Recent Blog Posts


White Sands, New Mexico

White Sands, New Mexico

by Jennifer Kalled April 27, 2017

What an amazing place White Sands, New Mexico is!  Inspiring, thought-full, and fun!  All I could think about at the time was color agains't this spectacular blank negative space.. thus the fun with scarfs!  Bill Kasso, (was such a good sport) and I had such a great time there & we both are so curious how this inspiration will find its way into my jewelry making and our art work.

Boulder Opal Jewelry 2017 Begins

Boulder Opal Jewelry 2017 Begins

by Jennifer Kalled April 13, 2017

We started out this year thinking about designing long, big, statement boulder opal earrings for this 2017.   In part, because Bill (Kasso) brought back from his annual Australian trip, some outstanding "large clean faces" of rough boulder opal.  That does not happen often..








Bill broke down all the rough boulder opal that you see here, isolating the seams of cuttable gem opal, then cutting away the excess iron stone.  As one can imagine, it takes some time; but how beautiful is this!   His next step is to decide what shapes to cut.

As far as I'm concerned, the hard part is to pick which pairs I want!  The possibilities are endless when you have this at your finger tips!  

  The blue green colors of this boulder opal is a favorite of many people in the states; classic boulder opal!   Bill and I collaborated  

 this year (basically, he asked me what shapes I wanted), I  responded with;  leaf shapes, onion shapes, and teardrops.  In the past when buying gems I've been relegated to purchasing finished cuts, so being able to have input in the shapes is exciting!

 Here are a few of the results.

 Boulder opal earrings in 22k & 18k gold with blue zircon accents. We felt that these earring would be perfect for brides that want something unique, and would have an earring that they can wear with their blue jeans after their special day.  Gabriella Marks, the photographer, really captured the beauty of these boulder opals, in this simple, but elegant earring.  Pairs are hard to come by since the rough boulder has to be thick enough to split down the middle so you get a matched pair of gem opal.  The opal pairs on the right turned out beautifully and made many a jewelry designer very happy at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show this year.
















Yowah Opal Pendant; "Over the Rainbow"

by Jennifer kalled October 14, 2016

I don't have to explain the name of this magnificent Yowah opal.  It is one of the loveliest
yowah-opal-pendant-gold-kalled opals; soft colors  with the  entire spectrum of  color. Nature has  seen fit to  surround   it with a  rich brown frame.    Rare indeed.  Yowah, Australia    is the only area in  the outback  that  produces the  "Yowah Nut"  as  they call it.  It's not  really a  nut, but  certainly looks like  one.  If you're  lucky, you've  split  the nut just in the  right  place that  produces to sides  with color.  This one was split  perfectly.  The other side will  be designed into a cuff  bracelet that compliments this  pendant, for the lucky collector  that purchased it. 

BK & JK EXCELLENT ADVENTURES the continuing search of Australian Opal

by Jennifer kalled October 13, 2016

Bill and I went to see a few fella's in Quilpie, Australia. One, who had an amazing

Koroit opal specimen, and the other, some lovely rough boulder opal.

Thankfully, the weather this year has been much more agreeable than last year, only in the 90's.

I am very grateful. The patterns in the Koroit opal, as you can see, are but a maze of color. Swirling, twirling, and bending back to where it began.

One can get lost in the green & blue opal dance.  

koroit-boulder-opal-kalled-kassoboulder-opal-rough-kasso-kalledboulder opal koroit opal jewelry earringboulder-opal-kasso-kalled



by Jennifer kalled October 13, 2016 1 Comment

It is very exciting to see Boulder Opal get the recognition it deserves in the United States. It has long been appreciated in places such as Germany, Japan, and Switzerland, resulting in much of the best boulder opal going to these countries. I'd like to introduce you to Bill Kasso, one of the principle players responsible in bringing gem grade boulder opal into the USA. As writer Susan Haverland of Rock and Gem Magazine, puts it; "Some would say it's a long jump from molecular biology to Wall Street, but when the move is to become a corporate bond trader for a firm specializing in high-tech underwriting, it seems more likely. It's the leap from Wall Street to the Australian Outback that baffles the mind. Sure, a bond trader has a sense of adventure and the nerve to gamble on unknowns, but it's hard to picture Brooks Brothers meets Paul Hogan. Yet, that's just what opal miner/cutter/dealer Bill Kasso, M.S. Molecular Bi

I have been buying boulder opal from Bill for nearly 20 years, so my collectors have been well aware of this unique gem stone & it's incredible beauty. Boulder opal is my favorite gem stone because of it's spectrum of color, stability, (unlike white opal) and the variety of pattern composition in the matrix. The rarity of boulder opal is best explained this way. There was approximately 9 million dollars worth of boulder opal produced in one year, where according to Kimberley Process, the value of global diamond production in 2011 was 14.41 billion. Diamonds are not rare, boulder opal is.



