Opal rings are becoming a popular choice for engagement, wedding and anniversary rings thanks to their striking beauty in a range of colors from black, white and yellow to the most sought-after, multi-colored. Australia is the leader in opal jewelry production, setting the high standards for quality, cut and brilliance. Australia's opal rings feature natural opals mined in the country, setting them apart from imported and synthetic opals. If you’re looking for a unique and spectacular piece of jewelry to start your happily ever after, an Australian opal ring is an excellent choice. This buyers guide will give you an overview of the different types of Australian opal rings and provide you with the information needed to make an informed decision.
What is an Opal?
Opal is a mineral composed of silicon dioxide, adding to its durability and making it an excellent choice for jewelry. It’s often found in volcanic rocks, and its kaleidoscope of colors of red, green, blue and yellow comes from small amounts of water. It also has a unique play-of-color, meaning its colors change under different light sources.
Australian opal rings feature some of the most sought-after opal gemstones in the world. Natural opal gemstones are mined in the country, setting them apart from imported and synthetic opals. Australian opal gemstones tend to be higher quality than other opals, with bright and vivid colors that range from blues and greens to pinks, oranges and reds. Australian opal rings are among the most sought-after engagement rings, thanks to their high standards of quality and cut.
History of Australian Opal Rings
Australia has long had a sterling reputation for its opal rings, and with good reason. Australia produces 95% of the world’s opals, making it an obvious choice for the highest quality opal rings. In addition, there’s a long history of Australian opal rings, with some of the oldest on record dating back to the early 1800s. Australia’s association with opal gemstones continues to this day and is among the top choices for engagement and wedding rings.
Types of Opal Rings
There are three main types of opal rings: Solid, Doublet and Triplet. Solid opal rings feature a single opal stone, while doublet and triplet rings feature two and three layers of opal stones respectively.
Solid Opal Rings
Solid opal rings, also known as natural opals, are the most popular choice for opal engagement and wedding rings. These rings feature a single, solid opal stone that’s either solid or semi-translucent. Solid opal rings can range from a light, pastel shade to a deep and mysterious black. The colors of the opal are determined by the amount of water trapped within the stone.
Doublet Opal Rings
Doublet opal rings feature two layers of opal gemstones, with a solid black-colored opal base and a transparent or light-colored opal on top. The black-colored opal is usually composed of ironstone, while the top layer is composed of a thin sheet of opal or a synthetic material. Doublet opal rings tend to be less expensive than solid opal rings as they’re not made from a single stone.
Triplet Opal Rings
Finally, triplet opal rings are the least expensive of the three types of opal rings. They feature three layers of opal gemstones, with a solid black-colored opal base and two thin layers of opal or synthetic materials on top. The upper layers are usually clear and feature rainbow-colored highlights due to the presence of clear quartz and plastic backing. Triplet opal rings tend to be less expensive than solid or doublet opal rings.
Sterling Silver Opal Rings
Sterling silver is a popular choice for opal rings and is often a favorite among customers looking for an affordable option. Sterling silver is composed of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, making it durable and ideal for use in jewelry. Sterling silver opal rings are usually plated with rhodium to prevent oxidation, meaning they’ll look brand new for years to come.
Yellow Gold Opal Rings
Another popular choice for opal rings is yellow gold. Yellow gold opal rings are made from gold that has been mixed with other metals such as copper and zinc to change its color. Yellow gold rings are often plated with rhodium for protection, giving them a lustrous, bright color.
White Gold Opal Rings
White gold opal rings are becoming increasingly popular due to their modern look and their ability to complement any skin tone. White gold is composed of gold that has been mixed with other metals such as nickel, palladium and zinc to give it a white color. White gold rings are often plated with rhodium for protection, giving them a bright, silvery look.
What to Look for in an Australian Opal Rings?
When shopping for an Australian opal ring, it is important to take the time to find the right one. Here are five key points to consider when purchasing your piece.
Opals are a relatively soft material, making them susceptible to scratches, chips, and cracks if not treated with care. Australian opals generally have an excellent rating for durability, meaning they are less likely to be damaged by everyday wear and tear. When choosing a ring, be sure to ask if it is a solid opal or if it is doublets or triplets, as these types may not last as long.
Shape and Cut
The shape and cut of an Australian opal ring will impact its appearance, brilliance, and durability. The ideal shape for an opal is an elongated oval, as this will show off the stones’ signature play of color most effectively. The cut of the stone will also affect how the light reflects off of it, which can impact its value. Our recommendation is to go for a cut with plenty of facets, as this will maximize the play of color and sparkle.
Color and Clarity
Australian opals are known for their stunning flashes of color, which range from pale blues to vibrant greens, reds, and oranges. It is important to note that the more intense the colors, the higher the quality of the stone and the higher the price. Clarity is also an important factor. While the best quality opals are usually free from any visible inclusions, if you are on a budget, you may want to opt for one with some inclusions, as it will be more affordable.
As mentioned above, opals can be vulnerable to chips and cracks, so it is important to take proper care of your ring. To keep it safe, be sure to store it away from other jewelry and in a soft cloth pouch or box. You should also avoid direct exposure to heat, water, or chemicals, as this can cause the color of the stone to fade.
The price of an Australian opal ring can vary greatly depending on its size, cut, and quality. Even the same ring in different sizes can carry vastly different prices. Be sure to do your research and compare prices from different vendors to ensure you are getting the best quality at the best price.
When shopping for an Australian opal ring, these points should be taken into consideration to ensure that you get the highest quality ring for the best value. Australian opals are incredibly stunning, and a quality opal ring is sure to add a touch of elegance to any outfit.