Art Deco Opal Jewelry

Art Deco Opal Jewelry holds a captivating allure, combining the elegance of Art Deco design with the mesmerizing beauty of opals. This unique style emerged during the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by its geometric shapes, bold colors, and intricate craftsmanship.

In this article, we will delve into the world of Art Deco Opal Jewelry, tracing its historical significance in jewelry design and uncovering the symbolic meaning behind opals. We will explore the distinctive characteristics and techniques used in creating these exquisite pieces, as well as their rarity and value.

Additionally, we will discover famous examples of Art Deco Opal Jewelry that have become icons of elegance and style throughout history. From there, we will shift our focus to contemporary interpretations and trends in Art Deco Opal Jewelry, providing insights into acquiring and caring for these precious pieces. Prepare to embark on a journey through time as we unveil the timeless appeal and collectible beauties that define Art Deco Opal Jewelry.

A Brief History of Art Deco

Art Deco is a style that originated in the 1920s and 1930s, following the end of World War I. It was a movement characterized by bold geometric shapes, symmetry, and luxurious materials. The influence of Art Deco extended to various fields such as architecture, fashion, and of course, jewelry design. This section explores the brief history of Art Deco and its impact on the world of jewelry.

The Origins of Art Deco

Art Deco emerged during a time when there was a desire to break away from the ornate and lavish designs of the Victorian era. The movement drew inspiration from different cultural influences such as Egyptian art, Cubism, and even industrialization. The aesthetic was sleek, modernistic, and emphasized clean lines and symmetry.

Jewelry during this period experienced a significant shift in design philosophy. While floral motifs were still prevalent in earlier eras, Art Deco jewelry focused on abstract geometrical patterns combined with vibrant gemstones like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and opals.

The Impact on Jewelry Design

Art Deco brought forth a new era of sophistication and luxury in jewelry design. The style embraced experimentation with innovative techniques that pushed boundaries. Platinum became a favored metal for its strength and ability to hold intricate designs. Exquisite craftsmanship involved piercing metalwork called filigree, precise stone settings like calibré-cutting to fit stones perfectly into geometric shapes.

Opals played an essential role in Art Deco jewelry due to their mesmerizing beauty and ability to capture light within their vibrant play-of-color. They were often featured as centerpieces or accent stones surrounded by diamonds or other gemstones. Opals perfectly complemented the angular lines and symmetrical patterns found in many Art Deco pieces.


Opals have long been revered for their mesmerizing beauty and unique characteristics, making them a popular choice in the world of jewelry. In this section, we will delve into the allure of opals, exploring their captivating beauty and the symbolic meaning they hold in jewelry.

The Enchanting Beauty of Opals

Opals are known for their vibrant play-of-color, which is caused by the diffraction of light through tiny spheres of silica within the stone. This phenomenon creates a beautiful display of colors that seem to dance and change as the stone is moved. The colors can include shades of blue, green, purple, pink, and yellow, among others. This unique feature sets opals apart from other gemstones and contributes to their enchanting beauty.

In addition to their play-of-color, opals also exhibit a variety of patterns that add to their visual appeal. Some common patterns include pinfire (small dots or specks), harlequin (broad color patches in a mosaic-like pattern), and straw or peacock (vertical bands of color). These patterns further enhance the allure of opal jewelry and make each piece truly one-of-a-kind.

The Symbolic Meaning of Opal Jewelry

Opals hold symbolic meaning across different cultures throughout history. In ancient times, they were believed to possess magical properties and were associated with love and hope. Opal was also considered a talisman for good luck and protection against evil spirits.

In some Native American folklore, opals were said to be formed from rainbows descending to earth and imbued with supernatural powers. They were believed to bring healing energy and symbolize purity and innocence.

In modern times, opal is often seen as a symbol of creativity and inspiration. It is associated with emotions such as love, passion, joy, spontaneity, and renewal. Opal jewelry is frequently given as a gift to celebrate milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, and promotions, symbolizing wishes for a bright and prosperous future.

