Something totally different with this opal piece .... a carved Genuine Black Opal Pendant from Lightning Ridge in the shape of a "Manta-Ray".
What a fascinating project this little creation was !
The shape of this Gem Black Opal Pendant is virtually as it came out of the earth and I decided to leave it exactly as Mother Earth created it.
The colors of this black opal gemstone flash red, orange, gold, hints of violet, greens and royal blues.
The back of this black opal pendant has been lightly carved and has a clean shine to it whilst the face of this gem has been highly polished, both sides of the pendant showing the full play of gem color beautifully !
Looking at this piece when it was in the rough opal stage, the only color that was showing was a glimpse of red on black ( at the bottom of the pendant) - just enough encouragement to go exploring with my carving tools!
It took awhile but by following all the undulations and turns almost half of the gem stone was left exhibiting gem grade black opal - although I was left with a very unusual shape - the "manta ray".
However, this was the way that the gem opal had formed within the black stone and after removing a couple of sand spots, this was the final shape and contour of the gem black opal.
On the other section of the gemstone where the gem color had finished, was grey base colored potch - a color I did not feel happy about leaving beside the colorful gem black.
As I began to carve, it became apparent that beneath the grey potch were lovely tones of black and the final carving of this section revealed lovely black tones with a hint of color here and there.
The end result is striking and certainly makes for a very unique and unusual carved Gem Black Opal Pendant.
The bail called for something a little different too ... so I have carved a bail out of a single piece of jet black leadlight glass, slightly art deco perhaps, but as the black pendant itself lends itself to the shape of a "manta-ray", then the bail adds the image of it's tail, giving the whole opal pendant it's individual finished look and shape.
The black leadlight glass has a MOHS hardness of 6.5 to 6, strong and durable with a sound thickness to it. The bail is fixed to the opal by a gold pin running from the polished face of the bail, through the opal and then has a collar of gold chenier fixed to the pin behind the opal.
As well as this, I have secured the bail to the opal using my special compound for added strength and duability.
Overall Pendant Length :- (incl.bail)
25.6mm - (1" inch)
Pendant Length:- (excl.bail) 17.5mm - (11/16" inch)
Pendant Width:- 17.8mm - (23/32" inch)
Pendant Depth:- 3.8mm - (5/32" inch)
Opal Type:- Solid Black Opal
Opal Carat Weight:- 4 cts.
Opal Brightness:- Very Bright
Opal Body Tone:- Black
Bail:- Single piece handcarved jetblack Leadlight glass
MOHS hardness 6.5 to 6