OPAL ENGAGEMENT RINGS ARE IN TREND
HOW TO CHOOSE AN OPAL ENGAGEMENT RING
There's no better way to show your love than with an opal engagement ring. These engagement rings are not only stunning but they have the added benefit of being so unique so there will never be another one like it again - A true symbol for commitment between two people who are looking for something extraordinary special and unique
An opal engagement ring is for those who want their relationship to have some originality- just like them. A stone’s unique pattern will shift depending on what mood you're wearing: light pink or navy blue? Beige lace dress vs black suit – there's no wrong answer when choosing this beautiful gemstone because each hue has its own personality attached. The play of color in this stone cannot be duplicated by any diamond. In addition, opal is considered a stone that fidelity and purity; many newlyweds choose rings with such an insert to symbolize their commitment towards each other.
In nature, opal takes on a wide variety of shapes, colors and characteristics. There are two main types of opals: noble and common.
Noble (precious) opals shine with all the colors of the rainbow and seem to glow from the inside, these properties are called opalescence. They are translucent or completely transparent, have a variety of colors - from black to bluish-white. The percentage of moisture determines the gem value of the mineral. Opals of gem quality most often contain from 6% to 10% water. These are some of the most valuable types of stones in the jewelry world.
Ordinary. They do not shimmer in the light, painted exactly in pastel colors: beige, pinkish, grayish. The most beautiful specimens, after grinding, are used as semi-precious stones.
Opal Quality Factors
Acording to GIA (Gemological Institute of America) the qualify factors of an Opal are as follow; Color, Patter and Clarity.
Color (body tone and play-of-color), pattern (arrangement of play-of-color), clarity (transparency and quantity of inclusions).
Play-of-color (opalescence) is the most important factor in opal evaluation. Catching light at every turn, the stone begins to glow with iridescent tints. The secret of this lies in the fact that the stone does not have a crystalline structure, but consists of spherical particles of silica. When light waves strike the silicon beads, they break into all shades of the color spectrum.
The body tone or colored background of an opal is different from the color and is graded on a tone scale. This scale represents the approximate body tone values in equal intervals from colorless, white, through various shades of gray, to black on the body tone scale from N1 to N9.
In addition to unusual colors, opals also differ in patterns. While no opals will look the same, they do have some recognized patterns. The Harlequin pattern is a rare and expensive variety of opal, the mosaic pattern of which consists of distinct patches of various colors. Other Notable Patterns: Ribbon, Flashfire, Chinese Writing, Floral, Pinfire, Broad flash, Chaff.
Clarity is the degree to which a gemstone is transparent and free from internal defects. Opal of any body color can be opaque, translucent or transparent. When transparent or very transparent and the color sharpness is sharp, it is often referred to as crystalline opal. Crystalline opal can have a black, dark or light body tone. In this context, the term "crystal" refers to the appearance of the opal rather than its crystal structure.
Luster and brightness are fundamental factors when choosing an opal. A very bright opal, however small it may be, has a much higher value than a very large but low brightness. Opal gloss is measured on a gloss scale that consists of 7 levels B1 to B7.
Types of opals
Opals are often classified into types based on the background color. There are many different types of opals, the most popular are:
Black opal. Has a black body color with fire, which often looks spectacular against a dark background. The body color can also be very dark bluish, greenish or brownish. The contrast in color and body color makes black opals very popular and also the rarest.
White opal. Has a translucent or opaque white background with a play of color.
Fire opal. From translucent to transparent with a yellow, orange or red body color, these stones may or may not display a play of colors. The "fire" in their name refers to the color of their body, not the play of color. These stones are also called Mexican or solar opals.
Boulder opal. From translucent to opaque opal with a play of color within the host rock. Thin layers of opal exist within the host rock (called the matrix). The opal is cut with an attached matrix and forms part of the finished stone.
Crystal opal. Crystal opals, colorless, transparent or translucent in transmitted light, have a rich play of colors in reflected light. Black crystal opals from transparent to translucent, with a dark body color and a play of color.
Hydrophane opal (a type of Ethiopian opal). The most common opal category on the market today and also used in our vintage inspired style opal engagement ring Light and opaque opals become transparent and show a play of color when soaked in water or oil. Ethiopian opals are often subjected to additional processing to improve their appearance and increase the price.
Setting. Gemstones with warm hues look best when set in gold, which reflects light and adds shine to the opal. But stones of cold emerald-blue shades are best combined with white gold.
Cut. All natural stones are of different sizes and shapes, so they are often given an unusual shape in order to preserve and, if possible, emphasize the extraordinary play of colors and play. Fire opals are often cut brilliantly. Otherwise, the stones are cut into oval or round cabochons, which emphasize the original shape and color of the stone.