Opals are truly enchanting gemstones that have captivated people throughout history. Their mesmerizing beauty and symbolic meaning make them a treasured choice for art deco jewelry, adding an element of intrigue and elegance to any ensemble.

Art Deco Opal Jewelry

Art Deco opal jewelry is known for its distinctive characteristics and exquisite craftsmanship. The combination of the opal gemstone with Art Deco design principles creates a truly unique and mesmerizing aesthetic. In this section, we will explore the specific features that define Art Deco opal jewelry, as well as the techniques used to create these stunning pieces.

One of the key characteristics of Art Deco opal jewelry is its geometric patterns and bold shapes. During the Art Deco period, which spanned from the 1920s to the 1940s, there was a shift away from traditional motifs towards more abstract and modern designs. This can be seen in opal jewelry through the use of symmetrical lines, sharp angles, and repetitive patterns. These geometric elements add a sense of sophistication and visual interest to the pieces.

Another defining feature of Art Deco opal jewelry is its use of contrasting colors. Opals are known for their play-of-color, which is caused by internal diffraction of light. Artisans would often set vibrant opals against a background of black onyx or dark enamel to enhance their iridescence. This contrast between light and dark creates a striking visual effect that epitomizes the spirit of Art Deco style.

In terms of techniques, Art Deco opal jewelry showcases meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail. Many pieces feature intricate metalwork such as filigree, millegrain detailing, or engraved patterns. These techniques require precision and skill to execute, resulting in stunning examples of wearable art. Additionally, gem-cutting methods were employed to showcase the natural beauty of opals by shaping them into cabochons or carving them into unique forms.

Art Deco Jewelry Tiny Black Rhinestones

Overall, it is clear that Art Deco opal jewelry offers a distinct blend of design elements and techniques that make it truly one-of-a-kind. The geometric patterns, contrasting colors, and meticulous craftsmanship all contribute to the allure and timeless appeal of these pieces. Whether you are a collector or simply appreciate the beauty of opals, Art Deco opal jewelry is sure to captivate with its unique characteristics and techniques.

Geometric patterns and bold shapesSymmetrical lines, sharp angles, repetitive patterns
Contrasting colorsSetting opals against dark backgrounds such as black onyx or enamel
Intricate metalworkFiligree, millegrain detailing, engraved patterns
Precise gem-cutting methodsCabochons, carved forms to showcase natural beauty of opals

Rarity and Value

Art Deco opal jewelry holds a special place in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts alike due to its rarity and value. The intricate craftsmanship involved in creating these unique pieces showcases the extraordinary skill and attention to detail that was characteristic of the Art Deco era.

Opals, with their mesmerizing play of colors, have always been highly prized gemstones. However, during the Art Deco period, their popularity soared even higher. Art Deco jewelry designers saw in opals a perfect canvas for their geometric and symmetrical designs. The natural iridescence of opals complemented the sleek lines and bold shapes that defined the Art Deco style.

The creation of Art Deco opal jewelry required expertise in many different techniques. One particular technique commonly used was called ‘calibre-cutting.’ This technique involved cutting other gemstones into precise shapes that would fit perfectly together with opals to create elaborate patterns or geometric designs. Another technique that was prominent during the Art Deco era was ‘pave-setting,’ which involved setting small diamonds or other gemstones tightly together to form an uninterrupted shimmering surface on a piece of jewelry.

The combination of these intricate techniques with the alluring beauty of opals made Art Deco opal jewelry highly sought after and valuable during its time, and it continues to captivate collectors today. Each piece is a testament to the skill and artistry of craftsmen from a bygone era, adding another layer of value beyond just its intrinsic worth.

Famous Art Deco Opal Pieces

Art Deco Opal Jewelry has produced numerous iconic pieces that have become symbols of elegance and style. These exquisite creations have captivated the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts alike with their unique designs and exceptional craftsmanship. Let us explore some of the most famous Art Deco Opal Pieces that have stood the test of time.

