It was once believed that a single precious opal's spectrum of colors had all the properties and advantages of other colored stones. The opal, a representation of love and optimism, has a long history of being linked to luck, both good and negative.
Opal Symbolism, Meanings, and Folklore
Some people think the term "opal" originated in India, where it was known as "upala" (Sanskrit for "precious stone"). Others claim that it was first described as having a colorful appearance in Greek, where the word opallios, which means "to witness a shift in hue," was used. It was known as an "opalus" or "precious diamond" in ancient Rome. The play of colors in the stone, which included every shade of the most prized diamonds, was mentioned by Pliny the Elder.
Opals were believed to possess all the powers and advantageous qualities of other colored stones for hundreds of years because of their colorful array. Romans called it the Cupid Stone and considered it to be the most valuable and potent stone as well as a representation of love. Because of this, some people think it might inspire passion and romance. It has stood for honesty, purity, and optimism for a very long time.
Arab nomad tribes thought the opal, which contained lightning, fell to Earth during thunderstorms.
Opals were thought by the ancient Greeks to possess the gift of prophecy—the capacity to predict the future.
The opal was once rumored to have the ability to grant its wearer invisibility powers.
Some people think that opals have the ability to enhance or promote eye health.
Color of Opal
Black or white opals are the most well-known types, although there are also opals with red, purple, and orange as their primary colors. The background color of the diamond is produced by the presence of specific compounds.
However, the opal is better renowned for its kaleidoscope-like look, which is characterized by flashes of blue, green, orange, and red. This identity-defining play of colors is what makes the opal so distinctive.
A grid-like arrangement of small spheres causes the play of color in opals. The lightwaves diffract or bend as they travel across the space between the spheres. The lightwaves split into the rainbow's many colors as a result.
There are two types of opals, the rare and the common. Opals of greater value than average are those with a vivid color play. The opal's transparency can be divided into transparent, translucent, or opaque.
Opal in Jewelry
Opals have a 5.5 to 6.5 Mohs Hardness grade, making them scratch-prone and more appropriate for special events than daily wear. However, despite the extra care needed to clean and secure it, opal jewelry's versatility and beauty make it worthwhile. Keep opal jewelry separate from other stones in storage to avoid damage.
Make use of warm, soapy water to clean opals. Other techniques—particularly in opal doublets and triplets, man-made stones where pieces of opal are adhered together—can harm your opal or the filler material used.
Benefits of Opal Ring
There are several benefits to wearing an opal engagement ring. First, opal is a beautiful and unique gemstone, so an opal ring can add a touch of color and interest to any outfit. Second, opal is associated with positive qualities, such as hope and purity, so wearing an opal ring can be a symbolic and meaningful gesture. Third, because opal is a relatively soft and delicate gemstone, it requires gentle care and handling, so wearing an opal ring can be a reminder to take care of oneself and treat oneself with kindness and compassion. Additionally, because opal is a relatively affordable gemstone compared to some others, an opal ring can be a more affordable option for those looking to add a special piece of jewelry to their collection.
Why are Opal Rings Popular?
There are several reasons for the enduring appeal of opal rings.
Beautiful and distinctive, opal stands out in jewelry for its play of iridescent colors and patterns.
For those on a tighter budget, opal is a beautiful and economical alternative to more conventional gemstones like diamonds.
Opal is a beautiful and important gemstone because of the good associations it has with things like optimism and purity.
Additionally, the popularity of opal may be influenced by cultural or fashion trends, with opal becoming more or less popular depending on the current styles and preferences of the time.
What is Opal Promise Ring?
When two people make a promise to each other, they often exchange rings as a token of their commitment. Typically, opal promise rings are offered as a pre-engagement or pre-wedding gift to indicate the promise of a future commitment, such as marriage. Opal is a popular stone for these rings because of the positive energy it conveys.
Let's analyze what makes an opal promise ring successful -
While the opal's domed surface (cabochon) adds to its play of color and attraction, it is important to keep in mind that a high cabochon in an everyday engagement ring may make it susceptible to knocking. In most cases, we advise going with a cabochon of medium or lower height. The undulating surface of the Boulder Opal makes it an ideal candidate for this; it is also flatter than the average cabochon opal.
Bigger is preferable for some people, but moderation might pay off in the long run. For a promise ring, we usually don't suggest a stone larger than a 10mm x 8mm Oval (which is still quite large for a ring stone). Finger size and opal size would be the deciding factors here. A huge stone will look excessive on a person whose ring size is merely a Size J (US size 5). Even if this is the style you're looking for, it's not something you'd want to use every day.
Modern? Contemporary? Traditional? Consider the individual's taste and sense of fashion. There's no point in coming up with a radical new design for a ring if the customer is simply interested in a classic band with maybe one or two accent stones.
