Opals are one of the most stunning gemstones on the planet, and men all over the world are using its brilliant colors to create one-of-a-kind, macho opal jewelry. If you're considering getting a men's opal ring or having a bespoke opal band manufactured, you should do your homework beforehand. Men's rings must be substantially more durable than women's rings because men are typically harsher on their jewelry. Here are some suggestions for getting the most out of your opal ring!
All About Opal
Because opal is not as hard as diamonds, you must take extra precautions to protect your opal. Opals have a Mohs hardness of roughly 6, whereas diamonds have a Mohs hardness of 10. To put this into perspective, opals have a hardness similar to that of glass. These rings, however, are exceptionally crafted and are flawless accents for any man.
Choosing Your Opal Ring
Rub-over settings are almost a "must" for men's opal rings, since they provide considerably more protection and security for your opal. A thin gold bezel surrounds and protects the stone's edge, preventing impact damage and ensuring the stone's safe placement. Claw settings are less secure, offer less protection, and can deteriorate over time, especially in rings.
Boulder opal is more durable. Queensland boulder opal is more resilient and has an advantage over other forms of opal due to its extremely hard natural ironstone foundation. Boulder opal is perfect for a man's opal ring. Black, crystal, and white opals are also suitable, but they do not have the same toughness as boulder opals. Boulder opals allow for more versatility in design because of their peculiar 'free' shape.
Choose a stone with a small cabochon (dome on top). Opals with a high cabochon are more subject to impact damage, therefore if your stone has a flat or low cabochon top, it will be less likely to be damaged. Because 14k gold is tougher than 18k gold, you may want to have your ring manufactured in 14k gold. (It's also less expensive.) The harder wearing the stone and setting are on men's opal rings, the better.
Caring for Your Opal Ring
Opal is simple to care for. It only takes a bit of common sense and basic knowledge. You must first determine the type of opal you have before deciding how to best care for it.
Doublet opals are made up of two layers: a thin opal slice and a black background. To intensify the color, a slice of opal is bonded to the backing.
Triplets - Like doublets, triplets have a third transparent layer (quartz or glass) on top of the opal to protect it and give it a rounder form.
Solid Opal is a natural solid opal that has been cut and polished alone.
Because opal is a soft stone with a hardness similar to glass, it is vital to treat it with care to avoid destroying it. If there's a danger your opal jewelry will get scratched or shattered, take it off.
Many people believe that water can harm solid opals, although this is only true for doublets and triplets. In water, solid opals are fine. In reality, water makes up about 5-6 percent of most expensive opals. As a result, if exposed to extremely dry circumstances or fast temperature changes, opal may break. Try to stay away from extremes in temperature or humidity.
Taking care of doublets or triplets differs from taking care of solid opals. Because doublets and triplets are made up of numerous layers that are glued together, continuous contact to water will eventually cause the layers to lift and water to infiltrate. If this happens, the doublet or triplet will appear 'foggy' or gray. This does not mean that if you wear your opal in the shower or get caught in the rain, it will be ruined. Water damage to a doublet or triplet requires a long period of exposure.
Solid opal should be cleaned gently with a soft toothbrush or cloth and light detergent in warm water. Bleach, chemicals, and cleansers should all be avoided. Clean doublets and triplets with a damp soft cloth and mild detergent, but never soak or immerse them. Allowing your opal to be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner is never a good idea, since the intense vibrations can cause breaking in solid opals and water penetration in doublets and triplets.
Bring your opal back to a professional opal cutter if it loses its luster or becomes scratched. Small scratches and scuff marks over time cause an opal to lose its lustrous sheen and become dull. Professional polishing may bring a dull or scratched opal back to life, and we can also check for claw damage and verify the setting's security.