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Articles from OPAL JEWELLERY (62 Articles), OPALS - LOOSE BLACK OPALS (3 Articles)












Australian black opal has made headlines after a US jewellery designer was awarded at an international competition
Australian black opal has made headlines after a US jewellery designer was awarded at an international competition

US jewellery designer triumphs with Aussie opal

A Texan-based jewellery designer who exclusively works with Australian black opal from Lightning Ridge in NSW took to the world stage after being recognised at a renowned US competition.
John Ford, 2017 Spectrum Awards winner
"The most exhilarating aspect of winning Spectrum Awards remains the opportunity to share my passion for the most beautiful gemstone in the world – Lightning Ridge black opal"
John Ford

John Ford won two awards at the American Gem Trade Association’s (AGTA) 2017 Spectrum Awards earlier this month.

A pair of platinum earrings featuring 11.70 carats of opal and accented with 2 carats of white diamonds received ‘platinum honours’ in the Evening Wear category, while a bracelet with 24 carats of opal and 1.72 carats of white diamonds was awarded ‘platinum honours’ in the Business/Day Wear category.

Ford told Jeweller that to compete and be recognised as a winner in the annual Spectrum Awards, described as the world’s ‘preeminent’ coloured gemstone and cultured pearl design competition, takes many months of preparation.

“The most exhilarating aspect of winning Spectrum Awards remains the opportunity to share my passion for the most beautiful gemstone in the world – Lightning Ridge black opal,” he added.

Raising Aussie profile

Ford has sourced Lightning Ridge black opal for more than 30 years and has won four Spectrum Awards in the past.

He said the exposure gained from the competition had generated awareness for his Lightning Ridge Collection business, which supplies both black opal jewellery and loose black opal, and subsequently the Australian industry. 

“Thanks to the exposure from winning an AGTA Spectrum Award, my Lighting Ridge Collection is now a nationwide brand in the US. My designs are frequently seen on the red carpet at the Oscars and the Emmy Awards,” Ford explained, adding that it was important for the Australian opal industry to work together to promote the gemstone.

“I would love to see a world-wide TV promotion highlighting opal as ‘the world’s finest’,” he said. “After all, it’s the national gemstone of Australia. The future for Australian opal is secure in that it is a natural gemstone, it is mined by individuals not corporations in an environmentally-sensitive manner and is undoubtedly the most beautiful gemstone in the world.”

Ford’s Lightning Ridge Collection business is based in Texas and has retail stockists located throughout the US.

The American Gem Trade Association was founded in 1981, with the first Spectrum Awards competition taking place in 1984.

More reading
Aussie contest highlights ‘non-traditional’ opal jewellery
Aussie opal industry back in spotlight
Rare Aussie opal makes international headlines
Aussie opal considered for world stage
Aussie opal demand soars in past year




















Monday, 11 December, 2017 03:06pm
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