One of the most beautiful and alluring gemstones used in jewelry is the opal. Opals are a common option for folks who want to make a statement with their jewelry because of its distinctive patterns and iridescent colors. Opals, however, are not all made equal. Some can be phony or of poor quality, leaving the consumer disappointed and irritated. This article will discuss how to spot a genuine opal in jewelry.
Understanding Doublets and Triplets
There is a lot of information out there that is doublet or triplet in nature. Most of the time, these are still genuine opal, but they don't have the same value as a solid piece of the same substance. One of my first purchases ended up being a set of doublets sold off as solid opal, which was a tremendous letdown.
A doublet is a piece of thin opal with a backing. This enables the utilization of tiny, vibrant pieces of material that may otherwise be wasted. Obsidian or black glass are options for the backdrop, as well as plain dark plastic.
Depending on how thick the top layer is, doublets are typically somewhat domed to enable them to be set as cabochons. Some of them will be flat, particularly if the covering is very thin.
Having triplets expands on this idea. With a thin coating of opal on top, an opaque backdrop is employed to highlight the color play in the stone. Often, these layers are thinner than those in doublets. The topping substance is something obvious.
In a traditional, high-end triplet, there will be a layer of quartz on top. Modern versions frequently employ plastic or resin, which is acceptable but has a short lifespan.
Check The Pattern Of The Opal
- Repeating Patterns
Synthetic opal frequently has a recognizable pattern in both color and form. This just doesn't happen unless it's a very pricey, extremely rare piece of opal. Most opals will exhibit a sporadic play of color.
- Column Structures:
Look at the opal's sides. While many forms of fake opal may exhibit solid-colored columns that are a dead giveaway, a true opal will nevertheless reveal random patterns. To acquaint yourself, look at various slabs of unprocessed synthetic opal on eBay or Etsy.
Take out the loupe and examine the opal closely. Inclusions are extremely uncommon in genuine opals, although some treatments can produce them. Specifically, black opals may have small spots of black or brown materials due to treatment.
Examine the Opal's Color
Color is the most important component of opal quality. A true opal should have a play of color that appears to move and change when the stone is turned. There should be no overcast or boring parts, and the color should be brilliant and lively. Look for a variety of hues, such as purple, blue, green, orange, and yellow.
It's crucial to remember that certain opals may have a white or grey body color, which may have an impact on how intense the color play is. The opal is most likely fake or of low quality if it exhibits no color play at all.
Inspect the Opal's Surface
Genuine opals need to have a polished, flat surface. Check the surface for any cracks, chips, or scratches since these might be signs of deterioration or poor quality. It's also crucial to keep in mind that opals are particularly delicate when compared to other gemstones, making them susceptible to damage from scratches. If the opal has a lot of scratches or wear, it may not be genuine.