Rare floating opal ring set in an 18K white gold filigree band. The ring is size 10. It weighs 4.5 grams. The opal face measures 3/8" in diameter. This opal has a bulbous shape. The stem is cleverly hidden under the ring band. The band is marked 18K and tests as solid 18 carat gold. Floating opals were invented in 1922 by Horace Welch . They were made with genuine opal chunks in a liquid suspension. In the early 1930's some rings were made but they were very fragile and few have survived. I have had this floating opal authenticated as a Horace Welch opal by expert Meg Andrews. According to Meg, Horace would special order the ring bands from a jeweler and the add the floating opal . The opal has a large bubble as shown. The bubble is usually hidden in the small second chamber but in old pieces the bubble often escapes. This would be especially true for a ring since the piece lies on its' side under the ring band. The opal chips are large and brilliant . There is some rubbing on the glass surface. Early Welch rings are the most rare and coveted of all floating opals. If you would like to know more about floating opals visit Megs' article on Image Event entitled Welch's floating opal.
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