Although Opals are one of October’s birthstones, at VENVS we embrace the ethereal beauty of opals every day of the year, and with the right knowledge, they are a stunning option as an engagement ring. These gemstones are timeless; opals have a vintage feel and mystifying allure, and if you’re considering an opal as the center stone of your engagement ring, this is for you. Keep reading to learn more about what you should know before saying “yes” to an opal engagement ring.
What to Look for in an Opal Engagement Ring
Cost: Opals are more affordable than diamonds, which allows you to invest more in customizing a ring, or in other areas like planning the perfect proposal, or your wedding!
Color: Opals come in a variety of colors with white being the most common color. Opals are known for what is called their “play of color”, which refers to their display of flashing colors when viewed from different angles and in different lighting. Historically speaking, opals have been thought of as lucky due to their kaleidoscope of colors.
Sparkle and shine: Opals display a sparkle and shine unlike diamonds - they have an iridescent sparkle and lustrous shine that separates them from other stones.
Metals: Opals are a gemstone that looks good set in white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold rings.
Settings: Certain design choices, specifically ring settings, can help protect your opal center stone. Ring settings with a sunburst halo or half-sunburst halo, like our Cordelia, Soleil, and Ophelia ring settings, help protect the opal with a diamond halo surrounding the stone. Custom-designed bezel-set rings also have additional protection with metal wrapped around the center stone.
Cut, shape, roughness: Opals are smooth stones (similar to pearls, so we suggest avoiding geometric cuts. The most common shapes of opals are round and oval, as well as pear and marquise shapes.
What to Keep in Mind
Opals are one of the softest gemstones, ranging from 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness (for more context, diamonds are the hardest coming in at a 10 on this scale). This means that extra precautions need to be taken when wearing an opal ring.
Opals are more delicate than other stones, and due to their softness they need to be handled delicately because they scratch easily, so the wearer must be careful with everyday wear to avoid damaging the stone. You should avoid submerging your opal ring in water, cleaning with harsh chemicals/cleaners, and doing physical labour or chores with your ring on. For those who work with their hands, you should avoid wearing your ring at work to avoid accidentally damaging it. These precautions will keep your opal ring shining, ensuring it becomes a treasured heirloom.
Pros and Cons
With this information about opals, we’ve broken down noteworthy pros and cons of these gemstones.
- Opals are budget-friendly
- Opals offer a unique beauty not found in other stones and each stone is one-of-a-kind
- Opals look great set in white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold rings depending on personal preference
- Opals pair beautifully with other gemstones and they also work well as accent stones
- Opals are delicate
- In terms of ring settings, opals have fewer options than diamonds and other harder stones
- Opals require extra care to be taken when being worn
As long as one is aware of this information, one can make an informed decision about an opal engagement ring. Should you say “yes” to forever with an opal engagement ring, you’ll know how to take care of it and what precautions to take.
Book a free 30-minute ring consultation here with our brand creator and in-house designer, Haley, to chat more about the wonderful world of opals (Haley proposed to her wife with a custom-designed opal VENVS ring!), and to see if an opal engagement ring is the right fit for your love story. You can also custom-design your dream opal engagement ring here.
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