Opal engagement rings are very popular amongst people looking for different and original pieces of jewelry.
In addition to their breathtaking plays of colors, opals also carry a wealth of meaning and are thought to have soothing and healing properties.
If you’re looking for advice and guidance on buying the best opal engagement ring, that’s great! We’ve put together this Learning Jewelry guide to help you understand:
- What opal engagement rings are
- What to look for in the best opal engagement rings
- The cost of opal engagement rings (and how they’re priced)
- How to care for your opal engagement ring
- And more!
Choosing the perfect opal ring doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right guidance, you can buy a very unique and beautiful opal ring that will give you excellent value for your money.
Ready? Great — let's get cracking!
Great Craftsmanship Striking Contrast Color & Sparkle Vintage Appeal Infinity Design
1. FJC Oval Opal Gemstone and White Topaz
View On Amazon 2. Yellow Gold Opal & Diamond Halo Ring
View On James Allen 3. White Simulated Opal & Red Created Ruby
View On Amazon 4. Real Genuine Opal & Cultured Pearl Ring
View On Amazon 5. Oval Cabochon - White Simulated Opal
View On Amazon
Color & Sparkle
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
(updated as of 15/10/2021)
If you’re looking for an opal ring that offers both a beautiful look and great value, you’ll love this oval opal engagement ring.
The four-prong setting is crowned with an oval cut cabochon opal center stone that displays lovely plays of color.
The 10K white gold band features elegantly tapered shoulders that emphasize the center stone, giving the impression of a much larger gem. The band is also embellished with six round cut white topazes set on either side of the opal gemstone, creating a soft contrast with its stunning colors.
Another pleasant surprise is the complimentary gift box, which makes the question-popping experience complete and delightful.
Top 5 Best Opal Engagement Rings
Best 5 Opal Engagement Rings Reviewed
This beautiful opal design in 10K white gold is our top pick for the best opal engagement rings.
At 8 x 6mm, the oval cut opal center stone offers a lovely milky white base tone with soft plays of color for an elegant effect.
The lustrous band is made from quality 10K white gold and features a delicately tapered shank that is decorated with white topaz stones for added sparkle.
You’ll be pleased to know that the ring ships with a complimentary gift box, which means you’ll be ready to pop the question when the time comes.
- 8 x 6mm white stone opal
- Solitaire ring design with 6 white topaz accent stones
- 10K white gold craftsmanship
- Complimentary gift box included
- Simulated opal center stone
If you’re looking for a piece that is anything but unpretentious, then you’ll definitely love this opal diamond ring from James Allen.
The oval cabochon opal center stone is framed by a halo of petite brilliant diamonds, adding a luxurious feel to the design.
The quality of the band is also better with this ring. Crafted from 14K yellow gold, the band creates a striking contrast with the milky, iridescent oval stone in the center.
Multiple petite white diamond accents adorn the top part of the band, enhancing the sparkle of this halo ring design.
- .81ct natural opal center stone
- 28 round cut diamond side stones
- Solid 14K yellow gold craftsmanship
- The oval’s play of color is very subtle, which might not be desirable.
There’s a lot more to this opal set ring than meets the eye.
Weighing 1.95 carats, the simulated opal center stone offers a greater table surface area compared to our previous two picks.
It also displays gorgeous plays of color that instantly catch the eye, making it more desirable than some of the natural opal rings out there.
The opal gem is surrounded on either side by a synthetic round ruby and cubic zirconia side stones, which enhance the beauty of the design with a touch of color and sparkle.
The more affordable price point of this ring comes from the sterling silver craftsmanship, which doesn’t compromise on durability or beauty.
If you’re looking for rings with a pop of color, this one doesn’t disappoint.
- 1.95ct oval opal center stone
- Simulated ruby and cubic zirconia side stones
- .925 sterling silver band
- All stones in this design are synthetic.
A slightly different style of ring is this lovely Victorian design ring in .925 sterling silver.
The natural white oval center stone is framed by two cultured pearls that perfectly coordinate with its milky hue, adding to its vintage appeal.
What we love about this ring is the Victorian-style band, which features an elegant swirling pattern realized in solid sterling silver.
- Natural opal center stone
- Cultured pearl side stones
- Intricate Victorian-style band design
- Due to its vintage look, the band appears ‘unfinished’.
The last on our list is this oval cabochon opal ring, which is distinguished by its heart-shaped infinity band.
The simulated opal center stone in a 4-prong setting makes this ring more affordable if you’re on a budget, though you might appreciate a natural gem instead.
