The Radientorum was designed by Sir Charles Darley to provide a consistent calibration of the luminosity of Moon Opals. These fabulously rare gems were brought back by Mr Bedford from the moon in 1890, and in recognition of their unique glowing properties the Radientorum was named.
Only 30 of these shimmering gems are in existence, each one cut from the solid piece of opal brought retrived by Bedford. If held to a bright light source and then taken into darkness, the opal will glow with reflected light, exactly as the moon does.
Obviously it is because of the high density of opal on the moon that we can see it glowing in the night sky. This mineral diminishes and grows as larger or smaller sections of the moon are recharged by the suns light.
It is unknown how many Radientorums were made by Sir Charles, several are certainly in private collections and one was presented to her majesty queen Victoria. Those on offer here represent part of a private collection sold by the stellar explorer Phoebe Dalrymple, who led the expedition to recover Professor Cavor in 1892. They have been incorporated into spectacular pieces of Steampunk Jewellery