1. The Black Opal Ring: This stunning ring features a large black opal set in a platinum band encrusted with diamonds, creating a harmonious contrast between the deep, dark shades of the opal and the sparkling brilliance of the diamonds. The play of colors within the opal is mesmerizing, showcasing an array of vibrant hues such as fiery reds, electric blues, and vivid greens.

2. The Opulence Necklace: This necklace boasts a magnificent centerpiece pendant adorned with opals surrounded by intricate geometric patterns crafted from platinum and diamonds. The opals reflect an ethereal glow and seem to change color when viewed at different angles, adding to its allure. The necklace exudes sophistication and glamour, making it a beloved choice among collectors around the world.

3. The Opulent Brooch: This striking brooch features an opal cabochon surrounded by diamonds arranged in a sunburst design. The vibrant flashes of color emitted by the opal create a celestial effect that adds a touch of magic to any attire. Its dynamic arrangement and bold design make it a standout piece in any collection.

These famous Art Deco Opal Pieces continue to be celebrated not only for their beauty but also for their historical significance in jewelry design. They are testament to the creativity and ingenuity during this golden era of artistry, where opals were skillfully incorporated into masterpieces that are still revered today.

Overall, these iconic pieces serve as inspiration for contemporary artisans who continue to create modern interpretations of Art Deco Opal Jewelry. They carry on the legacy established by these famous pieces while infusing their own unique style and interpretation into their creations. As a result, Art Deco Opal Jewelry remains a popular choice for those seeking timeless elegance and unparalleled beauty in their accessories.

Contemporary Art Deco Opal Jewelry

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Art Deco opal jewelry. While vintage pieces continue to be treasured, contemporary designers are putting their own spin on this classic style, creating modern interpretations that capture the essence and elegance of the Art Deco era.

One of the noticeable trends in contemporary Art Deco opal jewelry is the use of innovative materials and techniques. Designers are experimenting with different metal alloys such as titanium and palladium, which offer a sleek and modern look while maintaining the signature geometric shapes and intricate detailing characteristic of Art Deco design.

In terms of techniques, new technology such as 3D printing allows for more elaborate and complex designs to be brought to life, resulting in truly unique and eye-catching pieces.

Another trend in modern Art Deco opal jewelry is the incorporation of vibrant gemstone accents. While opals remain the central focus, designers are adding pops of color with gemstones like sapphires, emeralds, or rubies. This combination creates a striking contrast that adds depth and visual interest to the piece. Moreover, these colorful gemstones also symbolize different meanings and can further enhance the emotional significance behind the jewelry.

Furthermore, contemporary designers are putting a spotlight on ethical sourcing and sustainability when creating their Art Deco opal jewelry. They aim to support environmentally conscious practices by using ethically sourced opals that comply with fair trade regulations. Additionally, many designers prioritize using recycled metals or working with suppliers who follow responsible mining practices. These efforts not only appeal to consumers who value sustainability but also contribute to an overall positive impact on the industry.

Caring for Art Deco Opal Jewelry

Opal jewelry, especially those from the Art Deco era, is treasured for its captivating beauty and unique characteristics. However, like all precious gems, opals require proper care to maintain their radiance and luster. In this section, we will provide you with valuable tips on how to care for your Art Deco opal jewelry.

Lalique Art Deco Jewelry

Firstly, it’s important to understand that opals are delicate gemstones that can be easily damaged if not handled with care. Avoid exposing your opal jewelry to extreme temperatures or sudden changes in temperature, as this can cause the stone to crack or lose its color. Additionally, opals are vulnerable to scratches and impacts, so it’s advisable to store them separately in a soft cloth or pouch to prevent any potential damage.

Another crucial aspect of caring for Art Deco opal jewelry is protecting them from chemicals and harsh substances. Opals are porous gemstones that can absorb liquids such as perfume, lotions, or cleaning agents. Therefore, it is essential to remove your opal jewelry before applying cosmetics or engaging in activities that may expose them to chemicals. To clean your opal pieces, simply wipe them gently with a soft damp cloth and avoid using harsh cleansers or ultrasonic cleaners.

