If you hadn't considered an opal engagement ring already, let us introduce you to their mystifying beauty and allure. "For the untraditional non-diamond bride, opals make the perfect engagement ring because they display a different kind of sparkle than a diamond—a magical, iridescent sparkle," explains jewelry designer Misa Hamamoto.
What Is an Opal?
An opal is an incredibly unique gemstone known for its display of flashing colors, which is called play-of-color. Formed during the dry period after seasonal rains in regions like Australia, the opal is also the October birthstone.
"You can't deny the wondrous beauty within an opal. Each opal is truly one-of-a-kind, which is fitting for the one-of-a-kind bride," Hamamoto continues. "The wonderful thing about opal jewelry is not only that they're absolutely stunning, but they are much more budget-friendly than big diamond rings."
Meet the Expert
Misa Hamamoto is a jewelry designer and creator of Los Angeles-based Misa Jewelry.
Pros and Cons of an Opal Engagement Ring
The pros associated with opal engagement rings aren't a secret: These stones can be deeply significant. Not only is the opal the birthstone associated with October birthdates, but opals also hold an irresistible charm thanks to their lustrous shine and brilliance. In fact, most people agree that these stones shine naturally without having to have too many extra details.
But even the best (and shiniest) stones aren't perfect. Opals can easily scratch and are more delicate than other stories, which can be considered a significant drawback for some people.
What to Look for in an Opal Engagement Ring
- How much do opals cost? Opals come in a wide variety of colors and are characterized by their background tone. White is the most common color and black opals are the most expensive.
- Do opals have as much shine as other stones? The ethereal flashes within the stone are called its "play of color" and can occur in a kaleidoscope of hues.
- Are opals full of color? There are opals with very muted plays of color that can seem completely opaque.
- Are opals rough? Opals, like pearls, are smooth stones and not faceted like other gems.
How to Care for an Opal Engagement Ring
First things first, opals are one of the softest gemstones and need to be handled gently. Also, note that lab-created opals tend to be a bit stronger than their natural counterparts. Since opals are softer gems, your ring should always be handled with care. Always take the ring to a jeweler for cleaning—they will be experts at delicately cleaning the opal.
"We advise that you wear your opal jewelry with great care and love so they become future heirlooms," says Hamamoto. "Don't submerge them under water, don't apply harsh cleaning agents to them, and don't go rock climbing with them! (One of our clients did this and they learned the hard way)."
History of Opal Rings
If you're looking for deep meaning with your engagement ring stone, look no further. Known as "The Queen of Gems," and recognized as the October birthstone, opals have incredible significance attached to them, dating back to the middle ages—it was believed opals had the power to make their wearer invisible. Opals rose back into fashion when Queen Victoria became fascinated with them. Other famous opal-lovers in history include Cleopatra and Empress Josephine. So you're in good company. In fact, it's so difficult to resist the charms of these stones that we're willing to bet you've already fallen under their spell, so here are some facts before you begin the search for your perfect ring.
Ready to find your own opal engagement ring? We've curated a list of our 56 favorite styles below.
Stella and Bow Punta Vista Ring
A simple setting of an opal-colored stone and 14k gold vermeil. The milky iridescence of the stone exudes a comforting warmth. Stella and Bow specializes in delicate, cool-girl jewelry pieces that are both budget-friendly and timeless.
Price at time of publish: $80
Blue Nile Opal Rope Ring
An opal stone is set on a sterling silver, split-shank band with rope detailing. The soft, cool-toned hues of the stone have an entrancing quality about them, emphasized by the white metal. The combination stands out beautifully on a wide array of skin tones.
Price at time of publish: $290
Reeds Jewelers Oval Opal Ring
A golden borealis of vibrant pastels pairs perfectly with the glow of yellow gold. This vintage-inspired opal is set in a ring of 10k yellow gold. Rounded prongs and bead accents exquisitely complement the curves of the oval stone.
Price at time of publish: $300
A Sweet Pear Fire Opal Ring With Bead Rope Design
Fire opals have earned their name from their incendiary glow. This translucent gem glitters with a mythical radiance. The ring features an oval stone set on a 14k yellow gold, beaded band.