In general, Yellow or White Gold (14k or 18k) is the best metal to complement opal. White Gold is the only white metal option; silver is too malleable (silver can actually be harder to polish as well, which adds to the labor cost). Although rose gold is quite "in" right now, we don't think it goes well with opal's natural tones. This is a matter of subjective preference. Additionally, platinum is very difficult to work with to make appropriate protective settings for opals.
Bezel vs Prong
For us, this is a tough one to win. Many of our customers request the more classic look of a claw (prong) setting, and we usually provide it. However, we feel it necessary to tell users that this design is significantly less secure than a bezel or even a half-bezel configuration. This is one of the first "rules" we'll tell you about if you come to us for advice. It's better to cover the stone than risk it being exposed.
Please try to obtain this before the stage is set. As long as the size change is within four sizes up or down, resizing shouldn't be much of a problem. It is preferable to acquire the correct size the first time around.
Be sensible with your spending. For $200, we really can't make a custom setting out of 18k yellow gold and a black opal. Consider spending roughly $600 for a basic setting (up to $2,000+ for something more ostentatious), then add the opal's price. We promise it will be worthwhile.
Inlay rings, as attractive as they are, are essentially useless as a promise ring. Why? Due to constant immersion in water, the glued-in opal will begin to peel away in small pieces. In a nutshell, don't do it.
How To Tell If an Opal Is Real?
Real opal rings are rings that are made with genuine opal gemstones. Opal is a type of gemstone that is known for its beautiful, iridescent colors and patterns. It is often used in jewelry because of its unique, eye-catching appearance. Real opal rings can be made with a variety of different opal types, including white opal, black opal, and boulder opal. The cost of a real opal ring can vary depending on the type and quality of the opal used, as well as the design and setting of the ring.
The distinction between a skilled synthetic and a natural opal might not be immediately obvious to the untrained eye. The range of lab-created artificial opals spans from those that are easy to spot to others that are difficult to identify. Check out some benchmarked identifiers below to aid in authenticating your opal.
Real opal vs lab created
Let's start with some different divisions. Technically speaking, it is incorrect to term a lab-created opal phony. The majority of laboratory-produced opals are produced in a manner that duplicates the organic process as closely as possible to the natural production of opals, but within a condensed time frame. Opals that are "lab-produced" or synthetic have almost exactly the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as opals that are naturally mined. There are some laboratory opals that have been altered with extra components, and they differ chemically from natural opal.
How to identify synthetic opal?
There are four main indicators that an opal was manufactured in a lab. The "lizard skin" effect is the first and clearest giveaway. The result of systematic color ordering is a pattern that appears as "lizard skin" within the color blocks.
A synthetic opal's color structure will look as nicely spaced columns when viewed from the side, with the pattern repeating itself consistently throughout the stone. When seen from the side, genuine opal will appear solid because it is not made up of several layers. Natural opal wouldn't seem uniform from every perspective.
Natural opal is less permeable than synthetic opal. Opals made in laboratories have far lower densities than those made of naturally occurring silica, thus they appear lighter. You might be able to notice condensation or water buildup if a synthetic opal is submerged in water or exposed to moisture for an extended period of time.
Holding the object up to UV light is another approach to identify synthetic opal. You'll notice that it doesn't glow as brightly as a real opal.
A genuine opal will not be manufactured from artificial materials like glass, plastic, or resin. Opals, the real kind, are solid stones composed of silica. There shouldn't be any extraneous material glued or fused to the back of your opal unless you know for sure that it's a doublet or triplet.
A good opal doublet will feature an opal face crafted from real opal and a synthetic back for added weight and substance. Composite stones, which include doublets and triplets, are a great low-cost option. If you want to avoid being overcharged, you should know what kind of opal you're getting.
This uniformity of coloration throughout the opal's body is a distinguishing feature of genuine opal. The opal's color play should be seen from both the front and the side. It also needs to be clean of any traces of soot. The presence of a soot mark suggests that the opal may have been treated artificially, possibly with sugar or smoke.
How to Choose an Opal Band Ring?
Opal is a beautiful and unique gemstone that is often used in rings. Because of its delicate nature, opal rings are typically made with a band of a more durable metal such as gold or silver. The band provides a protective setting for the opal and allows it to be worn as a piece of jewelry. Some opal rings may feature a single large opal as the centerpiece, while others may have multiple smaller opals set into the band. No matter the design, opal rings are a stunning and eye-catching addition to any jewelry collection.
Which metal suits opal the best?
Opals should be set in either silver or a white metal alloy, such as white gold or platinum. Traditionally, an opal should be worn on the index finger on Fridays.
Gold and silver are commonly used as the band material for opal rings because they provide a durable and protective setting for the delicate gemstone.
Gold is a popular choice for opal rings because it is a soft and malleable metal that can be easily shaped into a variety of designs.
Silver is also a good option for opal rings because it is a strong and resilient metal that is less expensive than gold.