Furthermore, keeping your Art Deco opal jewelry away from prolonged exposure to sunlight is crucial. Opals contain water molecules within their structure, which can evaporate over time when exposed to excessive heat or dry conditions. As a result, the stone may become more prone to cracking and losing its vibrant colors. Store your opals in a cool and dark place when they are not being worn to protect them from damage caused by sunlight.

By following these tips and adopting responsible practices for maintaining your Art Deco opal jewelry, you can ensure their longevity and preserve their irresistible charm for generations to come. Remember that taking proper care of your precious pieces not only protects their value but also allows you to enjoy their mesmerizing beauty for years on end.

Where to Acquire Art Deco Opal Jewelry

Art Deco opal jewelry is a highly coveted and collectible beauty that combines the allure of both Art Deco design and the mesmerizing beauty of opals. For those who appreciate the intricate craftsmanship and unique characteristics of this type of jewelry, knowing where to acquire genuine pieces becomes essential. In this section, we will explore the best sources and boutiques to find authentic Art Deco opal jewelry.

One of the most reliable sources for acquiring Art Deco opal jewelry is through reputable antique dealers and auction houses. These establishments have experts who carefully curate their collections, ensuring that each piece is authentic and of high quality. Auctions can be particularly exciting as they offer an opportunity to bid on rare and unique pieces that may not be found elsewhere.

Online marketplaces have also become popular platforms for purchasing Art Deco opal jewelry. Websites specializing in vintage and antique jewelry provide a wide selection from various sellers around the world. However, it is important to exercise caution when shopping online, as there are also unscrupulous sellers who may try to pass off replica or low-quality pieces as genuine Art Deco.

Art galleries and museums often have curated collections of Art Deco opal jewelry available for purchase. These institutions collaborate with skilled artisans who create modern interpretations of Art Deco designs, using precious opals as their centerpiece. These contemporary pieces combine the elegance and style of Art Deco with a touch of modern flair.

Reputable Antique DealersEstablishments with experts who curate collections
Auction HousesOpportunity to bid on rare and unique pieces
Online MarketplacesWebsites specializing in vintage and antique jewelry
Art Galleries and MuseumsCollections curated by skilled artisans


Art Deco opal jewelry is truly a collectible beauty that continues to captivate enthusiasts and collectors alike. Throughout this article, we have explored the allure of Art Deco opal jewelry, its rich history and influence on jewelry design, the mesmerizing beauty and symbolic meaning of opals in jewelry, and the unique characteristics and techniques employed in creating Art Deco opal pieces.

The rarity and value of Art Deco opal jewelry cannot be overstated. The intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into creating these pieces make them highly sought after by collectors. Each piece is a testament to the skill and artistry of the jewelers who crafted them, showcasing their ability to transform opals into stunning works of wearable art.

We have also delved into famous Art Deco opal pieces that have become iconic symbols of elegance and style. These classic designs continue to inspire modern interpretations and trends in contemporary Art Deco opal jewelry. Jewelers today draw inspiration from the bold geometric shapes, vibrant colors, and exquisite settings of these renowned pieces to create their own unique designs that resonate with modern tastes.

Caring for Art Deco opal jewelry is essential in preserving its radiance and luster. By following a few simple tips such as avoiding heat exposure, harsh chemicals, and storing it properly when not being worn, you can ensure that your precious piece will retain its timeless appeal for years to come.

Finally, when acquiring Art Deco opal jewelry, it is important to explore reputable sources and boutiques that specialize in antique or vintage pieces. These experts can provide valuable insights into the authenticity, provenance, and quality of the jewelry. Whether you are an avid collector or someone new to the world of Art Deco opal jewelry, investing in these timeless treasures will surely bring lasting joy.

In conclusion, Art Deco opal jewelry holds a timeless appeal that transcends trends and fads. Its mesmerizing beauty, rich history, and exquisite craftsmanship make it a highly prized collectible.

Whether you wear it for its symbolic meaning or simply as a statement of personal style, Art Deco opal jewelry is a true testament to the skill and artistry of its creators. So why not indulge in the timeless beauty of Art Deco opal jewelry and add a collectible piece to your own unique collection?

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