Since natural opal takes a long time to form, tens or even hundreds of thousands of years, its cost is high. It is very common for jewelers to use harvested or synthetic opals that are processed to standard sizes. They are distinguished by their uniform color and uniform shape.
Synthetic opal. Today, synthetic opals are not inferior to natural ones in beauty and play of light, but their price range is more attractive. Thanks to scientific studies of the structure of a natural mineral, they learned how to synthesize and obtain a stone by industrial means, which almost does not differ from the original opal. The advantages of synthetic stone are that they are not afraid of excessive moisture and sunlight.
Assembled opals. Opals are often referred to as doublet and triplet. The doublets are in two parts. The lower part is made of a dark material, and the upper part is made of a thin layer of precious opal, the layers are joined together with a special glue. As a rule, natural stones are taken to make doublets, but synthetics are also found. They are recognized when examining the stone from the side. Triplets consist of three parts connected to each other. The bottom layer is a dark material, the second is thin opal and the top is quartz. In terms of cost, triplets are cheaper than doublets.
Common Opal Enhancements
Opals can be further processed to improve their appearance and increase the price. These improvements should be reported prior to sale. The main methods of improvement include: oil or wax impregnation (improves the play of color, masks flaws); smoke (darkens the color of the stone); coloring with dye or sugar (darkens the body color and increases the concentration of black).
How to identify natural opal
All natural jewelry opals are unique. Therefore, the patterns on the inside are not repeated. Such a mineral is iridescent, but its color is uniform. On close inspection, if there is a fake in the hands, it can be seen that there are either the same patterns, or an unnatural change in the brightness of the stone.
Natural opal is capable of transmitting rays through itself. It shimmers in soft, smooth, multicolored tones. The overflow of the glass is sharp, monochromatic.
In synthetic opal, air bubbles in microcracks can be seen through a magnifying glass. It also sticks well, if you lick it, you get the feeling that the tongue is stuck to it.
On doublets (triplets) and layered fakes, when viewed under a magnifying glass, places where layers are glued are noticeable.
Opal deposits can be found all over the world. Today most of the opals are of Australian origin. Over 90% of the crystals supplied to the jewelry sector are mined there. Ethiopia is an ancient source of opals that exhibit remarkable color play. In addition, there are deposits in Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Japan, Slovakia, and the USA. Large deposits of this gem are found in volcanic areas, that is, where a volcano previously operated or is still active today.
Opal is an amorphous silica with no crystalline structure, which is formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. Opals are divided into two types by genesis:
- Sedimentary forms in the earth's crust as a result of physical and chemical processes.
- Hydrothermal occurs as a result of the solidification of cooling magma.
Chemically opal (SiO2 × n H2O) is a hardened silica hydrogel. In terms of properties, the mineral is similar to quartz, but has one significant difference - variable humidity. The amount of liquid in the opal varies from 0.5 to 32%.
|Although opal is above average, it is fragile and can break easily under strong pressure. A gemstone is afraid of sudden changes in temperature, strong cooling and heating. In addition, due to the high-water content in its composition, opals cannot be kept in places with very dry air.
Physical properties: hardness on the Mohs scale - 5.5–6.5; density - 1.96−2.20 g / cm³; refraction - 1.44-1.46; transparency: transparent, translucent, opaque; glass shine, greasy, pearlescent, waxy; the color is due to impurities of iron, chromium, magnesium, calcium, copper and other inclusions.
Proper care of opals
To keep the gem in the best possible condition, you must adhere to some rules of care. Long exposure to the sun is contraindicated for opal, as it can become dehydrated, lose its iridescence and become milky white. It must be protected from sudden changes in temperature, as this can cause cracking due to the large amount of moisture contained in the opal.
How to clean an opal
|The opal ring is cleaned without the use of chemical paste or abrasives. A safe way to clean opal is with warm soapy water or a soft cloth dampened with a drop of olive oil. Do not immerse in hot water - this will cause cracking!
Take off your ring before doing housework and gardening, bathing, or washing your hands. Put on your opal ring after applying makeup. Store it in an individual storage box.
Opal's hardness is not the highest, from 5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, which makes it quite susceptible to scratches. Sometimes opals in rings can become lifeless due to surface scratches, but simple re-polishing can usually fix this.
Careful handling of the opal ring and simple precautions will keep this precious stone from breaking down and losing its luster.
If you’re looking for a beautiful engagement ring that will really stand out from the rest, opal is perfect! Opals are considered one of the most valuable stones on earth because they have so many different colors in them which makes it difficult to find two pieces with identical coloration. We carry engagement rings with opals at OSCARGAMA JEWELRY COLOR GEMS for couples who love to go beyond the ordinary.Here you can make a custom-made engagement ring in any price range! Explore our site for more information about how to order your own opal wedding ring today!