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A word of advice on certain Opal Rings

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A word of advice on certain Opal Rings

Tue 12 Apr, 2011

We've been getting some emails lately about a certain type of opal ring, that despite the recommendations and advice we give, people seem to want to go ahead with using them still.

I am referring to Inlay Opal Rings.  Now, while we do have a range of these rings in store (not available online, as the majority of them cannot be resized), we only stock them in Silver. Why? Because these are just Dress Rings.

The opal used in Inlay Opal Rings is only relatively thin.  They are pieces of opal, GLUED into the band of the ring, then ground and polished down to fit flush with the band. It does make for a very interesting, stunning look, HOWEVER, because the opal is only glued in and only thin, it does make the ring very vulnerable to damage if worn frequently. 

Basically, the inlay is in effect, a doublet.  This means no water near it, otherwise, if wet frequently, the water will begin to break down the glue and the peeling will start.  Also, because the opal used is only a thin sliver (roughly 1 to 1.5mm), and due to the softer nature of the stone, a simple hard knock would be enough to crack or dislodge a stone.

As a silver dress ring, these are great.  BUT... we have seen people using these style of rings, in gold, as wedding bands. We would NOT recommend this. Wedding bands are worn everyday, and those frequent to knocking and abuse. Diamonds can handle that. Inlay Opal definitely can not.

We find ourselves repairing these types of rings at least once a week, stressing to the client about the pros and more importantly the cons of this style of ring, yet the majority still insist on wearing them daily.

If you are wanting an opal ring, particularly for a wedding or engagement band, please really consider long and hard about the style of setting.  We do design styles that are similar to inlay, but involve setting the solid opal into the shank, but the difference being that the opal will not follow the curve of the shank.

Please consider these words of advice, and if you are wanting an opal engagement ring/wedding band, read the section on engagement rings, or more importantly, contact us directly.