When we speak of White Opal, we’re actually talking about opals that have a light body color – usually white or cream or ivory or even yellow – with vibrant plays of color.  These opals are the most widely used in fine jewelry, and thus, are the most well-known.  They hail from Australia, with a heavy concentration mined in Coober Pedy, where they’ve been finding opals for more than 100 years (not much more, as it was 1915; but still…)  Dubbed “The Opal Capital of the World,” this teensy town in South Australia has been providing the rest of the world with most of its gem-quality opals, ever since.

The ancient Romans believed that opals were a source of hope and good fortune. New Age folks will tell you that white opals channels angelic connections.  Furthermore, white opal is said to act as an emotional palate-cleanser, by identifying and releasing negativity, thereby making room for some vibes that are decidedly groovier.  I don’t know about all that, but they do put a smile on my face.

No doubt, some jewelry snobs will tell you that black opal is the only way to go; but as the pieces displayed above handily prove, there is no shame in the white opal game.

White Opal

Get into it!

CREDITS: (clockwise from top left)

BoghossianBallet Oriental “L’Arabesque” ring of 18k gold, featuring a round Columbian emerald (6.11cts), Paraiba tourmaline (1.48cts), demantoid garnets (.28cts), and diamond melees (1.51cts), set in a round white opal (23.14cts)

Chopard - Red Carpet Collection opal drop earrings featuring 62 white opals (33.00cts), set in 18k white gold (Cate Blanchett wore these to the Academy Awards in 2014)

Katherine Jetter – “Madame Butterfly” ring set in 18 k gold with hand-carved solid white opal flower petals (19.00cts) and Mandarin garnet center (2.33cts), surrounded by diamonds (3.50cts) – $30,000

Arunashi – Necklace of 18k blackened gold featuring one emerald (3.18cts), one white opal (7.41cts) 101 pearls (8.14cts), 23 opals (.98cts), 92 rose-cut diamonds (4.03cts), 986 diamonds (10.57cts), and emerald beads (65.00cts) – $118,500

Pamela Froman – OOAK “Ombre Opal” Cleopatra-inspired scroll ring, in “crushed” 18k gold and pink gold, with diamond-set scroll (.07cts), featuring a white Coober Pedy opal (2.60cts), framed with diamond pave (0.16cts) – $9,300

Verdura“No. 78 Cuff” of black jade with 18k white gold hinges, set with a large cushion-cut antique opal, surrounded with 24 old mine-cut diamonds (7.70cts)

Chaumet – Tiara featuring a cabochon white opal (21.14cts), Burmese ruby (3.14cts), and diamonds, set in platinum

David Webb – Ring featuring a cabochon white opal (21.56cts), brilliant-cut diamonds (3.18cts), set in 18k gold, platinum, and green enamel

ChanelBague Constellation du Lion “Opale Blanche” ring, featuring a sculpted white opal, with a brilliant-cut diamond (1.5cts) and 141 brilliant-cut diamonds (1.90cts), set in 18k white gold

Chopard - Fleurs d’Opales ring in rhodiumed 18k white gold and titanium, featuring a white opal (14.00cts), set with diamonds, demantoid garnets, yellow sapphires, and tsavorites

Stephen Webster – “Magnipheasant” bracelet in 18k gold, with white opals (46.36cts), tipped with diamonds (1.53cts) – $47,330

Between the return of The COUTURE Show, the World's 50 Best Restaurants and all of its ensuing hoopla, and the debuts of REVELRY at Wynn Las Vegas and INDULGE at Resorts World Las Vegas, it's been nonstop!