Price at time of publish: $258
Master Jewelry Shop Opal Diamond Engagement Ring
There is a heavenly milkiness to this beauty. An oval-shaped opal set on a 14k rose gold pavé band. The pink tones of the metal almost give this stone a mother-of-pearl quality.
Price at time of publish: starting at $441
Emi Conner Jewelry "Olivia" Australian Opal Ring
Such a fitting tribute to the "Queen of Gems." This pink-hued stunner boasts a regal topper. An Australian opal finished off with a half-crown and set in 14k gold.
Price at time of publish: starting at $390
Misa Jewelry Compass Ring
This ring features a pear-shaped opal, horizontally bezel-set in 14k gold. "Some of our clients love the white, milky opals with a fiery flash so I'll customize their ring around an opal with those characteristics," says Hamamoto.
Price at time of publish: $500
Diamond Fine Jewelry Genuine Opal Engagement Ring
A hexagonal halo gives this classic style a geometric twist. And check out that incredible blue aura emanating from deep within the gem. An opal center stone is framed by a pavé halo and set in 14k gold.
Price at time of publish: $580
Misa Jewelry Tribe Opal Ring
opal. This ring features a marquise-cut opal set in 14k yellow gold. The horizontally-set marquise stone is a much more boho take on its vertical counterparts.
Price at time of publish: $540
Wwake Nestled Opal and Diamond Ring
A minimalist design with supernatural brilliance. This nestled style may be small, but the brilliance emanating from that opal is anything but. The ring features a tiny diamond sitting atop a nestled opal, set in 14k yellow gold.
Price at time of publish: $555
Misa Jewelry Lookout Point Opal Ring
An opal center stone is framed by a V-shaped shank with diamond accents, set in 14k gold. "I love any jewelry with opals," says Hamamoto. "They simply look beautiful set in yellow, rose, and white gold and I love how they play off of the colors of other stones set with them."
Price at time of publish: $660
Misa Jewelry Raindrop Opal Ring
The Raindrop ring celebrates the stone's enchanting color spectrum with a pear-shaped opal accented with pavé diamonds, and set in 14k gold.
Price at time of publish: $695
Zoë Chicco Opal & Sunburst Diamond Ring
A glittering white ring that can represent so many things. Three teardrop opals and one white diamond are set in 14k gold. Turn the ring upside-down, for an angelic silhouette. Flip the perspective and you have all the symbolism of a half lotus or sunburst design.
Price at time of publish: $625
Variance Australian Opal Small Ring
A diamond in the rough, err, an opal in the rough. There's something hauntingly beautiful about a ruggedly organic ring. This one features an Australian opal set in a mix of 14k rose and white gold, and 18k yellow gold.
Price at time of publish: starting at $390
Stud and Stuff Opal Bridal Ring Set
A perfect nuptial match, just like you and your spouse-to-be. An Ethiopian opal is flanked by diamonds in an art-deco design and set in 14k gold. Its mate perfectly nestles in on top of it creating a delicate tiara topper of diamonds.
Price at time of publish: starting at $720
AuRate Diamond Halo Opal Ring
A soft pink opal is oh-so feminine. The opal center stone is framed by a pavé halo and set in 14k gold. AuRate believes your conscience should be just as gleaming as the jewelry you wear so they strive to create ethical and sustainable pieces with transparent pricing.
Price at time of publish: $800
Capucinne Opal Engagement Ring
A sweet cluster ring to take on any symbolism that resonates with you. The ring features an Australian opal accented by a single diamond and set in 14k gold. The blaze of this cool-toned gem is absolutely electrifying.
Price at time of publish: $880
Grace Lee Square Bezel Opal Ring
A contemporary style with old-world charm. An asscher-cut opal is bezel set in 14k gold. The thin band creates the illusion that the translucent stone is floating atop your finger.
Price at time of publish: $685
Angara Double-Claw-Set Oval Opal Halo Ring With Diamonds
An incendiary opal burns brightly as light refractions from the surrounding diamonds feed its flames. An oval opal is framed by a halo of diamonds and set on a 14k gold or platinum band. The claw setting secures the stone without hindering its brilliance.
