Opals: The Fire of Life
Opal and Tanzanite Drops by Melissa Joy Manning

Opal and Tanzanite Drops by Melissa Joy Manning

We’re a little partial to this October birthstone (it’s our founder’s birthday this month!), but it’s easy to see why this fiery stone sends people’s hearts aflutter.

You know how rainbows are a) amazing and b) reflections of light passing through raindrops? Opals are similar to that but even more incredible because you can WEAR it.

Though found all over Earth, most precious opals are from the sedimentary rocks of the desert-like red sands of Australia. Over the last few millennia, ancient seas and rainstorms carried water and silica into the rocks below. Over time, the water evaporated, and the silica that remained formed stunning opals nestled against the rock.  

Raw precious opal.  Can you imagine stumbling onto this on a hike?

Raw precious opal. Can you imagine stumbling onto this on a hike?

Opals capture their iridescent magic within the the tiny amorphous spheres of silica. Arranging themselves in a grid (side tangent: isn’t it mind blowing when organic materials follow tight geometric patterns?), light passes through the spaces in between spheres.  The light is bent and reflected back through the grid to the viewer, creating the hallmark kinetic, fiery flashes of colored light- called “play-of-color” in precious opals.

A resilient, yet softer stone, opals are perfectly suited for special occasion jewelry.  While we adore these gems for earrings, pendants and cocktail rings, we don’t necessarily recommend them for engagement rings.  This softer stone can scratch easily, so it’s a little risky for everyday wear. We recommend keeping your stones sparkling by giving them an occasional day off so they can enjoy their own R&R.  

Opal Signet Ring by Elizabeth Street Jewelry

Opal Signet Ring by Elizabeth Street Jewelry

While you’re busy flashing your Nine Roses cocktail ring at a party, here’s your next party tidbit about opals. In 2008 scientists discovered traces of opaline hydrated silica, or common opal (opals without play-of-color flashes) on the planet Mars. This discovery may indicate that water existed on Mars, supporting the idea that Mars may have supported alien life. There you have it guys, proof that OPAL IS LIFE.  

No wonder holding a precious opal in your hands looks like you’re staring into the majesty of the galaxy, because in a way, you are.  

Nick DeRosa
The Magic of Enamel

Sure, diamonds and gems get a lot of attention, but we’d like to spend a moment admiring the majesty that is…….enamel.  

OK OK, maybe you don’t see how it can measure up to gemstones, but listen up buds.  Enamel is MAGIC. Lustrous, iridescent, saturated and luminescent, enamel has been used in adornment practices since Ancient Egypt.


Vitreous enamel is created by fusing powdered glass onto a surface, hardening to create a durable, scratch resistant and color fast masterpiece of art and science.  Firing the glass pigments above 1380 degrees will seal the color to the metal, yet each color has a different melting point.  Artists need to paint and fire each color separately, in order of hottest to coolest.  

Honestly we can’t even make toast without burning it, so already this is some real talent.

To really impress your friends, feel free to throw out some enamel terms like cloisonné (French for “cell” in which metal wires separate colors) plique-à-jour (when light shines through the enamel like stained glass) or champlevé (troughs carved in the surface, then filled with enamel). Used in combination with engraving, enamel work can encase the mark of the artist under its own glass dome- drawing attention to the masterwork below.


One of the most insane aspects? The artist can’t even really SEE what they’re doing.  Artists paint on the milky white powders onto the surface and do their best during the firing process. Colors can fire differently, they can layer or mix, or create a totally unique palate.

Life is better in full color, and some of our favorite pieces offer not only sparkle, but an infinite spectrum of glassy goodness- a cathedral of color right in the palm of your hand.

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Nick DeRosa
Shield Earrings, Lorak. 10K gold drops, 14K gold ear wires, rose cut diamonds.

Shield Earrings, Lorak. 10K gold drops, 14K gold ear wires, rose cut diamonds.

The summer sun is setting and we’re looking towards the moon and stars to guide us into the golden glow of autumn. Below, our friend Kelly Sherman dives into the cosmos with a Seasonal Attunement, showing us how to ride the waves of the energy flow into Fall.

Autumn Seasonal Attunement with Kelly Sherman

Dark Night Studs, Jennie Kwon. Available in 14K yellow, white, or rose gold.

Dark Night Studs, Jennie Kwon. Available in 14K yellow, white, or rose gold.

The Fall Season

Traditional wisdom observes nature and takes notes. One of the most obvious natural rhythms that we observe is the progression of the seasons throughout the course of the year. As Fall unfolds we notice the days getting shorter, the temperatures getting colder, and the air getting drier. The natural world begins to retreat; what is not essential to the organism/ecosystem falls away. Nature begins to prune itself back in preparation for Winter. We begin to come down from the high energy and heat of Summer much like the period of time often fondly referred to as the “full moon hangover.”

Moon and Stars Necklace, Jennie Kwon. 14K gold with diamonds.

Moon and Stars Necklace, Jennie Kwon. 14K gold with diamonds.

The Fall Lunar Phase

The Last Quarter Moon shares an energetic resonance with Fall. After peak fullness, the moon wanes to the Last Quarter Moon. Just like at the Autumnal Equinox, when there is equal night and day, the Last Quarter moon shines half-full; you can hold it in the ‘L’ of your right hand. The intentions set at the New Moon either manifested at the Full Moon, or not. We’re reflective now. Hopefully, not beating ourselves up too much, but instead celebrating the victories (no matter how small) and taking stock of the lessons learned. Most importantly, we let it go so that we can be renewed during the New Moon phase. The Fall Signs offer us some points of focus to help us through this necessary “ego reframing” of the Last Quarter Moon.

Sapphire Triangle Studs, Jennie Kwon. 14K gold with diamonds, sapphires.

Sapphire Triangle Studs, Jennie Kwon. 14K gold with diamonds, sapphires.

The Fall Signs

The Autumnal Equinox marks the beginning of Libra Season, followed by Scorpio, and then Sagittarius which concludes at the Winter Solstice. Evolutionarily, the motivators and drivers of these signs are to harmonize and soothe the sympathetic nervous system so that we may dive deep in to what really makes us tick and then fervently pursue those inspired passions and curiosities, respectively. Collectively, we feel it. Fall has a notoriously poignant vibe to it. The year is almost over- how did we do? On an individual level as well, as the Sun passes through these signs, the areas of your birth chart that are touched by them light up and offer us a potent opportunity to work with these energies in specific areas of our lives.

More about Astro Empowerment & Kelly Sherman, L.Ac., CHN

Astro Empowerment is the practice of honoring the wisdom encoded in your natal astrological chart- the unique map of the planets and stars when you took your first breath on your birthday. The energies of the planetary bodies and the characteristics and motivating factors of the signs create a lasting imprint. Identifying your Cosmic DNA allows you to better let your virtues shine and more effectively and intentionally transform your vices.

To contact Kelly for a personalized reading, click here, follow her @waxandwanewellness, or stop by and see her at Boketto Wellness in Richmond, VA.

Thank you Kelly!

Nick DeRosaComment