Seeing the Hummingbird in an Opal

This is the story of the creation of an incredible brooch, in the words of Jeffrey Bilgore.

I was at an industry lunch with a good friend, when he mentioned purchasing an amazing Mexican Fire Opal from our mutual friend, Dick Greenwood (of AF Greenwood). He then proceeded to pull out a beautiful freeform opal, and asked what I thought about it.

Of course, I agreed that the gemstone was fantastic, and he said that he loved it had to buy it. After all, their anniversary was coming up. He then hinted, “I have no idea what to do with it, so what do you think?”

I was surprised that there wasn’t a plan for this opal yet, and turned it in different directions, then said “Ok.” He asked, “What’s ok?”

I told him, I saw a hummingbird. His eyes lit up.

“What? My wife loves hummingbirds!” So do I.

He asked how I envisioned it, and to show him. So, with the designer hat on, I laid the gem down and did a pencil sketch on a napkin. I explained how I envisioned a brooch. He was excited, and the beginnings of an exquisite piece were born. After a formal rendering and a meeting with a craftsman to plan, the big “Let’s do it!” came, and the opal was off to its journey of becoming a tangible hummingbird.

The hummingbird brooch is shown here, the anniversary was a huge success, and the love is still being celebrated.

It was a fun project where the gemstone led the design, and it all fit together perfectly. At Jeffrey Bilgore LLC, we always try to find harmony and joy in design collaborations with clients. Bespoke jewelry must have meaning and connection.

Who knows what’s next?

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