In addition to these two metals, platinum and white gold can also be used to make opal rings. These metals are more durable and resistant to scratches and other forms of damage, making them a good choice for people who are looking for a more long-lasting piece of jewelry.
Opal ring settings
An opal ring setting is the way in which the opal gemstone is mounted on the ring. There are many different opal ring setting styles to choose from, each with its own unique look and feel. Some common opal ring setting styles include bezel, prong, and tension settings. The setting chosen for an opal ring can affect its appearance and the way the opal is displayed, so it is important to choose a setting that complements the opal and the overall design of the ring.
A bezel setting is a type of opal ring setting in which the gemstone is encircled by a metal rim or collar. The gemstone is held in place by the bezel, which is typically soldered onto the ring band. This type of setting provides a secure, protective setting for the opal and can create a sleek, modern look.
A prong setting, also known as a claw setting, is a type of opal ring setting in which the gemstone is held in place by metal prongs that are bent over the stone to hold it in place. This type of setting allows more of the gemstone to be visible and can create a more elegant, classic look.
A tension setting is a type of opal ring setting in which the gemstone is held in place by the pressure of the ring itself. In this type of setting, the metal of the ring band is shaped in such a way that it applies pressure to the gemstone, holding it securely in place without the use of prongs or a bezel. This type of setting can create a modern, sleek look and can make the opal appear to be floating on the finger.
Varieties of Opal Stone
One that has an opal stone set in it is called an opal stone ring. Opal is a gemstone that reflects light in a variety of colors and patterns, earning it a reputation for beauty. Its distinctive beauty and lower cost than that of other gemstones make it a popular choice for use in jewelry. White opal, black opal, and boulder opal are just some of the varieties that can be used to create a beautiful ring that can be set in a bezel, prongs, or tension. Rings set with opal stones are not only a stylish adornment, but also a symbol of optimism and purity.
Opals can be broadly divided into two groups: natural opals and synthetic opals. Both have equal appeal. Let's learn about all the subcategories without making any distinctions between them.
Let's examine what they are and how they impact the price of opal stones and opal-set silver jewelry.
One of the most popular opal gemstone variations is Ethiopian opal, which is adored by jewelry makers and wearers alike. Anyone's attention would be captured by the extraordinary fire and color play that this diamond exhibits. Any wholesale jewelry supplier favors it above other varieties primarily for this reason.
This gemstone costs from $0.15 and $4 per carat. This variance arises as a result of the color intensity and inclusions or cracks that it exhibits.
This opal is highly sought after for its availability and beautiful luster. These black opals are mined near Mintabie, South Australia, and northern New South Wales' Lightning Ridge.
There is a wide range in the cost of a black opal gemstone, from $14 all the way up to $68. Even though the opal is black in color, that isn't enough to earn it that reputation. That much prized luster is essential. Wholesale silver jewelry often features black opals, but only the best quality pieces are used.
The most prevalent variety of opal gemstones are white ones, which are also among the least expensive ones. The price of this opal gemstone can go as low as $4. However, the price of the gem may increase to $60 if it displays a play of colors.
The low prices are not solely due to the wide availability. The price of these opals is also influenced by their clarity. The price of the gem will increase with less transparency. This is because opaque diamonds encourage a stunning and more vivid play of hues that is adored by people all around the world.
The vibrant colors of fire opal give it its name. There's no play of color going on with the red, orange, and yellow. It still displays a burst of bright green with movement. This has a significant impact on the price of fire opals.
The price of fire opal, which is mainly found in Mexico, can range from $1 to $135. This gemstone appears to have fire burning inside it when viewed up close. These were once known as Mexican fire opals, and wholesale jewelry wholesalers greatly value them.
The opal gemstone variation known as matrix opal has an equitable distribution of the original opal stone's color play across the host rock. Any suitable stone, such as sandstone or limestone, can serve as the host rock. This gives the opal a spectacular appearance because every time it moves, the colors play. If someone refers to it as "type 3 opal," don't be alarmed.
Matrix opals are primarily found in Andamooka, Australia, and can cost anywhere from $1 and $135. When this gemstone is put in a sterling silver setting to make wholesale silver jewelry, it enhances the beauty of the metal.
Blue opal (Peruvian opal)
Opals that are classified as blue are typically very opaque and have a surface coloration that ranges from blue to green. The colors don't really change or blend together. This gemstone is named after Peru since it is so abundant there. The Owyhee region of Oregon and Idaho, as well as the Virgin Valley area of Nevada, are additional supplies.
The blue opal's value is based on the gemstone's patterns and transparency. Yet, the typical cost of a blue opal is only about $1 per carat.
You should now have a fundamental understanding of opal's price. I hope this clears up any questions you may have had about the value of opal jewelry and opal stones.
Please keep in mind that these are not set in stone and may change as a result of fluctuations in the market.