Opal is the fascinating, iridescent gemstone that has captured the hearts of millions around the world because of its mesmerizing play on colors. It is so well loved that many call it “The Queen of Gems.” Although, we have to state that not all opals flash their color, as some are mostly plain colored like red, orange, blue and green, however, their beauty is not in any way diminished.
For brides leaning to the bohemian, an opal engagement ring is a perfect alternative to diamonds. October’s enchanting gemstone is enamored with symbolism and meanings that lend credence to its intense uniqueness. In this guide, we will explain what opal is all about, the different types and everything that makes opal the magical choice for an engagement ring.
What is Opal?
The word “opal” originates from the Sanskrit upala and simply means “precious stone”, however it came to mean “to see a change in color” in Greek opallios.
Opal is a magnificent, colorful gem recognized specially for its fiery color that emanates from deep inside the stone, which makes it uniquely charming.
When rain water seeps through underground rock formations, it forms a solution containing silicon dioxide. In dry conditions, when the rain water evaporates, it leaves behind solid silica deposits between sedimentary rocks. The process repeats over a long time (millions of years) forming opals.
When we think of opal, fire opal is what usually comes to mind. Fire opal comes with a mix of colors that move and shift when light hits it creating beautiful patterns, a process called “color flash”. Fire opals mostly come in three main color categories, which are white opal, black opal, and crystal opal. However, there are Mexican fire opals which feature warmer color hews like yellow, orange and red. There are also Peruvian opals, which exists in a blue-green shade.
Of all opals, black opals the rarest variety and because of their rarity, they are the most expensive. White and crystal opals though not as rare or expensive, are uniquely beautiful and posses an impressive charm of their own.
Opal’s distinctively intense and changeable fire makes each one so unique, it is almost impossible to find two identical opal anywhere in the world. That means, they are even more “unique” than diamonds.
There are also synthetic options of opals are well, which have regular silica patterns that make them distinguishable from natural opals.
1. Believed to be Magical
Opal has been regarded as a magical gemstone, allowing its wearer to be able to disappear and reappear. Medieval European cultures believed it was a symbol of love, hope, and limitless possibilities. All of these meanings derive from the beautiful colors seen as the stone moves.
- The Celebrity Stone
Over the past few years, celebrities have showed their alliance with opals as the stone has graced the fingers of the high and mighty in Hollywood. This include figures like the late great Liz Taylor, Aishwarya Rai,Taylor Swift, Claire Danes, Michelle Monaghan, Cate Blanchett, among others. With these elite cast of names, it is something of a honor for a bride to wear this amazing gemstone.
3. Is opal good for a ring?
Just as beautiful as they are on the eyes, so also are they delicate. With a Mohs scale rating of about 5.5 to 6.5, opals are one of the more softer variety of gemstones. So it is important to be careful with opals by choosing settings that help protect your stone. If exposed to dry heat over a long period, opals can dry out and even crack. Opals can also react easily with chemicals, so it is best to pull off your opal ring before entering a swimming pool.
Why You Should Buy Opal Engagement Ring
By now, you should have read enough to convince yo to buy an opal engagement ring, but if you still haven't made up your mind, you should consider these reasons.
- Opals flash their colors when moving the hand and this can be stunningly beautiful and attractive.
- No matter the outfit, whether it is a summer or winter look, opals will always complement the wear since they come in nearly every color.
- If you are looking for something special, you can find vintage opal rings in different styles and sizes and at affordable price ranges.
What are the gemstones that can be paired with Opal?
Opal is a beautiful and unique gemstone known for its play of colors, and it can be paired with various other gemstones to create stunning jewelry designs. When choosing gemstones to pair with opal, it's essential to consider the color, contrast, and overall aesthetic you desire. Here are some gemstones that can be paired with opal:
Diamond: White or colorless diamonds can add sparkle and contrast to opal jewelry. They work well in combination with opals in rings, pendants, or earrings.
Sapphire: Blue sapphires can complement the blue and green hues often found in opals. They create a striking contrast when set alongside opals.
Emerald: Emeralds, with their rich green color, can pair nicely with opals, especially if the opal displays green flashes. The combination of green and fiery play of colors can be quite appealing.
Amethyst: It is known to bring stability, strength, and courage, while opal helps to bring emotional balance. When these two stones are combined, they create a powerful energy that can help you find healing and peace.
Choosing an Opal Ring
We’ve talked about the beautiful black opals, and other exquisite choices like the white and crystal varieties for your engagement ring. Other choices you should consider are solitaire opal rings or the multi stone variety, as well as the garnet and opal combination. A classic option is the opal and diamond combinations. Depending on your budget, an opal ring comes in different styles and settings that will be a beautiful and romantic choice for the person you love.