Reversible choker wins Opal Award

A reversible black opal choker was the winning design at the 2013 International Opal Jewellery Design Awards on Friday, July 26.

A reversible black opal choker was the winning design at the 2013 International Opal Jewellery Design Awards on Friday, July 26.

The choker, by Karin Tremonti from Tremonti Fine Gems & Jewellery in Albury, features a “a very large and very fine” 30.93 carat black opal from Lightning Ridge measuring 5.2cm by 2cm.

Displayed on four strands of spinel beads, the opal is accented with two circular cut bezel-set yellow sapphires and lines of brilliant cut diamonds mounted in 18 carat yellow gold on one side and 18 carat white gold on the reverse.

Tremonti says nature was always a leading inspiration behind her designs.

“I love opal and am a very proud user of this fine Australian gemstone,” she said.

“I always say to my customers ‘Have a look and get inspired because an opal lives while a diamond just sparkles’.

Held in Lightening Ridge bi-annually, the International Opal Jewellery Design Awards were established to promote free-form and undulating surface opals.

The other big winners at this year’s Awards, announced at a gala dinner in Lightning Ridge, were:

Jewellery Hand Sketches Award – ‘Southern Cross’ by ‘I-Ting Chen (Taiwan Jewellery Arts Institute)

Non Professional Figurative Carving Award – ‘Moby Dick’ by Christina Kluxen (Halstenber, Germany)

Non-Professional Carving Abstract Award – ‘Shades of Purple’ by Franka Friedrichs (Yeppoon)

Professional Figurative Carving Award – ‘Octopus’ by Daniela LÁbbate (Brighton, Victoria)

Carving Awards Professional Abstract Award – Arrowhead Mobius by Michael Burgess (Ogunbil, NSW)

Nine-to-Five Award – ‘Wait a minute, it’s coming to Me’ by Ian Mac McArthur (Bellingen, NSW)

Non-Professional Award and Alf White Non-Professional Incentive – ‘Heart of the Lost Sea’ by Kayt Primmer (Appin, NSW)

Fantasy Jewellery Award – ‘Blue Ocean’ by Ok Jin Jang (Sydney)

People’s Choice Award – ‘Red Valley by Stuart Marchant (Ballina, NSW)

Christine Roussel Award – ‘Heart of the Lost Sea’ by Kayt Primmer (Appin, NSW)

A week earlier, a dinosaur-inspired opal necklace by a Japanese jeweller was the main winner at this year’s Queen of Gems Boulder Opal Jewellery Design Awards.

Ayano Nakajima said “the dinosaur’s silhouette” in the boulder opal inspired him to create “a scenic story of the Age of the Dinosaurs”.

“The fire-spouting volcano and its flow of lava is represented by black diamonds and the trembling rubies, whilst the attached dinosaur, movable by a spring, is walking through the lush growth of prehistoric (fernlike) pteridophytes, created with green garnets,” she said.


Organised by the Queensland Boulder Opal Association, the Awards celebration was held in the far north town of Winton, Queensland on Saturday, July 14.

The other major winners were:

Student/Novice Jewellery Drawing – ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ by Amy Robson, Sydney

Novice/Non-Professional Jeweller – ‘Perseverance’ by Carmen Nelson, Canberra

Apprentice/Student Jeweller – ‘Chaos’ by Adriana Daleris, Sydney

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