A couple of weeks of festivals, mayhem, friends, business and new acquaintances has just come to an end for another year.
Commencing with the 2017 Lightning Ridge Opal Festival and biennial International Opal Jewellery Design Awards (IOJDAA), held during the last week of July. Lightning Ridge was chock full of visitors, buyers, sellers and curiosity seekers from all over Australia and the world. There was not a spare room left to rent anywhere in town!
The upstairs Opal and Gem Trade Expo was incredibly well attended with many visitors coming upstairs to view the famous Natural Solid Rainbow Collection (and us of course!). Once a year, the best opal from all over Australia comes out on public show - this event is a must for opal lovers everywhere.
In addition to the expo, Down To Earth Opals has always been a substantial sponsor of IOJDAA and the Opal Queen Ball.
DTEO sponsors the IOJDAA Prestige Award and this year presented the winner with a stunning 42.65ct solid black opal carving entitled 'Water Flow' by world renowned opal carver Daniela L'Abbate.
In her capacity as president of the Australia Opal Centre, Vicki gave a stirring speech on Gala night to much applause from the gathered guests. A number of pledges of financial support for the AOC followed with individuals signing up as founders.
Andrew entered two carvings in the Professional Figurative category, and was very pleased with a "Highly Commended" for 'Pterodactyl'.
We were pleased to help facilitate an entry in the Prestige Professional Jewellery category by Bernie Benavidez from Rochester USA entitled 'Deep Sea Auriferous Beauty'.
Both pieces can be viewed at our retail store.
Vicki followed up again with an encore speech at the Opal Queen ball where Kathryn Deisenberger was crowned Opal Queen for 2017 and her charity of choice was the Australian Opal Centre. Again Vicki's passionate message on behalf of the AOC to the assembled audience was acknowledged with solid crowd applause.
Four Down To Earth Opals jewellery pieces were worn on the night by opal queen contestants.
DTEO also sponsored one entrant in the opal queen competition in addition to a prize for the third place getter,
A few days after the LR Festival we ventured to the Australian Opal Exhibition on the Gold Coast where it is always a pleasure catching up with friends and looking at ... more opal!
An exhausting and wonderful last few weeks especially with friends whom we only see but once a year. We miss you already.