Price at time of publish: $1,979
Opal and Diamond Cocktail Statement Fashion Ring
A vintage 1960's design with a contemporary opal center stone. A white opal is flanked by diamond accents and set in 14k gold. The elevated prong setting allows the gem to be bathed in light, constantly glittering with its colorful aura.
Price at time of publish: $792
Misa Jewelry Shima Reef Opal Ring
"My jewelry designs are intricately hand-sculpted and inspired by various elements of nature from tree roots to the glowing moon," explains Hamamoto. Here, a round Ethiopian opal is set on a 14k gold cutout band.
Price at time of publish: $925
Misa Jewelry Native Opal Ring
"I personally have my heart set on Australian opals with more saturation in color because it reminds me of the sea and warm waters," says Hamamoto. "So I take the time to select each opal that I use in my jewelry line." Here, a marquise-cut opal is enveloped in a half halo of pavé diamonds, and set in 14k gold.
Price at time of publish: $950
Jennie Kwon Opal Long Spear Ring
An art-deco design for all of the old souls out there. An opal center stone is flanked by diamond accents and milgrain detail, set in 14k gold. The grayish hue of the gem is exceptionally sophisticated, especially with the satiny finish of the gold.
Price at time of publish: $898
Misa Jewelry Oasis Opal Ring
"I say this for all engagement rings—the overall design of the ring and how it complements the beauty of the gemstones needs to speak to you," says Hamamoto. "You should love everything about your ring because it's your forever ring." Here, an opal center stone is framed by a partial halo of pavé diamonds, and set in 14k gold.
Price at time of publish: $985
Angara Oval Opal Ring With Floral Diamond Halo
A glimmering cluster style with a floral flair. At the core of this eye-catching sunflower lies a milky canvas of vibrant brushstrokes. An oval opal center stone is framed by a halo of diamonds, set in 14k gold or platinum.
Price at time of publish: $2,169
Angara Vintage Style Opal and Diamond Cushion Halo Ring
In true art-deco style, this ring has a geometric structure highlighted by decadent diamonds. A single opal center stone emanates a celestial aura amongst a bed of starry gems. A round opal with cushion-shaped diamond and milgrain halo, set in 14k gold or platinum.
Price at time of publish: $1,439
Misa Jewelry Freshwater Opal Ring
"Opals are so alluring because they vary widely in color and flash, so it's really up to the personal preference of the collector," says Hamamoto. "I love all shapes and sizes of opals but if I had to choose, opals with more saturation in color tend to be my favorite." Here, a horizontal, bezel-set opal on a 14k gold band accented with diamonds.
Price at time of publish: $995
Mociun Stacked Opal Ring
A pearlescent opal is the epitome of bridal style. This simple design has the stone practically floating above the band. The ring features an opal cabochon stacked on top of a row of pavé diamonds, set in 14k gold.
Price at time of publish: $985
Wwake Small Opal Monolith Ring
This ring reminds us of a compass with your destiny set within its scope. It's hard to envision anything else with the transcendent light coming from that single opal. Here, a round opal set on a 14k yellow gold band.
Price at time of publish: $1,055
Ascheron Opal and Diamond Ring
Gray opals have a timeless sophistication about them. The fine millgrain detail and floral flourishes add an antique aesthetic to the dainty design. Here, an oval opal is accented with diamonds and set in choice of gold or platinum.
Price at time of publish: starting at $959
Minimal VS Australian Opal Ring
This half-moon design exhibits a mystical quality about it. The unearthly fluorescence of this stone is positively transcendental. Here, an Australian opal with diamond accent set in gold.
Price at time of publish: starting at $1,290
Ascheron Opal and Diamond Ring
A refreshing take on the traditional three-stone ring. A single opal is embraced in a hug of symmetrical diamonds. Set in choice of 18k gold or platinum.
Price at time of publish: starting at $1,172
Sofia Zakia Opal "Wandering Star" Ring
Have the heavens wrapped around your finger with this astral design. The incandescent center stone blazes as if powered by the celestial motifs themselves. The ring features an Australian opal framed by diamond accents and stellar designs, set in 14k gold.
