Jewelry Item of the Week: Australian Opal and Sugilite Pendant

This Week’s Item:  Australian Opal and Sugilite Inlay Pendant

Australian opal and sugilite sterling silver inlay pendant
Australian opal and sugilite sterling silver inlay pendant

This week’s item is a large sterling silver pendant inlaid with Australian opal and purple sugilite.   The top piece of inlaid Australian opal fires blues and greens and the other pieces of opal fire red, green, blue orange and yellow.  The sugilite is a deep purple and is very high quality with an excellent polish.  The lower areas of the silver have been oxidized black to accentuate the highly polished details.  The pendant measures 34mm wide and is 63mm long including the hinged bale.  The bale will accomodate most chains and smaller diameter beads.  The pendant is stamped sterling and hand signed “MMH” on the reverse by Mark McBride Hileman.  This style pendant is also available by special order in other inlay colors and without the silver oxidized.    This beautiful piece is currently available at our Etsy shop.  Please go to  for more information or to purchase this piece.

Don’t forget to enter the coupon code to get your 10% off discount at check out.

10% off coupon code:  WEEKLYSALE081511

Visit our websites to see all of our handmade jewelry designs in 14k gold and sterling silver.  Keep in mind that if you don’t see exactly what you are looking for, we do custom jewelry work as well.

Thank you!

John and Mark Hileman


Holiday discount coupons for Hileman Jewelry

Amethyst sterling silver ring with sugilite and nambulite inlay.Great news!  For a limited time, we are offering discount coupons for both our silver and gold jewelry.  The discount is available on all Hileman jewelry currently listed on our two shops.  The discount on all our sterling silver jewelry is 10% off and is available November 24th through December 1st.  To use your silver jewelry discount coupon, visit our shop at , select the item you wish to purchase and enter coupon code E10Silver1.  The 10% will be deducted from your total.

If you are interested in our 14k gold Australian opal jewelry, visit our Etsy shop at and use coupon code E20Gold1 at checkout.  We are able to offer a 20% off discount on our gold jewelry.  This coupon is also valid November 24th through December 1st.  Savings on our gold jewelry ranges from a minimum of $316 up to $2560!  The discount only applies to items currently for sale and does not apply to custom orders.

Hopefully these discounts will get your holiday shopping rolling early!  If you want updates on future offers please follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Happy Holidays!

Mark and John or

Australian opal inlay jewelry is our specialty!

Australian opal inlay pendant with blue topaz and diamondsWe spend a lot time and effort promoting our sterling silver jewelry and sometimes neglect giving our gold jewelry equal time in the spot light.  Actually, it is our incredible Australian opal inlay jewelry designs that the Hileman name is known for in the jewelry industry.   Hileman jewelry is recognized for the unsurpassed quality of the Australian opal and the superior craftsmanship used in creating our bold inlay jewelry designs.  Our opal inlay jewelry can be found in the jewelry boxes of celebrities, CEO’s and opal jewelry collectors around the world.

This remarkable opal pendant is a great example of our top of the line opal and outstanding workmanship.  This handmade pendant is inlaid with the finest crystal opal Australia has to offer. The pendant’s opal inlay alternates between bright blue green opal sections and red multicolor sections of opal. Opal of this quality is quite rare and is becoming harder to obtain at any price, making this pendant a real collector’s piece. The center stone is a spectacular 13.25 carat shell fantasy cut Swiss blue topaz. The faceting on the topaz is very unique. The top is slightly domed with only one facet with the bottom has all the facets and notches to create the pattern viewed from the top. The opal inlay and topaz are accented by 28 pave` set diamonds. The diamonds are VS clarity and G/H color and have a total weight of .60 carats.

Take a closer look at this amazing opal pendant at or visit our opal jewelry website at .

Thank you for supporting handmade jewelry artists!

Fossilized Red Horn Coral Jewelry

A few weeks ago we purchased some fossilized red horn coral from a local gem dealer.  He had acquired a nice quantity of the coral and thought it would be perfect for our inlay jewelry.  We had never heard of red horn coral, but the nice range of red to pink colors and the dealer’s assurance that it would take a nice polish persuaded us to give it a try.  Here is our first piece of jewelry utilizing the fossilized red horn coral.  The coral we inlaid in this silver ring is a nice red-orange color with great depth.  Fossilized horn coral is fairly hard and does indeed take a great polish.  Check out the ring!

Red fossilized horn coral ring in sterling silver

Red fossilized horn coral and black onyx inlay ring in sterling silver

This red horn coral is from Utah and is about 390 million years old.  A great inland sea once covered Utah and much of the western United States.  As the earth evolved, the inland sea receded and sediments covered the coral reefs.  Over time the structure of the ancient horn coral was fossilized and replaced by agate.  The fossilized red horn coral is also known as rugosa coral.   I will spare you the details but if you would like to read a more detailed description of  horn coral go to

Red fossilized horn coral rough

Red fossilized horn coral rough

Here is a photo of some of the fossilized red horn coral rough we purchased.  It is an interesting stone to cut and work with.  It requires some thought and patience in cutting to maximize the yield and retain the beautiful pattern, but I think the resulting piece is worth it.  Look for more red horn coral jewelry coming soon!

Note:  This is not living coral from our current coral reefs in our oceans.  This coral died hundreds of millions of years ago and is found in the Utah desert.

