Vintage Opal Rings

Opals optical effect play of colour Art Nouveau


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Explore Opal Rings

Accessorising with a vintage or antique opal ring provides the wearer with a distinctive and matchless look.

Precious opals display a unique optical effect called ‘play of colour' or ‘fire'. This is due to its composition of stacked silica spheres, and it is the diffraction and interference of light between these spheres that create the fascinating shifting colour play. The colours produced depend on the size of these spheres and the whole spectrum of colours can be seen in the most desirable opals. The play of colour shimmers with iridescence across the stone and is distinctive of these beautiful gems, making them a widely popular choice for jewellery, particularly antique engagement rings and vintage opal rings. Opals are commonly paired with diamonds as the two stones complement each other beautifully, with opal and diamond rings being especially popular. 

Opals occur in a range of body colours from white, black, grey and bright orangey red to a pale watery colour. The most exquisite opals display strong colour contrast and often have a dark body with a vivid bright play of colour. They are usually cut ‘en cabochon' which displays their phenomenal optical effect beautifully, resulting in stunning vintage and antique opal rings.

From Roman times through to recent times, white opals were mined in Czechoslovakia, prior to the discovery of the world's main source for opals, Australia. Australia is famous for producing opals of the most vivid colours, thus vintage opal rings from this nation are in high demand. 1903 was an important year in the history of opals as precious black opal was discovered at Lightning Ridge in North-East New South Wales, an area now one of the most important in the world for opals.

Many antique and vintage opal rings come from the Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. Aside from rings, pins, earrings and necklaces were equally popular during these times. 


We recommend not submerging your antique or vintage opal ring in cleaning solutions or water, and simply use a microfibre cloth to polish it.

Opal ring prices can vary from a couple of pounds up to thousands of pounds.

An opal is thought to have healing powers but is mostly known to represent hope, innocence and purity. It also has strong links to happiness, loyalty and confidence.

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Updated 16/04/2024 at 10:34AM

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