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Is a Moonstone a Safer Choice Than an Opal?

Apr. 1 2014
Opal’s have an unfortunate reputation based on superstition. The similar looking moonstone might be the safer option for your engagement ring stone.

L proclaims herself to not be a superstitious person, and yet I have witnessed her go so far as to cross the street to avoid walking under construction ladders and I am pretty sure she has some hesitations around black cats.

I fear that, although she obviously loves the idea of an opal for an engagement ring stone, the gem’s unfortunate reputation as a harbinger of misfortune just might put her off. Fortunately, the equally beautiful moonstone offers a happy, less fateful alternative.

The Opal’s Sad Tale

It is an unfortunate fact that the opal, despite its beauty, has been plagued by warnings of dire fates befalling its owners and has even been proclaimed to have the power to maim or kill. Tradition states that opals, and pearls for that matter, should never be worn by brides as they represent tears and will bring great misfortune to the union.

Endemic Bird ring by Ornella Iannuzzi

Endemic Bird ring by Ornella Iannuzzi

Obviously there is little factual evidence to support these claims, and yet the reputation is enough to put that little niggling element of doubt in the back of many brides’ minds. So in the unfortunate event the opal is the look you desire but you just cannot forgive the bad rap, what are the alternatives?

Consider a Moonstone

A moonstone is a wonderful alternative to an opal for an engagement ring stone and does not carry any bad karma with it. Moonstones come in a variety of colours, but the most common one is a milky white with iridescent flashes of colour that catch in the light and they make exquisitely stunning engagement rings. The mineral’s name is even derived from its visual quality because, as the light moves across the stone, it shimmers like the changing shades of the moon.

Countless Attributes

Moonstones have numerous attributes, but the one that stands out to most couples and the feature I’m fairly sure L would fall for too, is the gemstone’s unique polished cut as opposed to the typical faceted cuts seen on other stones. This deliberate cut gives the stone’s surface a smooth and sensuous feel and allows the play of light to become mesmerising.

Moonstone ring by Farah Qureshi

Moonstone ring by Farah Qureshi

Options, Options, Options!

Like for most engagement ring stones, there are a variety of settings that complement the moonstone’s characteristics. This gemstone looks exceptionally exquisite in bezel settings or even as part of an Art Deco design. Although complimentary stones such as diamonds are frequently added, the centre moonstone hardly needs them as it is stunning as a solo feature alone.

There is something almost otherworldly about a moonstone’s appearance, much like that of an opal. It is not a look that can be put into words and it is easy to see why, since ancient times, mystical powers have been associated with these cosmic-looking, iridescent gems. Just have a look at Ornella Iannuzzi‘s profile page to feel the magic that they exude.

However, if you desperately desire that opalescent-looking engagement ring stone but secretly fear its potentially cursed influences, then a moonstone might be the best option for a beautiful ring as well as peace of mind.

Designers who love alternative gemstones

Maya SelwayLondon
Mairi BurrowBelfast
Susan PeiresLondon
Diana PorterBristol
Simon WrightLondon