Price at time of publish: $1,340
Ascheron "Saorsa" Opal and Diamond Ring
This pearlescent, pastel opal is set amongst a row of graduated diamonds like a precious jewel protected by a glittering cavalry. The five-stone ring is set in a choice of gold or platinum. Ascheron is a Dublin-based jewelry house focused on forging handcrafted pieces through ethical practices.
Price at time of publish: starting at $1,279
Ascheron Opal "Ciel" Ring
This ring was inspired by the "feeling of freedom in an open sky" in mind. But we also see it as a joining of two entities. A pear-shaped opal and princess-cut diamond come together in a setting of either gold or platinum.
Price at time of publish: starting at $1,332
Angara Pear Opal Ring With Diamond Halo
A gorgeous display of an opal's galactic aura. Sparkling diamonds bounce beams of light off the stone's surface, amplifying its inner radiance. The ring features a pear-shaped opal with pavé halo and band, set in 14k yellow gold.
Price at time of publish: $1,389
Wwake Large Organic Crossover Opal and Diamond Ring
This organic design encompasses all the whimsical and enchanting qualities of Mother Nature. The iridescent opal emits a radiant green glow as if it contained the heart of the forest itself. Here, an opal center stone accented with scattered white diamonds, set in 14k gold.
Price at time of publish: $1,680
Capucinne Opal Engagement Ring
This pearlescent, teardrop-shaped opal radiates with an angelic light. The pear-shaped design is magnified with a halo of white diamonds and set on a pavé diamond band. Capucinne is a Slovenian brand that prides itself on creating fine jewelry pieces with an innately personalized feel.
Price at time of publish: $1,700
Allurez Cushion-Cut Opal Solitaire Engagement Ring
An opal solitaire with a curvaceous appeal. To keep with the aesthetic, the band itself also has a rounded style. A cushion-cut opal with a simple bezel setting in 14k gold. Opt for a bezel setting in lieu of the more common prong style to better protect the soft opal stone.
Price at time of publish: $3,739
Capucinne Black Lightning Ridge Opal Engagement Ring
The watery look of opal is even more apparent with this particular stone. This ring features a black Australian opal set on a band of glittering black diamonds.
Price at time of publish: $2,760
Luna Skye Solitaire Cushion Opal Eternity Ring
Pastel decadence is the only way to describe this stunner. An opal center with pavé accents and eternity band are set in 14k gold. The halo effect on this piece is set beneath the opal, instead of around it, creating a peek-a-boo effect.
Price at time of publish: $3,100
Yael Designs Rectangular Opal Ring
A rectangular design gives a modern, linear look to this piece. A 1.39-carat opal center stone is framed by a pavé halo and band, set in 18k white gold. Yael Designs is known for their imaginative and inspired approach to jewelry-making.
Price at time of publish: $6,996
Tomasz Donocik "Stellar Hook" Stone Ring With Pink Opal
An architectural style for the nontraditional bride. An opaque, pink opal center is framed by a hook of white agate, Mozambique ruby, hematite, and pink opal baguettes, set in 18k rose gold. Tomasz Donocik's style is defined by bold and daring designs inspired by abstract and geometric artwork.
Price at time of publish: $3,806
Jemma Wynne "Toujours" Opal and Diamond Ring
A ring that houses an entire aurora borealis within its bosom. Here, an opal center stone and diamond band bezel-set in 18k yellow gold. All of Jemma Wynne's pieces are a blend of precious materials with a laid-back, ready-to-wear approach for the ultimate wearable luxury.
Price at time of publish: $5,670
Anna Sheffield "Stardust Bea" Ring
A blue and green opal takes on a gilded glow in this old-world design. A rectangular opal cabochon is flanked by champagne diamond accents and set in 14k yellow gold. Anne Sheffield believes jewelry is much more than mere ornamentation, she views her creations as ceremonial talismans alive with their own unique energies.
Price at time of publish: Price varies
Abby Sparks Jewelry "The Jessyka" Ring
A black opal that's set ablaze in peacock-hued flames. The pear-shaped opal is framed by a halo of diamonds, Ceylon blue sapphires, and intricately scalloped texture, all set in 18k white gold. Abby Sparks prides herself on handcrafting unique, one-of-kind pieces forged from 100 percent recycled materials.
Price at time of publish: starting at $13,000