Spotlight on Opals, Their Origins and The Complicated Lives of the Miners Who Find Them With Actress-Designer Tatiana Ikasovic of Fade to Black

Opals: they’re precious stones with dramatic – and little understood – pasts. As an October baby, I’ve been wearing opals off and on all my life. And today, they’re trendier than ever. But until talking to the fascinating female entrepreneur guesting on the Spirit of 608 podcast this week, I had next to no idea about my own birthstone’s origins, how they’re mined and the drama that goes into getting these beauties out of the ground and into the jewelry that so many of us wear and love. Luckily, this week’s guest is not only in the business, her entire family has been working with Australian opals for decades. She was willing to let us in not just on the startup luxury jewelry brand she’s building from her home base in Los Angeles, but also the insider knowledge she’s gathered from years spent watching how these stones travel from inside the earth to consumers’ hands (and ears and necks).

Meet this week’s guest, Tatiana Ikasovic, Founder of Fade to Black.

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What you’ll learn

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but after hearing about opals’ origins, you may want to switch it up. Opals are, after all, one of the rarest stones in the world. And black opals, which are native to Fade to Black’s founder Tatiana Ikasovic’s hometown in Australia, are the rarest of the rare. But how do you tell a real opal from a fake one? And what are the conditions for miners like? Learn more about these iridescent stones in this week’s episode. 

How you’ll be inspired

Sometimes seemingly disparate pursuits and parts of our lives support and complement each other more than we realize. Take Tatiana’s story for instance: she started out as an actress (and still is) before diving into her father’s world of gemstones and jewelry. She says that she still brings that to her business, and instead of detracting from her focus, it’s strengthened her entrepreneurial skills by allowing her to quickly improvise and adapt. It’s also gave her the confidence to face whatever may come head on, as one would on stage. 

What you’ll tell your friends

I was listening to the Spirit of 608 podcast this week, and wow, opals are fascinating! Did you know that the world’s supply of Australian opals come from miners who practically live underground all the time? Australia’s landscape is famous for these “dugouts” or cave-like homes built to withstand the outback’s heat. Australia is also incredibly protective of its land: miners are mandated to put back all the soil that was dug up and plant a tree on their site afterwards. In fact, according to Tatiana, Australian opal miners actually leave the land better than it was before. 

Resource of the week

Canva and Unfold Stories: For those professional looking IG stories and IG feed, Tatiana recommends a combinations of Canva and Unfold.

Connect with Tatiana Ikasovic



Instagram: @fadetoblack_studio

Mentioned in this episode:











The Untethered Soul

Kintsugi Wellness

How to Make the Beast Beautiful

Mind Body Green

How I Built This

Global demand for opals soaring


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