FAQ: Are opals suitable for mens’ rings? Do men wear opal rings? Are opals strong enough for a man’s opal ring?
Opals are one of the world’s most amazing gemstones, and men all over the world are taking advantage of opal’s striking colours to create a unique, masculine piece of opal jewelry. However, it’s important to do your research if you’re thinking about buying a mens’ opal ring or having a custom opal ring made. Since men are usually much harder on their jewellery, mens’ rings usually need to be much harder wearing than ladies’ rings.
Since opal is not as hard as diamonds (see caring for opal for more details), you do need to take precautions to ensure your opal doesn’t get damaged. Opals rank at about 5 or 6 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, whereas diamonds rank at 10. To put this into perspective, opals are about the same hardness as glass. There are a number of ways you can ensure the maximum security and durability of your opal. Much like opal engagement rings, you should consult the advice of experts before going ahead and buying an opal ring.
Opals Down Under has made hundreds of customised opal rings, and we’ve got mens’ rings down to a fine art. Here are our tips to help you get the best out of your opal ring:
Tips for buying a man’s opal ring
- Pick a rub-over (bezel) setting. This is pretty much a “must” for mens’ opal rings, as rub-over settings provide much better protection and security for your opal (See the above photo for an example). A thin bezel of gold follows and covers the edge of the stone, protecting damage from impact, and ensuring the stone stays securely in place. Claw settings are much less secure, provide little protection, and can wear down over time – especially in rings.
- Boulder opal is harder wearing. Due to its very hard natural ironstone backing, Queensland boulder opal is more robust and has an advantage over other types of opal. For a man’s opal ring, boulder opal is ideal. Black opals, crystal opals, and white opals are also suitable, but do not have the same hard-wearing quality as boulder opals. Due to their unusual ‘free’ shape, boulder opals also lend themselves to more creativity in design.
- Select a stone with a low cabochon (i.e. dome on top). Opals with a high cabochon are more exposed and vulnerable to impact damage, so if your stone has a flat or low cabochon top, it’s less likely to be damaged.
- 14k gold is harder than 18k gold, so you might like to consider having your ring made in 14k gold. (It’s also cheaper). When it comes to mens’ opal rings, the harder wearing the stone and setting, the better.
Due to the varying sizes of mens’ fingers, we rarely stock mens’ opal rings in-store, but rather prefer to have rings custom made to suit the client. Simply email us your ideas and we’ll promptly draw up some designs for you.
The cost of your opal ring depends on the type of stone and setting you choose, as well as the size of your finger. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to talk about having a man’s opal ring custom designed, we’d be more than happy to help. In the meantime, feel free to learn more about opals, or check out our current stock of opal rings.