October Birthstone: Opal Jewelry

Oct 22, 2020 | Antique Jewelry, Estate Jewelry

The birthstone for October is opal, and we have created a list of the 13 best opal pieces we have in the store! Opal is an amorphous solid form of hydrated silica, which means it is not technically a crystal, but has similar qualities…just like glass!

The look of opals is significantly affected by the region and often the mine where they are found. For instance, Ethiopian opals (say that five times fast) are known to have the most intense flashes of color and are some of the most translucent opals in the world. Over 90% of the worlds opals are found in Australia, and the town of Lightning Ridge is famous for the best black opals in the world. Opals have also been found in Mexico, Brazil, and the Western United States in large quantities.

The reason so many opals are found in Australia is that much of the continent was once covered by a massive inland sea lined with silica sand. When the sea dried up, all it took was 40 million years of weather to dissolve the silica and let it seep into holes in the bedrock, where it formed opal!

1. Victorian Opal Cabochon Cocktail Ring in 14k Yellow Gold

First on our list is this wonderful Victorian cocktail ring with three cabochon cut opals in 14 karat yellow gold. Something about the strong blue flash from these opals and the rich patina on the yellow gold creates a look that is very hard to replicate with a modern piece. The lines swirling around the stones add even further to the opulent European look.

2. Opal Mid-Century Snake Ring 14k Yellow Gold

Next we have a beautiful mid-century snake ring with diamonds and opal. The snake has a very life-like appearance in its scales and head. A beautiful cabochon opal is set in front of the open mouth. Snake rings have been a symbol of eternal love since the time of Queen Victoria.

3. Retro Opal Right Hand Ring w/ Diamonds in Yellow Gold

This hexagonal opal ring with a beautiful diamond halo and engravings down the shoulders. Hard to tell from this picture, but the opal is rather tall and pronounced.

4. Vintage Victorian Opal & Diamond Ring 14k Yellow Gold & Platinum

Here we have a fascinating Victorian mounting with four small rose cut diamonds in each corner! The stones are all set in platinum and below the shank and shoulders are composed of intricately carved yellow gold.

5. Vintage Opal & Diamond Ring 14k White & Yellow Gold

A truly amazing navette ring with a lovely opal surrounded by a diamond halo in white gold. This would make a fabulous cocktail ring for special occasions, with just the right amount of color, sparkle, and size.

6. Victorian Black Opal Ring w/ Diamonds in 18k

Another wonderful Victorian cocktail ring with that beautifully patina’d 18 karat yellow gold. The contrast with the blue and red in the opal give a very regal appearance.

7. Victorian Diamond & Opal Cocktail Ring in Sterling Silver & Gold

A wonderful ring from the Victorian era, set in silver and gold with a clever split shank that wraps over itself. The golden prongs holding each opal give a lovely shine and nice bit of contrast as well!

8. Vintage Art Deco Opal Brooch in 14k White Gold

This brooch has just a spectacular display of filigree detail. Encrusted with brilliant diamond sparkle and leading to a dazzling opal in the center with gorgeous flashes of red, green, and blue. An opal and diamond lover’s dream!

9. Opal Cocktail Ring w/ Marquise Diamonds in Yellow Gold

Now we transition to a far more modern design with thin yellow gold prongs holding this amazing opal. Two marquise diamonds on the shoulders is all this ring needs to complete this slender, elegant look.

10. 5 Carat Opal & Diamond Earrings in Yellow Gold

These diamond and opal drop earrings are just so good. The four double prongs actually become a cool design element that can been seen often due to the movement you get with these beauties.

11. Vintage Mid-Century Opal & Diamond Cocktail Ring

There is not a lot you can say that the image of this amazing mid-century opal and diamond cocktail ring doesn’t say. Beautiful diamond halo, surrounding this remarkable oval shaped opal. A classic mid-century cocktail ring, with a big and dramatic look.

13. Antique Bangle Victorian 4.25 Oval Cabochon Cut Opal in 14k Yellow Gold

The etching and engraving between these 5 opals is a great testament to the skill of Victorian jewelers. Set in 14 karat yellow gold, this thick bangle bracelet is a look you’re not going to see many other places.

Learn more about the history of opals!