Kirsten's Corner Jewelry
14K Gold Floating Opal Necklace
This is an enchanting 14k gold floating opal necklace with lots of movement and play of color. There are two gold capped glass globes suspended from a filigree plaque in a negligee style. The globes contain tiny pieces of floating opal that move and change color as they are turned in the light.
We love this necklace because it’s sentimental and resembles the miniature childhood snow globes that captivated us as children.
Floating opal jewelry dates back to the 1920s when it was invented and patented by the scientist Horace H. Welch. He was not a jeweler, but able to use his scientific knowledge to combine glass, glycerin, and pieces of opal to construct this dynamic design he called the “new jewel”.
After his patent ended in 1947, production was taken up by jewelry manufacturers increasing the popularity and reach of his design. This necklace has unmarked gold caps and appears to be made after 1947. It’s a mid-century piece, made in the popular art deco style introduced to the world by Welch. This style necklace continues to hold in popularity, given its lively color and nostalgic snow globe reference.
Hanging in such a lovely way, the chain measures 17 3/5 inches (8.75 on either end of the filigree) and is 14k gold. The opals measure just under 1” from top to bottom and are 10.7 mm at the widest point. It would make a fantastic gift or addition to your jewelry collection!