A late Victorian brooch/pendant in the Arts & Crafts style featuring an Australian semi-black boulder opal of exceptional quality. The gemstone has large strong flashes of green and blue, moderated with some violet and just a hint of orangey-red. The medium-dark body color creates an excellent contrast to the spectral colors, and the play-of-color shows equally in all directions. The boulder opal is cabochon cut and incorporates areas of the sandstone matrix (the host rock) on both the front and back sides (25% on the front and 60% on the back). Australian opals were a relatively recent discovery at the time Arts & Crafts jewelry became popular and the matrix appearance of some boulder opals was especially suitable to the style. The brooch retains the original extended pinstem and a movable bale that allows the piece to be worn as either a brooch or pendant. Tested and guaranteed 15K.
Origin: England, ca. 1880. Condition: excellent, no cracking or crazing, there is natural pitting to the surface characteristic to the type of gemstone. Size: 1” x 13/16”. Opal Size: 24 x 19 x 7 mm. Approximate Opal Weight: 18.38 carats.