The fascination with opal rings has gradually risen over the past five years. Opal wedding rings and engagement rings have become very popular because they are unique, one of a kind and ultimately looks beautiful.
Wedding and engagement rings are typically worn daily. Often, there is a generous amount of money spent on these rings, so there is an almost overwhelming amount of considerations for buyers to decide upon. From the opal thickness to the opal setting, and the band’s style, each selection will influence the long-term wear.
With endless choices available to an opal ring buyer, to make your decision easier, here are some of the best tips and most important to be aware of before you start shopping for that all-important opal ring!
What Exactly is an Opal?
One of the world’s most adored gemstones is opal since each piece displays a totally unique shine to the next. Since innately, opals exhibit a rainbow-like feature caused by their innate microstructures, refracting white light into all the colours on the opal. As a result, opals vary in colour, expressing almost every colour of the spectrum.
Therefore, no matter what an individual’s favourite colour or combination is, everyone will have a special opal!
In contrast to diamonds, the desirability of an average opal is even more valuable than the highest quality diamond. As on the market, the colour quality and shiny intensity of opal rings surpass the beauty of a diamond.
One of the biggest concerns of opals is that even though all gemstones can easily get damaged, opals are even more fragile. Australian opals have a hardness of 6.5/10 on the hardness scale – in terms of wear, this is on par with glass. Making it even more crucial you source your opal ring from a trusted opal jeweller to ensure they manufacture your opal securely into the ring band.
While there are dozens of varieties of opal, there are three main cut types of opals. Doublet opals are two pieces of opal cemented together, made with a high-grade opal and a black potch back to enhance the colour. Secondly, triplet opals are doublets made from a lower grade opal with clear domed caps cemented to their faces, which protects and intensifies the opal’s colour and pattern. Finally, solid opals are natural opals that have been cut and polished without being interfered with.
Opal Colour, Pattern and Brightness
You want an opal that can keep its value over time and one that you enjoy looking at. Therefore, poor quality opals are usually dull and colourless, while opals with good brightness and pattern are more valuable.
When purchasing an opal ring, you want to look for one that flashes brightly in colour: red, green, blue, or multi-coloured. The variety of patterns within the play of colour can make an opal mesmerising, bold and lively. The brightness of an opal is essential and should not be overlooked as often as it is.
Opal Ring Metal
Professional opal cutters recommend choosing gold opal ring bands in 14k or 18k variations. Silver metal is too soft and can usually be harder to polish, which ultimately adds to the labour cost in the long run. While rose gold opal ring bands are currently on-trend, it is not entirely harmonious with opals as the tones clash. In addition, platinum bands are too hard to safely give opals its protective gem settings.
Opal Ring Inlays
While inlay rings are a great affordable alternative to an opal engagement ring, it is vital to understand how to care for your opal ring before choosing this style. Inlay rings are not the most practical as the opals are glued into the ring’s setting. With constant submersions in water, the opal silvers can begin to peel away. An opal ring with the gem sitting high is also not realistic as it is anticipated to get damaged if you are rough on your hands. Ideally, a good option for an engagement ring is to have a low set opal ring.
What’s Your Opal Ring Budget?
Be reasonable with your budget when purchasing an opal. Buying the most expensive opal is not necessary. Opals are not affordable and are not for everyone, especially if the style or stone does not suit your taste. If you cannot find a solid opal within your price range, look for a composite stone such as a doublet opal that can present the look of a black opal but at a much lower price.
How To Care and Clean Your Opal Rings
Clean your solid opals with a soft cloth or toothbrush in warm water with a mild detergent. Try to stay away from any chemical cleaners. On the other hand, clean your doublet or triplets by wiping them down with a soft cloth and mild detergent without immersing or soaking these opals.
Do not clean your opals in an ultrasonic cleaner. However, extreme vibrations in this device can result in cracking of the solid opal and water penetration in the doublet or triplet opals.
Be sure to remove your opal rings if there is a likelihood that they will get scratched or broken. The highest quality opals contain around 5-6% of water. Opals may crack if exposed to rapid changes in temperature and arid conditions. So, try to make an effort to avoid extreme temperatures or situations of low humidity, such as boiling water.
Doublet and triplet opals
Caring for rings with doublet and triplet opals is slightly different from solid opals. Since doublets and triplets have multiple layers cemented together, extended exposure to water can cause lifting between these layers. If this occurs, the double or triplet opals will acquire a grey or ‘foggy’ appearance.
Time to purchase your opal ring!
Buying an opal ring for the first time can make even the most avid shopper nervous. From purchasing opal engagement rings to opal wedding rings and everything in between, always ensure to place your trust in a seller who can understand your dream ring’s needs and wants.
So, when you are ready to take that step, reach out to a skilled opal cutter who can provide you with the best experience possible to secure your opal wedding rings or engagement rings.