Have it your way! Semi-custom jewelry by Hileman Silver Jewelry

You have scoured the internet and local jewelry stores looking for that perfect piece of jewelry but just can’t quite seem to find it.  Working with a jeweler to create a “custom” piece of jewelry might seem like too daunting of a task.  The extra time involved and costs incurred to create a custom piece may also be prohibitive if you are short on time or on a limited budget.  What if you could get involved in the design process of your jewelry by  selecting the color of the inlay stones used, as well as the arrangement of the stones, to create a semi-custom piece of jewelry just for you at no additional charge?   Hileman Silver Jewelry will work with you to do just that.  We will guide you through the design process and advise you on which stones are appropriate for your chosen casting style and if any of the stones selected are an upgrade.

All of our sterling silver jewelry is easily customized to our customer’s inlay color choices or arrangement.  Every style ring, pendant, bracelet or earring casting is a blank canvas with almost unlimited choices of colored stones to inlay in the combination of your choice.  If the jewelry piece has a faceted gemstone to accent the inlay and you want to change the color scheme, a different color stone of equal value may be substituted for the original.  Additional charges are only charged if the accent stone or the inlay material is an upgrade to a more expensive stone.

You might notice our style numbers on some of our jewelry descriptions.  The style numbers only designate the casting/mounting used and not the inlay material used or its arrangement.  Here are some examples of our gent’s ring style “M200” and the different inlay color combinations we have done recently.  As you can see the look and feel of the ring changes dramatically with the inlay color and pattern variations.

Here is the M200 ring casting inlaid with black onyx and Australian opal.  This is one of our most popular color combinations for our men’s rings.

Sterling silver ring inlaid with black onyx and Australian opal

Sterling silver ring inlaid with black onyx and Australian opal

Another option available is inlaying the entire ring with all the same material such as all dinosaur bone, lapis or spider web turquoise like these three rings.

Man's sterling silver ring inlaid with all lapis.

Sterling silver man’s band with blue lapis inlay.

Sterling silver ring inlaid with gem dinosaur bone.

Sterling silver ring inlaid with gem dinosaur bone.

Sterling silver man's ring inlaid with spiderweb turquoise

Sterling silver man’s ring inlaid with spiderweb turquoise

A combination of inlay materials is also an option.  Here are a couple of multi-color examples.Sterling silver ring inlaid with spiderweb turquoise, black onyx and lapis.

Man's sterling silver ring inlaid with sugilite, gem silica and spiderweb turquoise

Man’s sterling silver ring inlaid with sugilite, gem silica and spiderweb turquoise

As you can see there are many different colors of stones to choose from and many multicolored combinations.  Let us know your color preferences and we can suggest stones that work well together.  Most semi-custom orders can be completed in 2 to 4 weeks.  In most cases it is easier to discuss and complete these orders by phone to clear up any possible questions or concerns before beginning work on the order or taking payment.  Please visit our website for more information about Hileman Silver Jewelry and see photos of our jewelry.

New Australian opal inlay pendant design by Hileman sure to be a collector favorite

Attention all opalholics! Mark Hileman has just completed an outrageous new Australian opal pendant available for immediate purchase on If you love Australian opal jewelry, then this new opal inlay pendant will not disappoint. This stunning handmade 14 karat gold pendant features a blue topaz and incredible Australian opal inlay. A huge 7.3 carat blue topaz appears to be floating in the center of this eye catching pendant. The topaz harmonizes nicely with the 16 pieces of inlaid Australian opal. Each inlay section of the body of the pendant contains two pieces of inlaid blue green opal with one red piece of opal inlay in the middle. The hinged bale is also inlaid with four pieces of outstanding blue green and red firing Australian opal. The remarkable opal will mesmerize you as it flashes different colors of blues, greens, and reds. The .30 carats of G color VS clarity brilliant round diamonds provide additional sparkle to this statement piece. The pendant is stamped 14k gold on the back and is hand signed “MMH” by Mark McBride Hileman for authenticity and collector value.   Purchase the pendant at or get more information about The Hileman Collection and Australian opal at .

Are those real or fake?

Diamond and Australian opal band

Diamond and Australian opal band

Are those real or fake?  We are talking opals here.  Recently I was walking through a craft fair and stopped at a booth with a rather large display of silver jewelry.  I noticed that the inventory was divided into four or five color groups of “opals”.  I knew at first glance that it was not real opal, but thought I would ask the woman behind the counter what the beautiful stone was.  She responded that it was opal.  Not lab created opal or simulated opal- just opal.  I picked up a pendant and looked it over and noticed the mediocre craftmanship and totally uniform pattern of the “opal” as well as the $30 price tag.  Anyone who knows anything about opal knows that you can’t make a large pendant with genuine opal inlay for $30.  There was a good 3 or 4 hours of work in the piece as well, which I am assuming had to be made in China for that price.  What bothers me most is that this woman was selling this garbage between a great display of handmade raku jewelry and another man selling his nice fused glass pieces.  Not only was she misrepresenting the fake opal as real, but she was also projecting the image that she was a craftsperson or artist.  Please don’t support people selling this misrepresented junk jewelry as their craft.  There are a lot of talented people out there trying to make a living selling their art, their passion and their dream that deserve your support.   Buy handmade!

-John Hileman