Etsy Journal

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A Jewelry Lover’s Guide to Opals

by Rachel Mosely

Oct 2, 2019

With its eye-catching, iridescent glow and shimmery, goes-with-anything shade, October’s beloved birthstone is hard to beat.

Opal star necklace from Borcik
Photo by: Borcik

Perhaps more than any other birthstone, opal—with its signature prismatic shimmer—offers a little something for everyone. By turns understatedly elegant and playfully iridescent, this versatile gem balances colorful, maximalist undertones with a timeless pearly white luster that’s guaranteed to shine no matter how you style it. Shakespeare himself famously dubbed opal the “queen of gems,” and today it’s still celebrated for its epic global allure, whether you’re one of those lucky October babies or just love how effortlessly it complements any outfit. For five distinctive ways to wear this captivating, color-shifting stone, read on.

Opal eye ring from Gem & Blue
SHOP: Opal eye ring from Gem & Blue, $113 each

Capturing the mesmerizing depths of our most soul-bearing facial features, these hand-carved eye rings from Gem & Blue put a mystical, sculptural spin on a perennially popular motif. The brilliant focal point of each 14 karat gold-filled piece? A twinkling 4mm opal iris.

Opal bracelet from Talyana Design
SHOP: Opal bracelet from Talyana Design, $52

With a slimline silhouette offsetting the glimmering white opal at its center, this dainty bracelet from Talyana Design makes a tasteful choice for any occasion—and even comes in a pretty wrapped box, ready for gifting. Choose from gold-fill, rose gold–fill, or sterling silver for the metal base, and between five different length options to create the perfect custom piece.

Opal star necklace from Borcik
SHOP: Opal star necklace from Borcik, $37

For a sparkly nod to the all-things-celestial craze, consider Borcik’s delicate north star necklace, which features a constellation of cubic zirconia encircling a glowing opal centerpiece. The slender gold chain makes this stunner a natural for layering, but the eye-catching interplay of the different stones also ensures the strand can stand beautifully on its own. 

Pair of raw opal studs from A Second Time
SHOP: Raw opal studs from A Second Time, $150

With its layer-friendly weather and post-fashion week font of style inspo, fall is a great time to pile on some fresh accessories and update your look. So why not reinvent right down to the studs? Set against an understated silver post, A Second Time’s rough opal pair gives the everyday earring style an edgy upgrade thanks to their unfinished texture and kaleidoscopic hues. 

Multi-stone opal ring from Orit Naar Jewelry
SHOP: Multi-stone opal ring from Orit Naar Jewelry, $160

A chunky silver band and subtly turquoise-tinted stones give Orit Naar’s handmade opal ring an of-the-moment Southwestern feel. But look close and you'll see it’s not all silver here: Each of the five precious stones is placed in its own 14-karat yellow gold bezel setting for an extra-modern, mixed metal effect.

Opal-inspired home decor

Add a cool pop of color to any space with these shimmery, silver-and-blue designs. 

Collage of four opal-inspired home decor items
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Antiqued mirror from Mirror CO-OP, $1,637; abstract art print from BorianaM, from $35; glazed porcelain vase from Echo of Nature, $78; Texas throw pillow from AHeirloom, $48

Shop birthstone jewelry

Rachel Mosely

Rachel Mosely is an editor and writer living in Brooklyn, New York