These days, brides-to-be are looking towards unique ring designs to celebrate their commitment. Traditional diamonds are taking a backseat to other gemstone and precious metal options. Professionally cut or raw and rugged, these luminous beauties are showing up on a lot of ring fingers!
Fair warning: Although we love the look of opals for a ring, they are a very fragile stone at a hardness of 5-6.5 on the Moh’s scale (check out this article on gemstones that we wrote for more information on Moh’s scale for engagement rings). For that reason, it is difficult for us to recommend an opal engagement ring that’s worn everyday.
If you have your heart set on an opal stone, there’s nothing wrong with that. We simply love opals too! The best advice I can give you is to shop around to pick a ring design that protects the stone as much as possible. Try not to set your expectations for durability too high. There’s a reason that diamonds are a frequent stone in engagement rings – they are extremely hard and durable.
Why Choose an Opal Engagement Ring?
There are a lot of great reasons to consider an opal gemstone instead of a more traditional diamond. For one, opals are more cost-effective than diamonds. They also make a gorgeous statement. Buyers get an elegant and dazzling ring for half the cost of what would be paid to traditional jewelers.
Speaking of traditional jewelers, there’s an important sustainability reason to consider this diamond alternative. Certain regions in the world control diamond mines with violence, child labor, extreme poverty and environmental harm. Although certain processes certify some diamonds as conflict free, you can do humanity and the environment a favor by choosing an alternative stone for your engagement ring.
Not to mention, opals are unique! They come in a variety of colors and cuts that really speak about you as an individual. Buying an opal engagement ring celebrates the unique qualities of your love for your partner.
Opal History: “Queen of Gems”
Shakespeare famously described the opal as the ‘queen of gems’ and ‘a miracle’. Throughout history, the precious gem has shown up in works of art, historical documents, and addorning notable persons. The ancient Mayans and Aztecs mined the Mexican fire opal. Both cultures crafted artifacts out of the “stone of the bird of paradise.”
Opals were considered incredibly precious by the Romans and Europeans throughout the Middle Ages. In fact, the Romans considered opals to be the most valuable gemstone available. British Queen Victoria loved to wear opals as her gem of choice, and frequently gifted them to family members.
13 Gorgeous Opal Engagement Rings
1) Vintage Rose Gold Opal Engagement Ring Sets
Swedish Etsy shop Sunday Island crafts this delicate opal engagement and wedding band set. The center opal is Ethiopian opal, which is known for displaying a variety of different colors depending on the light and angle – shades of green, red, white, and yellow are quite common! Each stone is hand-selected, and no two rings are the same.
2. Yellow Gold (14kt) Diamond & Blue Opal
This gorgeous ring from Anne Sisteron combines a 1-carat blue opal flanked by diamonds on either side. It’s delicate and feminine, with rich colors of blue, green, and red with flashes of other beautiful colors. The slim nature and low profile of the opal might provide long lasting protection for the stone.
3. Cushion-Cut Opal Cocktail Ring
For a bride looking for a fiery statement piece, check out this cushion-cut opal ring from Blue Nile. Simple and demanding of attention, the large opal is set on a band of 14k white gold. Although I would hesitate to wear this ring everyday, the refreshingly modern look can be worn to parties and other events.
4. Oval Opal Engagement Ring Set
High ratings for Etsy seller Nida Rings, who provide this gorgeous oval-cut pale opal flanked by petite diamonds. The matching wedding band is provided with the engagement ring, and you can get both in either 14k white gold, gold or rose gold. The setting has an art deco, vintage allure that is just lovely.
5. Five Stone Opal Ring
Perhaps not the best choice for an engagement ring, this gorgeous opal ring from Loren Stewart is striking. It features five delicate pear cut opals on a 14k yellow or rose gold band. We’re in love with the unusual look of this ring.
6. Art Deco Style Opal Ring
An affordable engagement and wedding band set from Etsy shop LstudioC is a great option for couples that prize an antique, art deco appearance. Gold or rose gold leaves containing miniature CZ diamonds ring the center opal.
7. Zenith Opal Disc Ring
This vibrant alternative design from Love Adorned features a center opal set with small beaded diamonds woven into the surrounding disc. It reminds us of a sun – the perfect ring for a radiant bride with a big personality.
8. Opal & Diamond Halo Engagement Ring
This gorgeous halo ring from Etsy shop RenBijoux features a round Ethiopian fire opal in the center, shimmering with iridescent hues of green and blue. Small diamonds in a halo and the vintage-style setting ring the fire opal.
9. Art Deco Opal Gold Ring
Another beautiful art deco ring from Love Adorned ring caught our eye for obvious reasons. The classic gold fan flaring out about a gorgeous opal and set with diamonds is a one of a kind statement. The Gatsby-esque ring is perfect for the glamorous bride-to-be who wants to stand out from the crowd.
10. Sterling Silver Opal Ring
Polished sterling silver is always going to be less expensive than gold. Another favorite from Blue Nile, the classic rope detailing is the mounting for a large translucent opal. This ring design neatly fuses classic and modern.
11. Double Halo Art Deco Opal Ring
Wow! Loving this handmade ring from an Etsy seller out of Vancouver, Canada. The creative design is reminiscent of times gone by, with a Gatsby style in mind. The double halo creates a lot of sparkles while keeping the design dainty. The inner ring of 16 smaller diamonds is ringed by 18 outer diamonds. An Ethiopian fire opal crowns the beautiful ring arrangement.
12. Opal & Diamond Halo Ring
This opal and diamond halo ring is another favorite from Blue Nile. A large opal crowns a halo of forty-four round diamonds. The iridescent shimmer of the opal adds to the sparkle of the diamonds, creating a show-stopping shimmer.
13. Raw Opal Stacking Ring
Last update on 2018-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Not really an engagement ring, but we just had to add this design idea. Loving the unique trend of mounting the raw and uncut opal on rings. This raw Australian opal on a sterling silver band is a prime example. Each ring is handmade and completely unique, reflecting the raw and natural beauty of the gem. Add more gemstones to ‘stack’ the ring for a really unique look.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out our opal ring roundup!