Delicate cubic zirconia crystals are arranged on both sides of the center stone, highlighting the romantic heart design of the sterling silver band.
- Oval cabochon opal center stone
- Cubic zirconia side stones
- Beautiful heart-shaped infinity band
- The white opal is synthetic.
What Are Opal Engagement Rings?
Like other types of opal jewelry, opal engagement rings are beautiful pieces of jewelry that are highly prized for their unique look and properties.
Opal gemstone has a long and rich cultural history. Even some of the greatest Ancient Roman scholars have admired opal’s distinctive plays of color, which encompassed the hues of ruby, emerald, sapphire, topaz and amethyst. That’s also why Ancient Romans considered opal as the most precious of all gemstones.
Others have given opals extraordinary names such as Empress, Light of the World and Pandora. Bedouins believed that opal gems fell from the sky during thunderstorms.
As the October birthstone, opal is formed by the filling of crevices in rock with silica gel. As the water evaporates, the silica is deposited in in the form of tiny spheres, which are stacked liked tiny ping-pong balls in a box.
The flashing play of color comes from the diffraction of light by these silica spheres, which are arranged in a variety of patterns and colors.
While two diamonds with the same carat, clarity, color and cut will appear exactly the same, no two opals are alike, which makes them especially attractive for engagement rings.
Unlike other birthstones...
Opals are available in a limited number of cuts and shapes. Oval cut opals are the most popular, but you’ll also find teardrop, round and cushion cut gems. Marquise, princess and emerald cuts aren’t common with opal stones.
Types of Opal
There are many different types of natural opal and we’ll give you a brief overview of the most popular varieties below:
- Light opal: Also known as white opal, this is the most common opal variety and is also the most commonly used in opal jewelry. It has a light base tone ranging from colorless to milky white and sometimes even medium gray. Because of its relatively light base tone, white opal doesn’t show colors as vividly as other opal varieties, such as black opal.
- Black opal: This is the most valued variety of opal and it’s typically found in the Lightning Ridge. While the term “black opal” might suggest a black gemstone, that isn’t the case. Black opals aren’t actually black; instead, they have a darker base tone compared to white opals. The play of color tends to be more distinguishable as well because of the striking contrast with the darker base tone.
- Fire opal: Fire opals are transparent to translucent opal varieties with very distinguishable yellow, orange and red colors. Unlike light and black opals, fire opals don’t usually display any plays of color, though some specimens can exhibit green flashes. They are mainly found in the state of Querétaro in Mexico.
- Boulder opal: What makes boulder opal stand out from other opal varieties is the fact that the host rock forms naturally as part of the gem. It is also known as Australian opal because it mainly occurs over a wide area of Western Queensland. Boulder opal can be light or black, and it has a tendency to cleave, leaving two faces with a highly polished finish.
Are Opal Engagement Rings Expensive or Cheap?
The cost of opal rings depends on three main factors: opal quality, craftsmanship quality (i.e. metal type) and side stones (if any). We'll explore each of them in more detail below.
The first factor to consider when shopping for opal engagement rings is the quality of the opal center stone. The type of opal will have the biggest impact on the actual price. While light or white opal engagement rings tend to be more affordable, black opal ones are significantly pricier because they’re rare and far more beautiful.
If you’re on a budget and looking to save on your engagement ring, then a white opal center stone will give you better value for your money.
The intensity of the colors will also influence how much the ring will cost.
The brighter and more vivid the colors, the more expensive the ring. Moreover, the percentage of play-of-color versus background color can make a difference to the quality — and price — of the piece. The greater the percentage of play-of-color, the pricier the ring.
This also offers a bargain opportunity between the type of opal and its play of color, as you might be able to compromise on the percentage or intensity of the colors for a more valuable opal variety or a bigger center stone.
Opals with blemishes and inclusions (such as pits) are considered lower-quality and thus will cost less compared to eye-clean and blemish-free ones.
Next on the list is the craftsmanship quality of your opal engagement ring. The cost will vary depending on the type of metal used for the ring.
As you’d expect, platinum rings tend to be the priciest, so they might not be an option if you’re on a budget. 14K gold is considered ‘the norm’ for engagement rings, offering excellent quality at a reasonable price point. Of course, the greater the gold quality, the more expensive the ring.
Rings crafted from 18K or even 24K gold will be significantly pricier because the quality of gold is also higher.
Whereas 14K gold contains only 58% pure gold, 18K gold contains 75% pure gold and 24K gold is 100% pure gold — hence the difference in price. Opal engagement rings can be made from white, yellow or rose gold, ranging from 10K to 18K.
