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OPAL ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Opal engagement rings are distinct thanks to their unique appearance. As a gemstone, opal remains a prominent piece used in jewelry for years now. First off, these rings are October’s birthstone. More so, they are the accepted gemstones for the 14th wedding anniversary. With all of these, you can see why opal diamonds are highly sought after. Furthermore, opal is a lovely gemstone. It features mostly in numerous pieces of jewelry. However, that does not mean that this is the right piece for an engagement ring. You will discover whether it is or not in this article. Keep reading! Here, you will get a closer view of this unique gemstone. From this view, you can discover whether it is a good choice for your engagement ring or not. 

Into The World Of Opal Diamonds

Opal diamonds are stunning gemstones made of minuscule silica spheres in a hydrated structure. The makeup of these diamonds comprises approximately 3 to 10% of liquid. It gets more fascinating when the silica spheres in an opal are similar in shape and size. There, the gemstone will show the play of color. That is one part of opal diamonds that makes them this rare and sought-after piece. For certain persons, the colors of opal engagement rings look like fireworks, lightning, or galaxies. To be more precise, they look like any of those things caught up within a stone. Furthermore, the name ‘opal’ is from the Sanskrit upala. The meaning of this Sanskrit is ‘precious stone’ or ‘jewel’. Later on, it borrows again from the Greek word ‘opallios’ which means “to cause a change of color’. In addition, opals come from seeping rainwater into rocks and evaporate in crevices of different rocks. The most common of these rocks include the 
  • Basalt
  • Marl
  • Sandstone
  • Limonite
  • Rhyolite. 
Afterward, this leaves behind some silica deposits. These deposits then generate the spectacular colors of this gemstone. You can find opal diamonds in various areas all over the world. Particularly, they are spread around places like:
  • USA 
  • Mexico 
  • Ethiopia 
  • Indonesia. 
Notably, Australia generates over 90% of the entire world’s precious opals. Even though opals aren’t entirely hard gemstones, their fame continues to rise as an important part of pieces of jewelry. These diamonds are again very ideal for engagement rings due to their loveliness, refinement and grand appearance.

The Different Types of Opal Gemstones

Do you want to have opal diamonds on your engagement ring? Then, there are certain details you need to know. First will be the different types of these opal gemstones out there. From your knowledge of these types, you can decide which will be best for your opal engagement rings. We can divide opal gemstones into two separate classes.
  • The Precious 
  • The Common. 
For the precious opal gemstones, they come in rather highly-priced. They are good pieces for use in various pieces of jewelry. On the other hand, common opals are best fit for many other purposes due to how soft these opal gemstones are.

Precious Opal Gemstones

There are further classifications of precious opal gemstones. They include:
  • Black Opal Gemstones

These opal gemstones are the rarest of all types of opals. Also, they are the most highly-priced. These black opal gemstones come in a dark body tone. This dark body tone helps them display all the shades of the spectrum in them. Plus, the contrast of the shades against the black tone adds that grand and chic look to these opal gemstones.
  • Crystal Opal Gemstones

Crystal opal gemstones are transparent stones that permit light to go through them when brightened. The name ‘crystal opal’ it bears is due to its clarity. This makes them appear like crystalline substances. Regardless, crystal opal gemstones aren’t actually crystalline in their setup.
  • White Opal Gemstones

You can also call them ‘milky opal’. These gemstones possess a pastel-like look and a bright body tone. White opals give out color of the spectrum in a spectacular play of color.
  • Boulder Opal Gemstones

These gemstones come from sandstone or ironstone. More so, boulder opals come attached to their host rocks.  These opal gemstones are distinct from the other precious opals as they are slightly harder. Lastly, they are far more sturdy.

Common Opal Gemstones

Common opal gemstones also bear the name ‘potch’. These are opal gemstones that do not exhibit any play-of-color or iridescence. This is a quality commonly found in precious opals.  Although these two types are products of the same mineral, yet, the silica spheres in potch are all of varied sizes. They all come mixed up. However, precious opals on the other hand are all similar and well-aligned. Due to how soft pitch is, they do not feature in pieces of jewelry. Rather, they come in as fillers, abrasives and insulation media. Also, these opals are important ingredients in the creation of ceramics.

Reviewing Opal Engagement Rings 

Opal diamonds are not different from every other gemstone. Here, their value evaluation is in terms of their color, cut, carat and clarity. These are the 4Cs according to the GIA.  However, there are many other quality requirements. Hence, for anyone interested in getting opal engagement rings, you’ll have to consider all of these factors first.
  • Cut

To cut opal diamonds is a very tough task that can yield unexpected results. More so, these stones are commonly cut in a certain way that allows the stone to be large enough. That is one way to ensure waste gets reduced to the barest minimum. We cut opal diamonds into ovals and cabochon-shaped. This is the same as a dome shape. Still, we cut the majority of opal gemstones into freeform shapes. This hinges on the deposition of the opal and the blemishes within the gemstone. Moreover, there are also opals cut into many other shapes like squares, rectangles, teardrops, and triangles.
  • Play of Color

