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 Throughout history, the precious gem has shown up in works of art, historical documents, and addorning notable persons.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. Estate Black Opal Diamond Ring
This gorgeous ring from Three Graces Too combines a black boulder opal cut in an oval cabochon of a magnificent 3.96 carats flanked by twelve baguette diamonds on either side. It’s exotic rich colors of blues, greens, and flashes of beautiful shades in between.
3. Cushion-Cut Opal Cocktail Ring
by Blue Nile
For a women looking for a beautifully crafted, elegant and classic piece, check out this oval-cut opal ring from Blue Nile. Simple and demanding of attention, the opal is set on a band of 18k white gold. Add a simple diamond wedding band and you will have yourself a stunning set.
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. Three Stone Opal Ring
We’re in love with the unique 3 stone setting of this ring. It’s a handmade ring that features a natural opal set in between two trillion cut diamonds. You can choose between either 18 carat white, yellow or rose gold mount.
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. Pear Shaped Opal
This vibrant alternative design features a beautiful pear shaped Australian opal set with pear shape diamond right on top that is prong set and 13 pave round diamonds on each side of the shank. 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. Double Halo Art Deco Opal Ring
A beautiful art deco ring from Blue Sun Flowers 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
by Blue Nile
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. Art Deco Opal Gold Ring
Wow! Loving this handmade ring from an Etsy seller out of the United Kingsdom. The creative design is reminiscent of times gone by, with a Gatsby style in mind. An Australian Opal crowns the beautiful ring arrangement and is set in a beautiful engraved 1920’s inspired mount, which is studded with 34 individual diamonds, to create a lot of sparkles while keeping the design dainty.
12. Opal & Diamond Halo Ring
by Blue Nile
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 Lotus Flower
For the women looking for a uniquely designed ring with an opal, this may be the one! This gorgeous dainty rings holds pieces of raw fire opal placed in mosaic way and displayed within a 14k rose gold petal shaped cup that creates a beautiful lotus flower.
If you’re inspired by alternative engagement rings, check out our other awesome posts we have on Gemstone Engagement Rings or our Guide to Diamond Alternatives for Engagement Rings.
Which ring caught your eye the most or have you found any others that we need to know about? Leave a comment below with your pick!