An Antique Cabochon Opal & Diamond Bangle
A beautiful antique slim hinged bangle. This beautiful gold piece is set with nine cabochon opals spaced with rows of four round cut diamonds. Circa 1890s. The bangle is cased in an antique fold out box.
Design was emphasised over the size and value of gems used within Art Nouveau jewellery. Enamel, pearls and semi-precious stones feature prominently, only occasionally accented with small diamonds.
There are two categories of opals: precious and common. Most people are more familiar with precious opal and its characteristic unique display of sparkling rainbow hues. This particular attribute is known as ‘play-of-colour’ and its cause lies in opal’s distinctive microscopic structure. Although opal is a mineraloid that does not demonstrate crystallinity, it is composed of silica nano-spheres tightly arranged in a cubic or hexagonal grid-like pattern. Such structure causes diffraction and interference of the light waves penetrating it, breaking them up into sets of spectral colours visible to the naked eye.
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See more opal jewellery here.