Floating…just floating

Aunt Ethel and Uncle Dub/G.W.

You can float my boat. Thankyouverymuch, in my best Elvis voice.

Clouds float. (I see a tractor in them sometimes?)

Whipped cream floats in coffee. (hang on, coffee is in the other room.  Somewhere.)

You can build a float. (remember those HPU floats every year for Homecoming? Not quite the Rose Parade tho.)

You can float on top of the water.  Yeah yeah, us fluffy folks float easier than you skin and bones types. Or is it we sink faster?  Where’s Google when I need it?

I can float around on an imaginary cloud of ecstasy.

My mind can float.  I am an experienced mind floater.

I can float from subject to subject. And often do.

A bank can float a loan. Please???

An opal can float.

WHAT?  Yep, they can float.  And I can prove it.

A floating opal pendant

 This is the pendant that my Great-Aunt Ethel gave me back in about 1964.  She worked in a ladies’ clothing store downtown and had won it in an inner-store employee contest.  She gave it to me for maybe my birthday or Christmas.  The minute I set my teeny bopper eyes on it, I adored it.  It was so unique and pretty and…well, floaty!  I wore it a lot. Eventually, it slid to the back of my jewelry chest and was forgotten for a while. Years later, I wondered where my pendant was.  I found it right where I thought it would be but alas, it was broken…the glass globe had shattered and the glycerin was long gone.  But the opals survived along with the gold cap at the top.  What to do, what to do.
You see, a floating opal is not a single opal piece, but many flakes of an opal/s that are inserted into a blown glass globe filled with glycerin.  A man named Horace Welch invented it back in the 1920’s and his creation became very popular in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  I doubt mine is a Welch as I can’t find any markings on it and besides, he was probably long gone by the time I got mine.  Opalite was a big producer in those years. 
The globes are susceptible to bursting or breaking and apparently, mine joined those ranks.  Frantic, I immediately got on the internet to search for an opal jewelry repairer (with very little hope) and Hallelujah!, I found one  in Oklahoma City.  I called him, got shipping details and  sent it to him.  Believe me when I say, all of this was based on total faith that I would get my opal back. I think I insured it for $500 and it was probably worth maybe $50.  The sentimental value was the big deal.  I just prayed I got my opal back, safe and sound. Sure enough, 2 weeks later, my opal arrived in my mail box.  The jeweler had blown another globe for the opal flakes and fixed it up pretty as it ever was. 
So you now know everything you need to know about floating opals.  Aren’t you glad you asked?
What does this have to do with the farm or country life?  OK, this is a stretch but us country folks can’t just hop into a car and drive to downtown OK City for repairs on old jewelry.  We have to mail out stuff.  Or plan a whole trip with the specific intention of jewelry repair.  Not convenient at all. USPS, UPS and FedEx are our friends.  Sometimes our only friends.  With the advent of the internet, life is so much simpler.  You search it, you find it, you order it, they mail it.  Life is good!!
And the morale of the story?  If it’s broke, someone out there in far beyond cyberspace is waiting for you to call them to fix it.  I have found some of the most interesting people doing just that.  I’m telling ya.  Google it!!
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10 Responses to Floating…just floating

  1. Myna says:

    Glad you got your necklace fixed. Your right, when you live in the middle of
    NO-WHERE you can’t just jump in the car and find a jeweler! Ordering off the internet has been a great help.


  2. The Queen says:

    Living in West Texas for 6 years prepared me for West Kansas!
    While my friends who run shops in nearby towns will NOT like this…I did most of my Christmas shopping thru the internet this year. Well, come to think of it…I used to order out of the Sears or Penney’s catalogs a LOT. It’s just easier now!


  3. phylly3 says:

    Interesting story! I had never heard of a floating opal – thanks for contributing to my “learn something new every day” requirement! 🙂
    I too, live “in the middle of nowhere” so I know where you are coming from. Ha! I am full of old sayings today! (Don’t mind me…) *wanders off where she came from*


  4. The Queen says:

    LOL, phylly3…glad to be of service! I’ll bet you have a well-stocked pantry too!


  5. bZirk says:

    Debbie, this looks great! You are really going for it. Proud of you. 😀


  6. The Queen says:

    Awww, gee thank bZirk. I had a good teacher!!! 😉


  7. Debi Jenkins says:

    Can you please tell me who fixed yours? I inherited mine from my grandma and went to put it on today and the glob is broke at 2 of the prongs with a thin line between and all the oil is missing. This is the only thing I own of hers and I am just crushed! Also how much was the total repair? Thanks so much for posting this. Debi


  8. The Queen says:

    Hi Debi! So sorry about your opal but there is hope. The man I called is here:
    http://www.australianopals.com/pages.php?cID=2&pID=3 or try http://theopalman.com/?110100
    His usual procedure is for you to mail the necklace to him, unless of course, you live close to Oklahoma City! It’s been probably 4 years ago that I had mine repaired. I’m thinking it was around $75???? I’d call him and get his updated charges, etc. Good luck!


  9. allison says:

    I have a floating opal as well that my grandmother gave to me. It is very special to me, however the other day I dropped it and it shatteted. As I was searching for someone to replace the globe for me I came across this site. Please tell me where you sent it and how much it cost. Did you send the bell and the stones as well?


    • The Queen says:

      Allison…I posted links in a comment above..I think to Debi?? I called first and as per his instructions, mailed him the cap/bell, stones and broken globe so he could compare the size of the globe to the new one. Good luck!!


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