please note our custom rings and charms sections are down due to a code issue.


  • Australian Opal: The formation of Australian opals starts 140 million years ago in the ancient artesian inland sea’s geological feature called the ‘Great Australian Basin’. The majority of Australia’s Opal fields are located in the basin and were formed from the weathering of sandstone deposited over older host rock. The structure of Opals is unique and comprised of tiny spheres of silicon dioxide forming a pyramid shaped grid, interspersed with water. It’s the refraction of light through the spaces between these spheres that produces Opal’s characteristic play of color. 
    • Ethiopian Opal: Ethiopian opal is a volcanic type of opal that is found in deposits high up in the hills. The mining of Ethiopian opal is extremely difficult because of the dry conditions and tough terrain.

    Precious opal is highly valued for its prismatic play of colour, a unique optical property which creates rainbows trapped within. Opal is a mineraloid, an amorphous material without a crystalline structure. It is composed of tiny spheres of amorphous silica with a chemical composition of SiO2.nH2O. The tiny silica spheres are translucent to transparent and allow the passage of light.

    In precious opal the spheres are all the same size and precisely arranged in a regular, repeating network. When the spheres are exactly the right size and in exactly the right arrangement, they will diffract the passing light into its component colors. As the light exits the opal, it displays the play-of-color that gives precious opal its unique beauty. For example, the rare reds are reflected from the scarcer smaller spheres, while opal’s blues are reflected from the more common larger spheres. 

    Brilliance, brightness, strength, pattern, body color, and color direction all determine a stones value. The best precious opal displays a full spectrum of bright colors when viewed from any angle, and is extremely rare to encounter. These special gems are what the miner hopes to find and the cutter hopes to render. Precious opal that meets these requirements is especially valuable. Opal without play of color is called potch or common opal, and has its silicon dioxide spheres more randomly arranged.

    Yes, I cut all of my opals sourced directly from miners who extract this spectacular material from the earth and from the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA)'s registered gem suppliers. Skillful lapidary cutting is critical for opal as each gem has to be cut to maximize its potential, considering patterning, colour, directionality, proportion, shape, size, and symmetry. Each piece is a unique formation and a individual unique cutting experience that influences how I shape and set each piece. This results in truly one of a kind pieces of art that cannot be replicated.

    In stock items ship in 1-3 business days. Shipping times for made to order items will vary. The usual lead time is 2-3 weeks for charms and constructed rings, more complex custom pieces and cast pieces may take longer. Consult individual product descriptions and choose your preferred shipping method at checkout. If you need an order sooner or have any questions about shipping times please contact me. Consult our shipping policy for more information 

    With proper care your precious opals will sparkle and shine for generations to wear and appreciate

    Daily Care

    • Opals are soft stones, similar in hardness to glass. To avoid scratches remove your opal jewelry while exercising, working in the garden, doing the dishes, moving furniture, etc. Don't risk damaging your work of art.
    • It is best to keep your Ethiopian opals dry, they are slightly porous and can slowly absorb liquids. If your stone gets wet simply let it air dry and it will return to its original coloration in a few days. Australian opal can get wet with no change. 
    • Keep away from chemicals and beauty products, they can degrade the polish over time and if pigmented, could tint the opal. Purple hair dye may stain an opal. 
    • Pro tip : Wear your rings on a chain or cord on your neck to keep them safe when working with your hands.
    • Pro Tip: When getting dressed jewelry should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off.


    • Create a specific home for your opals: Give your jewelry a place that it rests when it's not being worn. 
    • Store it away from humidity, moisture or extreme temperatures, not on top of the oven or in a sunny window.
    • Store each piece of gemstone/diamond jewelry separately so that harder stones don't scratch softer ones. This will help keep them safe from getting damaged and you'll always know where to find each piece.

    Cleaning at home:

    Jewellery tends to collect dust in crevices and behind the stone, especially if worn daily.

    • A gentle wash and scrub with a soft toothbrush and mild soap is safe for cleaning. Blot dry with a soft cloth, do not soak.
    • A polishing cloth is supplied to keep the metal setting at a high polish
    • Do not use comercial chemical jewellery cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners on opals. 

      Most Ethiopian opal is hydrophane. This term denotes the gemstone’s ability to absorb water and change color after absorption. A slightly more porous stone, its capable of absorbing enough water to enhance the gem’s weight by up to 15%. This extra water causes a disruption or change in its prismatic qualities, changing the play of colour and sometimes the body colour. 

      • If your opals accidentally takes on water simply set it out to dry on a glass or ceramic surface out of direct sun, it will naturally and safely dry over time with its full original colors returning in 5-30 days. I fully hydrate each stone when cutting and this poses no problems at all. When a stone has taken on water and is subjected to heat, the water can escape faster than the stone allows and risk developing stress cracks. The best way to avoid this result is to keep the gemstone away from water. Splashes of water won’t result in a crack, it’s more likely to occur after significant exposure to water and heat application in a rush to dry it out. 
      • Because it is slightly porous these opals can be dyed if left in contact with pigments like ink or hair dyes. A quick splash wont penetrate the stone but prolonged exposure may. Please keep chemicals such as lotions, make up or perfumes away from these stones to avoid staining. It is best practice to keep these stones dry.

