By Ase Anderson in London
Those born in the month of October have been blessed with one of the most beautiful and intriguing birthstones on our planet: the magnificent opal.
As luck would have it, my birthday falls in October, so I am particularly excited about the abundance of gorgeous opal jewellery available at the moment. The only problem is which to choose. As an indecisive Libran, the fact that the opal comes in such an array of colours, each one more beautiful than the next, makes picking one piece of opal jewellery over another a very difficult, if rather enjoyable, process.
French jewellery designer Ornella Iannuzzi is a self-confessed opal addict and often uses the gem in her detailed sculptural pieces. The pendant necklace shown below, featuring an opal suspended inside a geometric golden cage, is part of her new Rock It! collection. Created in collaboration with Parisian jeweller Capet Joaillier, Ornella's pretty opal necklace is inspired by the polygon-shaped crystallisation that results in a 12-sided dodecahedron.
Arman Sarkisyan's ornate designs unite Gothic, Byzantine, Russian and Renaissance styles with a very contemporary edge. His Star Stud opal earrings, with a central opal framed by eight tiny diamonds, are an elegant way of wearing this shimmering gemstone.
The Wildflower opal bracelet by Judy Geib features multi-coloured pear-shaped opal petals and is playful and versatile. It is the kind of everyday piece that dresses up any outfit and can easily transcend from day to nighttime. New York-based Judy Geib is completely self-taught and started out designing jewellery with the help of a "beginner's guide" before launching her first collection in 2002.
But for a full-on statement piece bursting with glistening colours, look no further than the Solid Natural Boulder opal ring and collier opal necklace by Margot McKinney. The necklace features an impressive 86.32ct opal with a halo and links set with sapphires, tourmalines, peridots and diamonds, while the matching ring boasts a 24.05ct opal. Both opals come from the Lightning Ridge mine in Margot McKinney's native Australia, which is renowned for producing beautiful opals.
While October is the perfect month to invest in an opal either for yourself or as a gift, this opal jewellery is designed to be worn and cherished all year round.