Can I Say 'I Do' With An Opal Engagement Ring?

While diamonds, sapphires and rubies are among the more traditional gemstones loved up couples lean towards when selecting or designing an engagement ring, Australian opals are becoming more popular for those wanting to add something a little special and definitely unique to their proposal plans.

Known as 'The Queen of Gems', with their vivid colours, brilliant patterns and shiftinga  rainbow hues, Australian opals are without doubt at the top of the list of the most beautiful jewels in the world. And each stone is as individual and unique as you are - perfect for celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime romance!

So instead of the standard stones, is an opal actually suitable for an engagement ring and what special care does an opal ring need to ensure it lasts the tests of time (and your matrimony)?

A yellow gold colourful opal engagement ring

A beautiful and colourful handcrafted gold opal engagement ring.


One aspect to consider when thinking of an opal engagement ring is the durability of the gemstone. While diamonds are renowned for their toughness, ranking at a 10 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, in comparison opals are a 'softer' gemstone, coming in at between a 5 and 6, which is about the same hardness as glass.

In no way does this mean they will break or damage easily, but they do need a little TLC when worn. So if you're prone to being a little rough with your jewellery, an engagement ring made with opal may not be ideal for you.

But it's not all bad news! There are several methods for ensuring this gem will not easily crack in a ring, such as placing it into a bezel setting which offers more protection than a claw setting, and also surrounding it with a halo of harder gemstones, such as diamonds, to create a barrier of sorts.

A couple embracing with the female wearing an opal engagement ring.

You can say 'I do!' with an opal engagement ring surrounded by diamonds.


Another factor to consider is the type of opal you will choose for your engagement ring. Found only in Australia, mainly at Lightning Ridge in outback New South Wales, solid black opals are the most rare (and in our eyes also the most beautiful) type of opal gemstone available, they can also be the most expensive.

An affordable alternative to a black opal gemstone is a doublet opal, which has the appearance of a black opal but is a composite stone, meaning two layers - a slice of opal and a black backing made of a dark material such as potch - are sandwiched together. Doublets feature rich and vivid colours and patterns, and are ideal to set in both yellow and white gold, or platinum if you prefer. 

Please note: We advise against setting triplet opals into engagement rings, as they are much better suited for dress rings than everyday wear.

Other types to consider are a crystal opals and white opals. The former features a translucent, light body tone while white or light opals typically have a milky body tone. Both have a softer, more pastel range of colours than black opal, and look beautiful set in both yellow or white gold. Boulder opal is another popular option for an engagement ring, with this gemstone from Queensland loved for its rich colour and dark ironstone body tone. 

A rose gold and diamond opal ring featuring a rectangular crystal opal.

A stunning handcrafted rose gold crystal opal engagement ring featuring a trio of diamonds on each shoulder.