Jewel of the day: Carolyn Tyler Pesta Cuff Bracelet

Alas, I don’t have much information about this bracelet, but designer Carolyn Tyler’s “about” page makes up for it. And it’s about opals, my favourite stone.

Here is her story.

Ask Carolyn Tyler how she came to be a jewelry designer living in Bali and she’ll shrug and say with a wink “I guess it was in the stars”… and then she’ll tell you the spellbinding tale of the Stolen Opal.

During her divorce in 1990, a rare lavender opal pendant, bought during a school holiday in Greece 15 years earlier, went missing. She was distraught, and traveled to Bali to find solace—and, as luck would have it, she also found a goldsmith to re-create her beloved treasure. Fellow tourists stopped her in the street asking where they could find one like it, and an idea was born. After selling several versions of the original right off her neck, she made herself a lavender opal ring (see photo), modeled after the famous arm cuff of King Ramses II, to replace the necklace, and launched into full time jewelry designing in Bali.

Ten years later, during a trunk show tour in her hometown of Santa Barbara, Carolyn ran into her ex-husband, who offered to reveal what he had done with her cherished pendant. She realized in that moment, that it was actually the best bad thing that had ever happened to her. She said “Thank you for stealing that—I might never have gone to Bali and become a jewelry designer if not for that misfortune!”

In 2006, Carolyn opened a jewelry store across the street from the spot where she encountered her ex. On the third day of business, a woman came in and asked how she started in jewelry design, and Carolyn told her the Story of the Stolen Opal. After answering the woman’s many questions, she revealed that she had an opal pendant of that description, given to her by a friend in 1990 (the year it was stolen).

Her friend had received it from a suitor (the ex, of course!) as a gift, but never felt “right” about it, so she gave it away. The woman also never wanted to wear it, but couldn’t seem to part with it. She brought it to Carolyn later that day, and it was, indeed, the Stolen Opal (see photo)—finally returned to it’s home after a 15 year absence.

The moral of this story is…When life gives you lemons, make the best darn lemonade there is, brand it, and let the world enjoy it!

Carolyn Tyler Pesta Cuff Bracelet

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