While traditional engagement rings feature diamonds as their centerpieces, they're available with any other gemstone, including opals. If you're an opal lover or if you celebrate a birthday in October, which is associated with the gemstone, consider getting an engagement ring featuring one. Since opals are delicate gemstones, you'll have to properly care for it to ensure its longevity.
Opals are opaque gemstones known for their ability to change colors in the light due to diffraction. The gemstones are sometimes referred to as featuring fiery colors ranging from red to blue to green. Each natural opal features a unique color combination, and lab-grown opals are available as well for those looking to save money.
If you're looking for a creative spin on a typical engagement ring, consider choosing an opal instead of a diamond. You can go with just one large center opal or have it surrounded by small diamonds or other types of gemstones, such as sapphires or rubies.
Engagement ring bands are available in a variety of metals, including yellow, white and rose gold, platinum, and sterling silver. Each type of metal has different recommended care instructions that also have to be considered along with the opal maintenance.
Following are some opal engagement ring care tips.
On a Daily Basis
While you can wear your opal engagement ring every day, it's important to remove it before working with any chemicals or partaking in manual labor or sports activities. For instance, always take your ring off before washing dishes or taking a shower, as soaps can dull the look of the opal and the band. Also, remove your ring before working on a car or playing baseball, to name just a few hands-on activities.
Be sure to take off your ring prior or put on gloves prior to cleaning with harsh products such as ammonia or bleach, which can damage the opal and band. If you happen to get any chemicals on the ring, rinse it off in warm water as soon as possible.
On a Regular Basis
Once a month or at least a few times a year, depending on how much daily wear and tear your ring gets, clean it with a warm water and mild detergent mixture. You can also use a cleaner specifically formulated for use on opals.
Use a soft, clean toothbrush to apply the soapy mixture to the ring, and work it into the prongs and settings. Rinse with clear water and pat the ring dry with a soft cloth. If your opal gets scratched, take it to a jeweler or an opal cutter for a thorough professional polishing, which will restore the gem's natural luster and shine.
For more information on how to care for women's engagement rings, contact a professional near you.