Since Boulder Opal hit the "Red Carpet" last year one can see this beauty of a gem showing up in many cutting edge designs.

"View from the Moon", boulder opal necklace.

by Jennifer kalled October 13, 2016

Custom Boulder opal necklace is done, delivered and loved! That is an artists idea of perfection. My collector had purchased a lovely black opal pendant and wanted me to incorporate it in a larger piece. You can see it top center (oval). 22k & 18k gold with tsavorite garnets, hessonite garnet, hanging from 18k gold orange sapphire chain.





Boulder Opal "Window with a View"

by Jennifer kalled October 13, 2016





This boulder opal looks like a window with an ocean view. A very significant piece, it's about 2.5 square. I have blogged in the past about the rough that Bill Kasso got that was full stripes of color, this is one of them. I accented it with rough aquamarine, spessarite garnet, peridot, orange sapphire, topaz and blue zircon. It hangs from luscious tanzanite beads and an orange sapphire 18k gold chain.



BILL KASSO New Strike of Boulder Opals

by Jennifer kalled October 13, 2016

This boulder opal is so unique; the stripes, the gem quality is intense; everything a designer longs for! Truly amazing. Look forward to my next piece with this challenging, stand alone, boulder opal.




Leaf Shaped Boulder Opal Chandelier Earrings

by Jennifer kalled October 13, 2016

When Bill Kasso starts cutting his rough boulder opal, koroit opal, yowah opal, etc... it is a very exciting time for him and of course for me. When I saw these leaf shape boulder opals that he cut for me I flipped. These are going to be big earrings; not for the faint of heart, or worried about when one is going to wear them... you just do, much like the Nike sentiment... Iv'e accented them with 6mm blue zircons (that are luscious), and tsavorite garnets to pull out the famous blue/green tones that are cradled in the iron stone matrix.


"Out in the Out-Back" Chasing the Boulder Opal

by Jennifer kalled October 13, 2016

Bill Kasso and I arrived in Brisbane, Australia on the 4th of November, jumped into a twin engine plane to Cunnamulla, than drove a Toyota Hilux for 2 hours to Yowah; we have been chasing opal ever since.
Boulder opal mining is an incredibly difficult job... it's been upwards of 104 degrees with hot winds blowing constantly. Each boulder opal mine produces different looking material; matrix, clean boulder opal, petrified wood, etc. So far, we have purchased from 3 different miners, the excitement of wondering what is within the boulders helps with ignoring the extreme temperatures.... it is Bloody Hot! Not to mention the flies buzzing around your head & body hoping for a tad of moisture (which we have precious little of) to quench their thirst. This particular parcel (see below) we did not purchase.... The saying around here is "only pay for what you can see" so we passed on this one, but who knows, ha!



The citizenry here is like being at a G20 convention; Greeks, Yugoslavians, Germans, Croatians, Brit's, Australians, Scot's, New Zealanders, Serbians, Italians, Americans, etc... all chasing Boulder opal. It's a frontier way of life, small camps dotting the landscape totally self sufficient with solar power, rain water tanks, & generators. Enormous equipment, that looks like the dinosaurs that preceded them millions of years before, stand ready or not so ready if broken down, to pull away the over-burden of Iron Stone to reveal the elusive gem opal. The love of the chase is palpable with these men and women, each new day promising the big strike.

Bill's former camp in Opal Creek (see below)

Yowah Opal Jennifer Kalled


Boulder Opal Bahamas Guana Cay Necklace

by Jennifer kalled October 13, 2016

I am constantly amazed... for two incredible weeks we witnessed the most extraordinary colors that I have ever seen on a beach, in the waters of the Bahamas; as I have shared with you already, my new boulder opals mimic it perfectly. This piece is in the beginning of the design stage.... Ocean, palm leaves and bougainvillea surround the neck....

Boulder opal Necklace with Moldavite in 22k 18k gold. Designer Jewelry


The Chase Continues... Yowah Opal & Boulder Opal

by Jennifer kalled October 13, 2016

Truly on of the most amazing Yowah nuts one will ever see! Bill Kasso and I got this in November while hunting down the elusive boulder opal gem!


1 2 3 5 Next »