Parlé Jewelry Designs (Est. 1973) This Pocatello, Idaho based firm was originally named the Idaho Opal and Gem Corp (IOGC) when it was founded in May 1973. The firm has made notable strides since it was started by a couple of students mining opal at the Lost Deer Hunt claim in Spencer, Idaho. In those days, Frank Farnsworth and his college friend were mining and cutting their own Idaho Opal, selling the loose stones a few pieces at a time to local rock-collectors and jewelers.
The firm’s growth began when customers who loved the loose stones said they would find it easier to sell the gems if they were mounted in jewelry. IOGC responded and began to sell opal in very simple jewelry settings.
As the business grew, IOGC sought sources to meet the demand for quality opal jewelry. At first, they turned to Australia to purchase opal rough then, later, found sources for cut Australian Opal and opal rough from gem centers in Asia. Today, Parlé Jewelry Designs still known in some quarters as Idaho Opal & Gems is a wholesaler specializing in colored gemstone fine jewelry.
Parlé means to speak and, using the catch-phrase, “stones that speak,” it encompasses the company’s entire product line. On its official website, the company states, “When we buy a gemstone or design a piece of jewelry it has to speak to us in terms of beauty, rarity, and value. We strive to be a great source for all gemstone needs from price point to luxury and everything in between.”
It took until 1991 for the brand to incorporate and it now occupies a 17,000 square foot building with state of the art manufacturing facilities. The firm continues to source, design, and manufacture fine color gemstone jewelry. It now supplies high quality designs with Opal, Opal Doublets and Opal Inlay, and over 25 additional colored gemstones.
It is also a top supplier of Madagascar Ruby, Ceylon Sapphire as well as fancy color and Rainbow Sapphire, Brazilian Emerald and a selection of natural gemstones of many colors, shapes, and sizes.
From Mystic Fire Topaz earrings to dazzling, unique opal pendants, Parlé Designs can add more color to any personal jewelry collection. In its offerings Parlé’s selection of pendants, rings, earrings, and bracelets is comprised of amazing colors that play with light and offer fine craftsmanship in every piece.
Its collections include, Sharing The Rough that was inspired by the documentary film of the same name directed by Orin Mazzoni. The collection tells the story of a gemstone: from the hands of the miners who bring the treasures to the surface, to the gem cutter who makes gemstone “live”, to the designer who accentuates the beauty of the gem through metals.
Sharing The Rough captures the passion and beauty of one of nature’s most precious offerings weaving together a journey through all the hands that share in the creation of a piece intended to be treasured for generations.
The finished jewelry features combinations of faceted and tumbled African Colored Gemstones.
The firm’s Opal Collection derives from the ancient Romans who thought of opal as the Queen of Gemstones because it encompasses all the colors of the rainbow. The silica spheres in Opal form a stunning variety of patterns with names that include Peacock Feathers, Chinese Script and Pin-Fire that make every opal unique.
In The Sapphire Collection, the velvety blues predominate. Prized by nobility, sapphire has been discovered on nearly every continent. It is a member of the corundum family and is colored by the trace elements iron and titanium.
The most commonly known color for sapphire is blue but it exists in all colors of the rainbow. In the red variation, corundums are called rubies but in all other colors, they are referred to as “Fancy Sapphires”. The hardness and durability of sapphire makes it a desirable choice for jewelry.
The Lotus Garnet Collection began when the stone was unearthed in the Mahenge region of north Tanzania as recently as late 2015. Found in alluvial mines, the amount of rough is unknown and each production is small and has a variation in color with every pocket produced. This new find is sold exclusively by Parlé Jewelry Designs and is available as loose gemstones or finished jewelry.
In the Color Celebration Collection, Parlé creates jewelry with genuine color gemstones to celebrate life’s special occasions. Customers can choose a trio set style, customize it with a choice of white or yellow gold, and select from the firm’s many genuine gemstone options. From precious Sapphires, Rubies and Emeralds to fashion Opal, Tourmaline, Topaz, Citrine, Garnet, Tanzanite, Pearls, Amethyst, and Aquamarine, customers often find the perfect combination.
In a lead-up to a July 2017 Trunk Show, the promotion stated, “Forty-four years ago, Frank Farnsworth began his love affair of mining precious opals near Yellowstone Park in Idaho. Though his worldwide travels, he has experienced mining and cutting opal, one of the most precious gemstones. With the help of his family, Frank and Parlé Jewelry Designs has become the largest supplier of precious opals and opal jewelry in the country. … Frank is the consummate expert of opals in the United States. His passion is infectious. He is … knowledgeable and enthusiastic (and) we are proud to collaborate with (him.)”Sell Parlé Jewelry Designs All Artists