Rainbow Play

Pretty vintage gold opal ring, Germany circa 1990

A large opal forms the center of this hand-forged ring, which found its way to us here in Berlin. The opal shows itself in a greenish basic color and red and yellow flashes of color, accompanied by blue shades sparkle out with every movement. The opal, which was cut into a cabochon weighing about 2.5 carats, is set in high-carat yellow gold. Did you know that it was a German who found the first precious opals suitable as gemstones in the Australian desert? It was the geologist Johannes Menge. There is written evidence of the first discovery of precious opals in 1872. Commercial mining began in Queensland in the 1890s and further opal fields were discovered at Lightning Ridge in 1900, Coober Pedy in 1915 and Andamooka in 1930. Prior to the discovery of precious opals in Australia, the opal mines in Dubník, Hungary were the only European mine for precious opals. Due to the discovery of Australian opal deposits, the Dubnik mines, which had been producing mainly small stones since the 15th century, could not compete on the market and were shut down in 1922. Now here is an Australian opal made into a beautiful ring. A rainbow play on the ring finger!

A dreamlike stone, the opal, whose special brilliance was praised in the highest terms by the ancient author Pliny at the beginning of the Reckoning of Time: "it possesses a fire finer than that of carbuncle, it has the purple sparkle of amethyst and the sea-green of emerald and an altogether incredible mixture of light." This property of opal, to change with every movement and to produce the most varied reflexes of colour, has occupied men since ancient times. The ancient Greeks, for instance, "held those stones to be fragments from the shattered sun chariot of Phoebos; with them it gave its possessor the gift of the seer, frightened away melancholy, and brought lovers together." So wrote the German journal Der Bazar in 1886 in an article about myths associated with popular gemstones.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.