      A complex question, to consider whether a gemstone is ethical or not we must ask a lot of questions. What are the mining conditions like? Are miners paid fairly with access to safety equipment and mining education? Is mining contributing to and benefiting the local economy and community? I am proud to support mining operations that make a conscious effort to improve the communities my gems are sourced from. They provide safety equipment and education so miners can successfully find and get paid for their gems, and have the knowledge to access the value of their find. 

      Some have even built schools and agricultural programs for food production to sustain and improve the lives in the remote communities where gems are sourced. In some remote mining communities access to water has been provided by ethical mining companies, for drinking, growing food, and so miners can cut their gems safely with the least air pollution and health risks.

      Most opal mining is small scale however we must ask, can we have a positive effect on the environment after the disruption of digging up these gems while minimizing any negative effects? What does mining site reclamation look like? Each mining site is unique and regulations differ from location to location. Legally sourced and exported stones ensure these regulations are being followed and upheld. Ethical miners make an effort to minimize impact on ecology during mining. After mining shafts can be filled and mine tailings cleaned up. Some mines are reclaimed for agricultural purposes if the climate and site permit, or naturalized if not. 

      My jewellery journey began at the confluence of a passion for melting found objects and an infatuation with all things that shine. I discovered opals soon after, which was a love at first sight thing. No other gemstone evokes a sense of magic and wonder quite like opal, and I was hooked.


      I studied the craft of jewelry making at the Alberta College of Art + Design to obtain a bachelor's degree of Fine Arts in Jewellery Metals. I found myself wanting to recut poorly shaped or polished stones and began teaching myself how to cut opal, which came naturally after having a background in jewellery making. Now I absolutely love cutting and setting opals exactly how I wish. With no limitations in shape I can bring my wildest opal dreams into reality, celebrating the stones in the best way I see fit while pushing what can be done with these one of a kind gifts of the earth.

        Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Not all rough produces gem quality stones. It is always a gamble with no guarantee what we might end up with. Send me some detailed photos of your rough and I will let you know if I think they are worth having cut. 


        The best metal varies on a case by case basis, what type of jewellery, what stone and aesthetically what will look best all have influence. The most cost effective are sterling silver and the 14kt golds. If you are ordering a piece of jewellery and are afraid of losing it, start with sterling silver. If you are allergic to most metals, go with a higher karat gold, especially for earrings.

        First, let’s explain karat. Karat is the unit used to measure the purity of gold. Pure gold is 24kt, or 100% gold. 18kt contains 75% gold (18/24=.75) and 14kt contains 58.5% gold. The reason alloys get added to gold is to make them strong. Pure gold is very soft, making it not suitable for everyday wear. Thus, many jewelers opt to work in 14kt and 18kt which are both very strong. Note I stock 14k yellow gold and sterling silver for made to order pieces, rose gold and other alloys are available by request only. 

        • 14kt Yellow Gold: 14kt yellow gold is pale yellow or golden in color. 14kt yellow gold is a great metal for every day wear.
        • 14kt Rose Gold: 14kt rose gold is also referred to as pink gold or red gold. It is rosy in color and can vary from jeweler to jeweler. Some can be more orange and some can be more pink. Rose gold is alloyed with copper to get the rosy color. 14kt rose gold is a great metal for every day wear 
        • 18kt Yellow Gold: 18kt yellow gold is a very beautiful color as it is a very warm yellow,  richer than 14kt yellow gold. We recommend 18kt yellow gold if you are going for a more saturated color for your piece. It looks especially nice with black opals. 
        • 18kt Rose Gold: 18kt rose gold has a very rich color. It is not necessarily more pink since it actually has more gold in it, not more copper. It is best described as a brownish red.
        • Sterling Silver: Sterling silver is a commonly used metal and is the most affordable precious metal. It is also the only metal in this list that tarnishes over time. You can slow the process of tarnishing by keeping your silver jewelry dry, not showering or swimming in it or letting any chemicals (hair spray, sunscreen, etc.) come in contact with it. Tarnish only occurs on the surface, so you can have your sterling silver jewelry re-polished to make it bright white and shiny again. A polishing pad is included with all purchases to keep your jewellery looking its best. Sterling is a great metal for wide bands and for those who are not used to wearing jewelry and are afraid they may lose their ring.

        Yes, our warranty policy covers all of the jewellery purchased from Curtis R Jewellery for two years after purchase. This warranty covers all manufacturer defects in material or workmanship but does not cover neglect and abuse, natural wear or stone damage. 

        Warranty exceptions and exclusions:

        1. The loss of a stone. If your opal becomes loose please contact me and I will tighten its setting for you. If you lose a stone completely unfortunately it cant be replaced. High cost items can be covered by your insurance if you have submitted it for coverage with an appraisal. If you need to have a stone like this replaced, please go through your insurance company first.  

        2. Damage to your center stone. Opals are precious and can be subject to breaking or chipping. Please be aware of this when choosing your stone and wearing your jewellery. Small chips and scratches may be repolished out but significant damage may be irreparable. 

        3. Any jewelry that has been repaired by another jeweler. We cannot be held responsible for merchandise that has been worked on by another jeweler. 

        Curtis R  Jewellery reserves the right to reject any warranty claims that do not comply with the conditions stated above.

        If an item gets damaged due to an occurrence at the hands of the customer, we would be happy to discuss repairs or solutions for a fee.  Please note return shipping for repairs is the responsibility of the customer. If you have any question or concerns about your jewellery please contact us, we like to stand by our work and keep our clients happy.