Maybe you've come across opal jewelry before and backed off because it's not your birthstone for the taking — and maybe you’ve heard it’s bad luck to wear it if it’s not. But as fashion folks who are all about breaking the rules, we say that even if you're not an October baby, you ought to introduce some opal rings to your jewelry collection. Allow us to explain why you should consider an opal piece for your next treat-yourself occasion (and clear up some misconceptions along the way).
First and foremost, that superstition came from an 1829 fiction novel called Anne of Geierstein. Disgruntled diamond traders in the 19th and 20th centuries allegedly spread that bad-luck rumor to deter people from buying opals. But that was then, and this is now — and now we recognize that opals are actually one of the most special stones in jewelry because they can show all colors. They make a perfect addition to any ring stack, tend to be more affordable than diamonds, and are the ideal ring stone for someone who wants a piece that doesn't feel overly glitzy. The name “opal” supposedly derives from the Sanskrit "upala," meaning “precious stone,” and later the Greek derivative “Opallios,” meaning “to see a change of color.” And while you might take a stone's so-called "powers" with a grain of salt, opals have been long associated with love, passion, confidence, and self-esteem — and you can really never have enough of any of those.
But despite how special opals are, they're still not the most common to come by in accessories, with only a handful of jewelry designers really doing opals (and specifically in rings) well these days. Click ahead for our opal ring picks and fall in love with this unique stone. Whether you're October-born or not, the ones ahead are worth a look, even if just to admire their beauty.