Ever wondered what Gary gets up to on his days off?  Golf, gardening and… this!

Last year Gary was tasked with making a commemorative plaque for a friend’s retirement.  Using some specimen grade ‘boulders’, Gary got on the power tools in his front yard.  His youngest son Liam, who is a keen photographer, captured some fantastic photos during the process.

We hope you enjoy this gallery of images showing the transformation of a lump of boulder opal rock into a gorgeous retirement gift, presented to Mr Ron Greedy, a longtime member of Les Clefs d’Or Australia.  Celebrating 22 years of ‘Service Through Friendship’ – Congratulations Ron!

A natural boulder of iron stone and opal.
The reddish-brown dust is from the ironstone, which is the host rock of Boulder opal.
Slicing through the large Boulder opal specimen.
Such work requires the use of a proper dust mask, eye and ear protection.
Using hammer and axe head to chisel the required section, causing it to ‘split’.
More hammer, less chisel!
Sitting back to check progress.
Wetting the stone helps to show colour, mimicking the look of a polished finish.
The finished piece of boulder, ready for varnish and the name plaque.
Affixing the Les Clefs d’Or Keys and a brass engraved plaque.
The engraved brass plaque.
From left: Gary Coffey, honorary Les Clef’s d’Or member of  11 years, and the recipient of the opal plaque, Mr Ron Greedy.

By Alice | Posted on July 31, 2018

Sometimes, an opal just speaks to you.

This intense natural Australian opal, from Lightning Ridge in NSW, did exactly that.  Within weeks of its arrival, Gary had formed an idea, which then progressed into a finalised design, featuring flowers, butterflies and 24ct gold beadwork.  Below is a gallery of images capturing this design evolution.

The source of inspiration – A 9.39ct opal, from Lightning Ridge, NSW.
Early thoughts put on paper.
Starting the 1:1 scaled drawing in pencil.
A splash of colour is added, showing the use of yellow, pink and white gold.

This design is now complete – and the manufacturing process can begin. Watch this space for further updates!

If you are interested in having your own custom piece created or would like to know more about this process, please contact us using the below form.


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By Alice | Posted on May 30, 2018

Handmaking an Opal Pendant.

Rather than choosing a piece that is already made, some of our clients choose to get a piece custom made during their stay in Sydney.  It starts with the gemstone – in this case a lovely boulder opal from Quilpie in Queensland.  Once the opal is selected, a sketch is created for the jeweller to work from, and manufacturing begins!  Here are some step by step photos of this creative manufacturing process.

3.03ct Natural solid boulder opal from Quilpie, QLD.
A pencil sketch of the design to be made.
18ct white gold in bar form – this is where it starts.
A machine called rollers are used to alter the dimensions of the bar.
Pieces of metal are bent into shape, soldered and filed.
Joining the components together.
The finished product.

If you would like more information or if you have interest in getting a piece custom made, please email giulians@giulians.com.au or fill out the below enquiry form, and we will get in touch!  Don’t forget we can ship worldwide, insured door to door.

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By Alice | Posted on May 25, 2018