton, the type of opal found there is called “Boulder Opal” and is unique in the world to this area, it is less prone to cracking as it is sitting on iron or sandstone. Opal is also found in South Australia (crystal opal), and New South Wales (black or semi-black opal).
Opal can be purchased in three forms, Solid, Doublet or triplet. Solid opal is cut from the original stone as mined from the ground, it is the most valuable form. Doublet opal is opal which has been detached from the host rock then cemented onto a natural stone background. Triplet opal is a thin slice of opal sandwiched between a dark plastic backing and a clear cover, this is the least valuable form. Doublet or triplet opal should not be immersed in water as it is prone to cracking. Opal is a form of silica where the arrangement of silica grains and water content (which can be up to 30%) results in the colour or “fire”. Opal has a basecolour which can vary between white or creamy to black, opal always has colour play, this is the “flash” of colour from the stone. Black opal with a red flash is the most valuable followed by harlequin, white opal is the least valuable base stone with the same order of value for colour flash as black opal. Opal of gem quality often surpasses diamonds per carat value, solid opal prices have increased 20% per annum on average over the past 20 years.Opals are easy to care for and are slightly below the strength of a Ruby. Solid opals have a high water content and should be immersed in water once a month and if stored, place with a drop of water in an unsealed plastic bag. (Warning!! This does not apply to non solid opals such as doublets and triplets)
Alan Thomson is renowned world wide for his unique and distinctly individual opal jewellery. He is recognised internationally for his skill as one of the premier opal cutters in the trade.
Highly respected in the opal industry, Alan and his wife Vernetta, (a 2nd generation opal cutter) each have over 30 years experience in the industry. Over those years they have been involved at all level of the industry, from mining through to retailing. They have a great wealth of knowledge and expertise, especially in the area of Queensland Boulder Opal.
It is in the tiny town of Quilpie, in outback Queensland that Alan and Vernetta established and successfully operate their opal cutting and wholesale business. Preferring to do the processing themselves, they cut each stone and individually produce each item of jewellery, enabling full control over the design and quality of workmanship of each piece. Alan takes pride in his work and as result production is limited to several hundred pieces per year. It is their commitment to quality of service, workmanship and customer satisfaction which is the ethos of their business. It is this pride and a commitment to outstanding quality that is second to none that has made Alan’s jewellery and opal artworks highly collectable. Many of his works can be found in collections throughout the world. One of his opal artworks was presented to the Pope by The Sisters of St. Joseph, on his visit to Australia for the Beatification of Mary Mackillop.
An innovator and leader in this style of jewellery, Alan has pushed the boundaries of electro-cast jewellery creating a unique and exciting style of jewellery and corporate gifts. With a strong belief that items of jewellery should be elegant but simple, reflecting today’s lifestyle, Alan has developed his own distinct and contemporary style of boulder opal jewellery and corporate gifts.
Highly sought after, all of Alan’s pieces bear his mark, a guarantee that you’ve purchased an Alan Thomson original.