Sterling silver rings, which are made from 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, tend to be far more affordable because silver isn’t considered a precious metal per se. However, that doesn’t make it any less durable or beautiful. In fact, you can find some really gorgeous opal engagement rings at much better prices than gold ones.
Let’s not forget the presence of any side stone in the ring design, which can also influence how much you’ll pay for your opal engagement ring. For example, opal and diamond engagement rings, which have an opal center stone and several diamond accents, will cost more than rings with an opal center gem and cubic zirconia side stones.
It’s very much a matter of the stone type — the more precious the side stones, the more expensive the ring.
What Should You Look for in the Best Opal Engagement Ring?
When shopping for the best opal engagement rings, there are a few aspects to consider if you want to get the best value for your money.
First, you’ll want to make sure you choose a quality opal center stone. Natural opals with intense plays of colors are more desirable, but they also tend to be more expensive, so they might not be a good option if it stretches your budget too much.
There are a few possible compromises you can make here, one of which is choosing a ring with a smaller center stone of 1 carat or less. This will enable you to pick an opal with more intense plays of color without increasing the price significantly.
Alternatively, you can pick an opal ring with a milkier base tone and less vivid colors. If the play-of-color percentage is greater than the background color, it means there won’t be much of a compromise on the beauty of the stone.
After all, it’s better to have a stone will lots of color, even if it isn’t particularly vivid, than a stone with little but vibrant color, right?
Another option is to choose a simulated or man-made opal ring. Because these are created in a lab, they don’t have the same value as natural opals with similar characteristics, so the price of the ring will also be lower.
In terms of craftsmanship, 10K and 14K gold rings will offer you the best value for your money. If a gold ring is a little too expensive for you, another great option is .925 sterling silver. While it requires more upkeep to preserve its beautiful luster, sterling silver is a durable metal that can withstand daily wear very well.
Side stones are not necessarily an important aspect if you’d rather not have any.
Even if you decide you do want side stones, you don’t need to worry about their quality as much as you would do if you were considering the center stone. Gem accents are usually very small, which means any defects won’t be visible to the naked eye.
Read also: Lab Grown Diamonds & Gems (Good or Bad?)
How to Clean Your Opal Engagement Ring?
Opal engagement rings are easy to care for, which makes them particularly attractive for wearers with very busy lifestyles. Warm water and mild soap offer a gentle yet effective way to remove the buildup of grime and oil, and they work well for most jewelry metals. This method is safe for most type of opal rings, including white and black opal rings.
Follow the steps below to clean your opal engagement ring.
1. Mix a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid in a bowl of warm water.
2. Soak the ring in the mixture for 10-15 minutes.
3. Use a soft toothbrush to gently brush away the grime and dirt on both the center stone and band. Don’t apply too much pressure to avoid damaging the ring. Pay special attention to the areas around and below the center stone.
4. Rinse with water. If there's still any dirt left on the ring, repeat steps 1-4.
5. Shake the ring to remove the excess water and use a blow-dryer on the lowest heat setting until fully dry.
It’s important to never clean opal jewelry in mechanical cleaning systems like boiling, ultrasonic or steam machines.
Where to Buy Opal Engagement Rings?
Now that you’re familiar with what to look for in the best opal rings and how to care for them, let’s move on to where to buy them.
We always recommend choosing a reputable jeweler when shopping for jewelry of any kind, as this will give you the largest selection of quality products at reasonable price points.
James Allen is one such jeweler, offering a number of beautiful opal engagement rings crafted with the finest materials. With over 20 years of industry experience, James Allen also brings you the expertise of a professional jeweler so you can shop with confidence every time.
However, if you’re looking for an even larger selection of products at different price points, then shopping at Amazon is your best bet. With hundreds of rings to choose from, you’ve got a lot more freedom when it comes to the ring design, not to mention discounts and special offers that will give you great savings on many products.
We don’t recommend shopping on marketplaces like Etsy, as many products don’t have any warranty and the craftsmanship quality won’t match that of James Allen or Amazon.
Our Top Pick
Offering both a beautiful aesthetic and a great price point, this oval and white topaz ring is our top pick. While the gold quality doesn’t match that of the James Allen ring, you’re still getting excellent value for your money and a decidedly better craftsmanship than our sterling silver picks.
We especially like the reversed tapered shank of the ring, which accentuates the oval gem in the center and give the impression of a larger stone. Also, the white topazes add an exquisite dose of sparkle to the design without an increase in the price of the ring.