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Opal necklace and ring set

Curl beading wire to give briolettes a new twist
Necklace_1 A
What your coil should look like after step 1. 

Opals got a bad rap in the early 19th century, when careless reading of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Anne of Geierstein branded the stone as the instrument of the heroine’s demise, and therefore bad luck. The fallout from Anne cut opal prices in half and hurt the European opal market for years. Although the bad-luck story still persists, the opal is now a much-sought-after stone that can be nearly as colorful as its reputation. Opals can be found in shades of pink, blue, black, white, and orange.

SUPPLIES

necklace

  • 16-in. (41cm) strand 6–8mm opal briolettes
  • 60–70 4mm bicone crystals
  • 28–32 2mm round crystals
  • 2 11/0 seed beads
  • flexible beading wire, .010 
  • 2 crimp beads
  • 2 microcrimp beads 
  • lobster claw clasp and soldered jump ring
  • chainnose or crimping pliers 
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • microcrimping pliers (optional)

ring

  • 9 or 10 6–8mm opal briolettes
  • 12–14 4mm bicone crystals
  • flexible beading wire, .010 or .012
  • 12–14 1 1⁄2-in. (3.8cm) head pins
  • ring form (Eclectica, eclecticabeads.com)
  • 2 or 3 microcrimp beads 
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers 
  • diagonal wire cutters
  • crimping pliers (optional)
  • microcrimping pliers (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Necklace

Necklace_1
1. Decide how long you want your necklace to be. (Mine is 20 in./51cm.) Cut two pieces of beading wire. On each piece, pull 6 in. (15cm) of wire between two fingernails to create a coil.
Necklace_2
2. On each coil, string a microcrimp bead and an 11/0 seed bead. Go back through the microcrimp bead and tighten the wire. Crimp the microcrimp bead and trim the excess wire.
Necklace_3
3. On one wire, string opal briolettes to cover the coil.
Necklace 3 A
On the second wire, string an alternating pattern of 4mm bicone crystals and 2mm round crystals to cover the coil.
Necklace_4
4. Over both wires, string a bicone. Twist the coils together. 
Necklace_5
5. On each end, string nine opals.
Necklace_6
6. On each end, string an alternating pattern of six bicones and five opals.
Necklace_7
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until the strand is within 1 in. (2.5cm) of the finished length. On one end, string a bicone, a crimp bead, and a lobster claw clasp. Repeat on the other end, substituting a soldered jump ring for the clasp. Check the fit. Go back through the last few beads strung and tighten the wires. Crimp the crimp bead and trim the excess wire. 
Ring
Ring_1
1. Cut a 1 1⁄2-in. (3.8cm) piece of beading wire. String an opal briolette, a microcrimp bead, and the loop of a ring form. String the other end of the wire through the microcrimp in the opposite direction, making a small loop. Crimp the microcrimp bead and trim the excess wire. Make a second opal unit, if desired.
Ring_2 A
2. On a head pin, string a 4mm bicone crystal. Make the first half of a wrapped loop.
Ring_2
2 ctd. Make 12 to 14 crystal units. Attach the crystal units to the loop of the ring around the opal units.
Ring_3
3. Cut a 4-in. (10cm) piece of beading wire. On the wire, string eight opals and a microcrimp bead. String the other end of the wire through the microcrimp bead in the opposite direction, making a loop. 
Ring_4
4. Attach the loop around the loop of the ring. Tighten the wire and crimp the microcrimp bead. Trim the excess wire.
Ring full
Your finished ring, to be worn as a compliment to your opal necklace or as a great statement piece on its own. 
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