It all started back in 1994 when I first ventured 1,300 kilometres west of Brisbane. I went to help a long time friend in his boulder opal mining operation. This first trip was for 3 weeks. Opal mining country is very, very dry with stunted trees, mainly gidgee and mulga. The land is ochre in colour with unbelievable sunsets and sunrises. At the end of 3 weeks my friend the opal miner gave me about 20 kilos of rough boulder with some opal in it, for helping him. That was it - I had OPAL FEVER!
Not long after that I bought some cutting equipment and my first rough parcel. I left home in my 1 ton ute with $3,000 to buy my first rough opal parcel. I did not realise that my wife (Sandy) thought $3,000 would buy a truckload, when I arrived home with about 20 kilos (1 bucket) of rough she thought I was a little CRAZY. After cutting it, I sold it at local markets and shops, I did quite well.
Over the years, I have made many trips west to help opal miners and to buy rough opal parcels. I did this as a serious hobby for about 4 years, then I gave up building and now do it full time. Liking the west and the opal mining life style, my wife Sandy and I now own and run SUNRISEOPALS, with an opal shop in Quilpie and in Montville.
Sunriseopals provide a custom design jewellery service second to none, we can liaise with you right from the start, helping you to choose the perfect opal to fit your taste and budget. Then with your inspiration provide you with sketches of several different designs until you are happy to move on to letting us make your dream piece of jewellery. We are able to provide other stones to complement your opal eg. Diamonds, Saphire, Rubies, anything you desire. We have available any type of metal eg. 9k or 18k Gold, Platinum, Sterling Silver, Rhodium plating is available also.
Unique Solid Australian Opal Jewellery
At Sunriseopals we take a fresh and unique approach to our opal jewellery. Each of our solid Australian opals take the leading hand in their own design process, right from the start after our rough opal is pulled from the mine we cut and polish that stone to the natural shape that mother nature provided us with. The shape and size then helps determine the design we will start with, be it an opal ring, opal pendant or opal earrings.
A natural split or multiple stones from a single vein or boulder is perfect for a set of our solid Australian opal earrings. Perfectly matching opals are near impossible to find, so we find this method most effective. The image to the right is of a stunning set of Australian Boulder Opal Earrings from a natural split.
Some stones are therefore not suited to become a set of opal earrings, so then we must decide if the stone is suited to become an opal ring or opal pendant. This decision is usually made with the size of the stone in mind. In saying this you will still see we have some large and stunning opal rings as well as some small and fine opal pendants, but more commonly we will choose the smaller stones to become an opal ring and the larger stones to become an opal pendant.
Once this decision has been made we then have to decide which metal to make the setting out of sterling silver, 9k gold, 18k gold or platinum etc. This decision is once again highly influenced buy the opal. Usually the opals of lesser value will be set in sterling silver and 9k gold and the stones of a higher value will be set in 18k gold, white or yellow or platinum. This isn't to say that you won't see some very unique and attractive stones in our range of cheeper opal jewellery.
At this stage of the process the opal allows us to have a little more influence, mind you we are still guided by the natural shape of the opal that will bring us to the final design of our unique opal jewellery.
So in reading this you will understand that at Sunriseopals we are only a small part of our huge and unique range of solid Australian opal jewellery, our opal pendants, opal rings and opal earrings are all largely responsible for how they end up. So have a look at our solid Australian opals and opal jewellery and see if mother nature has provided us with something you would love to own and wear, or even if there is a stone you would like us to walk through the design process with you on. Just go to our custom design jewelry page and you can submit your request and get one step close to being the proud owner of a stunning piece of solid Australian opal jewellery.