Opal rings are one of the most flamboyant forms of opal jewelry. They have been prized down the ages for their breathtaking opalescence and dramatic range of color flashes. They have been considered lucky charms capable of bestowing many powers on the wearer including beauty, success and happiness as well as the powers of prophecy and foresight. And they symbolize hope and purity too. But it is their beauty, which makes opal rings perfect gifts.
When looking for the best opal ring you first need to focus on finding the ideal gemstone for the centerpiece. This can be quite difficult because there are a wide range of gemstone types but whether you choose a black, white, boulder, fire, jelly or any other opal, the most important thing to look for is the brilliance of the internal fire.
Like diamonds, opals are graded four ways according to their pattern, colors, shape and clarity. Apart from clarity, which must be good, these gradings are essentially descriptive classifications which can be interpreted subjectively. After all everyone will pick a different shape stone with different colors and patterns of opalescence for their favorite! But the best opals all have strong and striking plays of color. Gemstones with poor clarity and weak color plays do not make attractive rings.
Some opals exhibit a wide range of colors including blues, greens, purples and flashes of orange red and pink. And although many people believe that the best gemstones have the widest range of color play, this is again very subjective. It is the strength and vibrancy of the colors that makes a good opal. This means that you might prefer a gemstone with a bold blue and green color play to one which has a lot of colors but no life to it.
And if you are choosing an opal ring for someone else, say for an engagement ring, try to choose a gemstone which incorporates their favourite colors in its color play.
The best opal rings have high domed cabochon gemstones at their centers to maximise the color and make the most of its clarity. Superb clarity is important because any included sand particles can ruin the opalescence of the gemstone and with it, the appearance of the ring.
Once you have found your perfect opal, make sure it is set beautifully into a quality precious metal setting. The ring will look best if you choose a metal color matching the gemstone base color. Black opal rings always look best when made from white gold, silver or platinum but white and boulder opals can look wonderful in white or yellow metal depending upon the color plays within the gemstone itself.
Finding the perfect opal for your ring can take a lot of effort. However, the end result is worth it!