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Le Vian Opal Ring Review: Why This Ring Was A Scam

Charlotte likes pretty things, and she loves the beach, sushi, coffee and seashells.

What my ring was "supposed" to look like..

What my ring was "supposed" to look like..

We Went to Jared

I suppose you can blame what happened to me on one person, and one person only…myself. Yes, I went to Jared to pick out my engagement ring. Yes, I shouldn’t have gone to a mass retailer of rings and diamonds to obtain something so personal, but I, stupidly, fell for the ad I received in the mail.

The ad features a gorgeous ring with a large, oval opal in the center. It was complemented by two blue diamonds on the side, and several small brown diamonds. The ring itself was a rose-gold color. It was a unique ring, as the brown diamonds twisted around the blue ones and met the opal in the middle. The opal itself was surrounded by tiny white diamonds. The ring was gorgeous on the ad, so I decided to look at it in the store.

I went to Jared. There, I said it.

At Jared, I found exactly the ring I was looking for. The ring’s beauty scintillated beautifully under the brilliant and strategically placed lights that shined upon it. It was perfect.

On the website, Jared’s mentioned that the Opal was a “Neopolitan Opal” that was nested between two “Ocean Blue Topaz” and that they swam along “Chocolate Diamond” waves, while the “Vanilla Diamonds” completed the look. Honestly, the way that the website presented the ring was like a decadent dessert on a rose-gold platter. I’m sorry, it wasn’t rose-gold…it was “Strawberry Gold”. If you are curious about the price, the website lists it as $1,299.99

The Proposal and Jared's Ring

So finally, my fiancé (at the time) proposed. I was super excited to see the ring again. And, also, excited about being engaged. I suppose I should have said that first, but I digress. Anyway, it was night-time and there were lots of lights everywhere, and for some reason, the ring looked dull. I was happy to have received it, but…it didn’t look the way I saw it at the store. I was happy anyway, and continued to enjoy the night. The next day, I noticed that after washing my hands, the ring looked….completely dull. The opal didn’t seem like an opal at all. It seemed like a piece of plastic or glass that was detached from the rose-gold setting. Under closer inspection, it perhaps seemed as if there was a sliver of opal in between two clear components. Either way, there seemed to be glue or some debris under the opal, but it was see-through. I was exactly sure that this was NOT the ring I saw in the store. The store’s ring was a real opal, with patches of color and a gorgeous, creamy-looking texture. What I stared at was an almost grey-whitish circle with absolutely no sparkles of color. What happened?

A picture of a "Neopolitan Opal". Compare it to the first picture in this article to see the stark difference.

A picture of a "Neopolitan Opal". Compare it to the first picture in this article to see the stark difference.

What is a Neopolitan Opal?

I took the ring to a respected jewelry appraiser. He mentioned that the ring, at best, was a Mexican Cabochon opal that was more on the inferior side. Upon research, those opals seemed white and grey, and lacked reflection of color. At worst, it was a sliver of opal hovering between two pieces of a hard plastic. Either way, it was an inferior product. I was curious, what IS a Neopolitan Opal anyway? Upon Googling it, I was dismayed to find out that a Neopolitan Opal isn’t a REAL opal. It’s a trademarked name that Jared’s gave to this particular type of opal…whatever it is. Levian’s website suggested that Neopolitan Opals come from a specific mine in Ethiopia called Yahwah. I could not find information on this particular mine, unfortunately. I did Google “Ethiopian Opals” and saw many gorgeous ones, but none were as lackluster as my ring was. I did find a mine called Welo Ethiopia Opal Mine, and another one called Delanta and information on other locations, but where was the Yahwah mine? Strangely, the Neopolitan Opal was the 2017 Gem of the Year for Pinterest.

To be fair, Jared does mention this on their website:

Opal is commonly subject to enhancement processes or treatments such as impregnation with wax, resin or oil, which may not be permanent and may require special care. Gently clean by rinsing in warm water and drying with a soft cloth. Avoid chemicals, solvents, heat and ultrasonic cleaning.”

So, the treatment lasts one day?

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Yes, I washed my hands while wearing my ring. But no, it shouldn’t have turned so dark, dull, and ugly upon normal wear and much less upon the initial presentation.

The image that the other disgruntled buyer added on the Jared website to show how the opal was dull and lackluster. It's a different style, but the same Neopolitan Opal from LeVian.

The image that the other disgruntled buyer added on the Jared website to show how the opal was dull and lackluster. It's a different style, but the same Neopolitan Opal from LeVian.

Neopolitan Opal Reviews

I read a recent review that someone shared on the Jared website for this particular type of Opal. They wrote the following:

“We bought this ring 2 years ago and the first year I loved it because the opals were so fiery, bright and striking! Then one day it turned yellow and cloudy. I returned it to the store and I got a new ring. Now a year later it has turned yellow and cloudy again!! I am going to take it back tomorrow and see what they will do this time.”

So it wasn’t just me! I’m sure if I did more research, I would find more disgruntled reviews, but the reviews are scattered over several jewelry sites that also sell LeVian rings.

As a side note, I had the jewelry expert check to see if the gold and the diamonds were real. It turns out they were, indeed, real. However, the “Chocolate Diamonds” were actually just very, very inferior diamonds that were renamed to increase their appeal. That’s fine, I guess.

Australian Lightning Ridge Opal

I made the decision to have that oval piece of –whatever- removed and replace it with a real and certified opal. Yes, it was more expensive, but I wanted a genuine opal and decided upon an Australian Opal from Lightning Ridge. It came with a certificate of authenticity and also with the brilliant sparkle that I longed for in the Neopolitan Opal. The new opal loves being rubbed with some oil now and then I can also wash my hands with it and absolutely nothing terrible happens to it. It’s strong, durable, and has lots of beautiful ‘play’ and color…even if the sun isn’t shining on it. The new stone is also an oval shape and the Jeweler decided to have the opal hover over the ring as it’s sustained by new gold posts. It’s beautiful now, but I feel deceived by Jared’s. I suppose it’s all part of the dirty business involving massive retail jewelry companies and the shady ways they may acquire their stones and raise the prices on inferior stones. The lesson I learned was this: If you’re going to get a personalized piece of jewelry, go to a trusted local jeweler. Stay away from massive jewelry retailers, and what you see in the store is probably not what you’re going to end up with.

My own ring after removing the Neopolitan Opal and adding the Lightning Ridge Opal.

My own ring after removing the Neopolitan Opal and adding the Lightning Ridge Opal.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Charlotte Doyle


Mike clayton on September 13, 2020:

We also have a the same named ring also lost all its colour

Liz Westwood from UK on February 07, 2019:

I tend to take what jewellers say on trust. This is a sobering tale. It is a shame that you were disappointed and had to replace the opal.

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