Obsidian to Opal


Part O of the vintage jewellery A-Z

Obsidian A dark black hard glass like material which has been formed in a volcano. It is sometimes seen in Mexican jewellery as it is found in that country amongst others. Obsidian can be shaped and carved before being set into jewellery.

Old Cut In the past we were not able to cut diamonds and other gemstones as finely as we do these days. Different cuts were used to try and maximise the amount of gemstone and the light shining from it. We refer to some of these as “old cuts”. Often but not always used when referring to diamonds.

Onyx A hardstone which has banded colours making it popular for carving into cameos.

Opal A beautiful gemstone which reflects light so that multiple colours are seen. Often they are seen with a white background but dark blue ones ( known as black opals) are very popular. Opals are sometimes found in doublet or triplet forms having a layer of glass attached to one (doublet)or two sides (triplet) to enable a thinner piece to be used or to protect it front and back.