Diamond Opal Ring
Diamond Opal Ring handmade by Santa Fe artist Miles Standish. This stunning ring features a beautiful opal and two diamonds set in 14k, 18k, and 22 karat yellow gold. Fireworks. Jellyfish. Galaxies. Lightning. Opal’s shifting play of kaleidoscopic colors is unlike any other gem. The ring is size 7 but can be sized on request for an additional charge.
Opal is the product of seasonal rains that drenched dry ground in regions such as Australia’s semi-desert “outback.” The showers soaked deep into ancient underground rock, carrying dissolved silica (a compound of silicon and oxygen) downward. During dry periods, much of the water evaporated, leaving solid deposits of silica in the cracks and between the layers of underground sedimentary rock. The silica deposits formed opal. Opal is known for its unique display of flashing rainbow colors called play-of-color. There are two broad classes of opal: precious and common. Precious opal displays play-of-color, common opal does not.
Play-of-color occurs in precious opal because it’s made up of sub-microscopic spheres stacked in a grid-like pattern—like layers of Ping-Pong balls in a box. As the light waves travel between the spheres, the waves diffract, or bend. As they bend, they break up into the colors of the rainbow, called spectral colors. Play-of-color is the result.
Santa Fe Artist: Miles Standish
As a jewelry artist and craftsman, Miles Standish says he finds meaning in formulating shape out of something shapeless and bringing together different elements to create a relationship of balance and wholeness. A long-time resident of Santa Fe and a National Forrest Service employee, Standish draws his inspirations from observing the natural world: the shapes of clouds, the curve of a leaf, the spread of a bird’s wing, the texture and pattern of a sea shell. Growing up, Standish was encouraged in every artistic endeavor but didn’t begin silver-smithing until the age 20.
“I sometimes feel as though the silver chose me; I did not choose it,” says Standish.
Presently working in gold, silver and a variety of precious and semi-precious stones, Standish is known for his original and innovative designs, artistic expression and outstanding craftsmanship.