What Is Opal?
|14k Opal Pendant|
There is "Precious Opal", which is opal (as pictured left) which displays a wide range of colors. Precious opal ranges from clear through white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown, and black. These flashes of color are also known as "Opalescense" or "play of color". Because of this play of color, Opal was prized in the Middle Ages as a token of good luck, since it looks like it is made of all other gemstones.
|Mexican Fire Opal Rough|
The dark body color often makes the fire of black opal more obvious. This contrast of fire color to body color makes black opals very desirable and expensive.
|Boulder Opal--In My Etsy Shop!|
Opals can also be "assembled stones", such as Opal Doublets or Opal Triplets. Whereas most opals are whole stones, some opal rough has very thin but brilliant fire layers. Artisans cut the stone down to the thin fire layer and glue it to a base of obsidian, potch (common opal) or basalt - then cut a finished stone. These two part stones are called "opal doublets". To protect the soft opal from abrasion and impact facturing, a crystal clear top of quartz, spinel or other transparent material is sometimes glued onto the opal. This produces a three part stone, called an "opal triplet". These assembled Opals offer beautiful and affordable Opals, that (when a triplet) provides stability to the otherwise fragile gem.
|Simulated Opal Ring in my EtsyShop|
|Synthetic Gilson Opal Rough|
OPALITE - Finally, people are STILL trying to sell glass Opalite as "synthetic Opal" or "synthetic Moonstone" or "Opal Moonstone" or "Sea Opal". Opalite is GLASS. It is a man-made GLASS bead that may have the word "opal" in "opalite" but that is done only to deceive the unwary. There is no opal in opalite. It is just glass. GLASS. Not any gemstone. Opalite glass has a sort of ghostly glow, not fire. These beads are about $3.99 for a strand at Michael's. This is Opalite:
|Opalite on black background - GLASS|
|Opalite on light background - GLASS|