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Enter the Matrix
Jewelry Trends


With rough diamonds everywhere this season, it’s not surprising designers are also recognizing the affordable charm of boulder opal. This cut combination of opal and its host rock matrix has the look of rough even when polished in an oval cabochon shape. It can look a little like an Easter egg, with a precious surprise inside. Fire opal in rough-but-smooth nugget shapes is also becoming popular. These rough but refined gems are always colorful and completely unique, giving even a pendant strung simply on a cord one-of-a-kind appeal. — Cheryl Kremkow


18k gold ring with petals made out of naturally shaped fire opal, sapphire briolettes, and champagne diamonds

“Wild Orchid” 18k gold ring with petals made out of naturally shaped fire opal, sapphire briolettes, and champagne diamonds by Arunashi, suggested retail $28,500, (213) 291-2391.

Pendant in 18k gold with fire opal in matrix
Pendant in 18k gold with fire opal in matrix by Vicente Agor, suggested retail $2,075, (415) 863-1770.
Mexican opal matrix with a unique rabbit pattern in a 22k gold and diamond pendant
“Four Corners” Mexican opal matrix with a unique rabbit pattern in a 22k gold and diamond pendant by Stephanie Albertson, suggested retail $5,600, (866) 217-8374.
boulder opal pendant
Natural boulder opal from Queensland, Australia, in pendant by Parlé Gems, suggested retail $129 to $159, (800) 635-9800.
Ring in 22k gold with fire opal in matrix with diamonds
Ring in 22k gold with fire opal in matrix with diamonds by Vicente Agor, suggested retail $4,470, (415) 863-1770.