When deciding on which opal gemstone to go for, one with a fierce play of color is best. It is even better when the play of color gets evenly circulated around the gemstone. In detail, the harlequin play of color structure comprises equal-sized mosaic patches. This is what we regard as the most appealing play of colors. Meanwhile, in white opals, the play of color layout is more like a succession of brilliant, luminous dots. As long as you can see the color red in any opal engagement rings, the stone comes at a high price. So, give a good look to the gemstone. Ensure there is a fiery, red look all around the gemstone. Avoid buying opal engagement rings that appear cloudy. That alone can indicate that the gemstone is too dry. This means that it can crack at any time.  However, certain vendors sell opal engagement rings placed in jars of water. That way, the opal gemstones have a high water quantity. Yet, these gemstones are likely going to get cracked. Therefore, do not buy them.
  • Clarity

It is impossible to have opal diamonds without any blemish or inclusion that you won’t see with your naked eye. Moreover, you’ll also see some of these diamonds with crazing (tiny cracks) or other defects right on their covering. Note that these flaws can lessen the worth of the diamond, particularly when they’re not hidden. Occasionally, handfuls of rock or sand can lie right within these opal diamonds. So, if you detect flaws like these, it is best not to buy such opal diamonds.  What we are pointing out here is that poor clarity is never a good option. It does not only reduce the beauty of the ring, it also reduces its general worth. This is certainly not what you wish for
  • Carat

Majority of these engagement rings have their worth based on their carat weight. But this is not the same with opal engagement rings. The worth of opal engagement rings rains the same regardless of whatever increase the size gets. Similarly, the weight of opals come in carats. Simply put, one carat is the same as 0.2 grams. Opal diamonds that are any larger than 2-10 carats (from 0.4 to 2.0 grams) come at a very high cost. Yet, they are not best used for jewelry. Therefore, the value (or carat) can be reduced.

The Settings and Styles Of Opal Engagement Rings 

Judging by the texture, opal diamonds are relatively soft gemstones. In fact, they rank at 5.5 to 6.5 on Mohs’ scale of hardness. Hence, if you’re hoping to get opal engagement rings, you must first find out what style and setting is best. You need one that can preserve the diamond and still bring out its elegance fully. Below are some lovely engagement ring styles with various settings of these lovely gemstones.
  • Prong Setting

Most times, the prong setting is a perfect fit for opal engagement rings. This is as it permits that visibility the diamond needs on both sides. With this setting, the gemstone is noticeable from the flanks.  High-domed cabochons’ best settings will always be the prong settings. Also, there are opals in different other shapes. Most of them with lesser or additional prongs. Truly, this prong setting is chic and beautiful. Yet, it is not very safe since the gemstone can undo and fall off with time. So, opal engagement rings set in prongs can get knocked out and damaged easily. No thanks to how exposed it is. 
  • Bezel Setting

Bezel settings give you that extra protection for your diamond compared to prong settings. This is as they circle around the flanks of the whole diamond. With the bezel setting, you have a perfect setting to pride your opal engagement rings. Also, you get that unique and desirable rustic or bohemian appearance they give.
  • Open-Back Setting

Opal engagement rings with open-back settings is the best way to style your solid opals. You get that peculiar look that always stands out. However, they do come with a few drawbacks.  First off, the opal diamonds do not get enough protection. The exposure both from the front and from the back as well implies that these rings could easily spoil. Hence, if the gemstone sticks out from the back or if it’s narrowly unequal, it will be uncomfortable to wear.
  • Closed-Back Setting

Note that these closed-back settings are rather much steadier and secured compared to open-backed settings. However, they can reduce the color quality of your opal engagement rings. Hence, it is crucial to select the best type and color of setting. That way, you can preserve the beauty of the diamond completely. Basically, opal engagement rings set in a closed white gold or silver setting can show a cooler tone. Sometimes they appear washed out. Yet, when set in a closed rose gold or yellow gold setting, they give you a warmer shade.  In this vein, opal diamonds with a warm tone may appear even more yellow than they were before. Yellow opal diamonds are highly priced. Hence, you might want to give a better thought to the color of the closed back setting to choose.

Taking Proper Care Of Opal Engagement Rings

Understand that these opal diamonds aren’t as durable as other gemstones. Therefore, they do need quite a bit of additional maintenance.  Moreover, these opal engagement rings are always worth the additional efforts. When you care for them as you should, they can last you a lifetime. Below are a few tips on how to give proper care to your opal engagement rings. 
  • When you wash them, ensure you use mild detergent and warm water. It is not advisable to wash your opal engagement rings using harsh detergents. More so, never scrub the piece. You do not want to cause scratches and patches on the surface of your ring. That will only make it appear dull.
  • Do not expose your rings to harsh weather conditions. Opal engagement rings commonly come with a very high water content. And, this can lead to cracks when exposed to these harsh weather conditions. 
  • Furthermore, don’t expose your opal gemstones to heat or dryness, especially for a long period of time. That can make your diamond develop fractures all around its covering.
  • Do not use ultrasonic cleaners on your opal diamonds. They are too sensitive for ultrasonic cleaners. This can crack them, particularly because of the vibrations.

Conclusion

To have opal gemstones or opal diamonds in your engagement rings is a great option. Opal engagement rings are symbolic and a good way to add sparkle to your special day. Ensure you make all of the appropriate considerations before choosing the ring to buy. 

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