This question gets asked quite a lot in emails and also by customers who come into the shop.
So just what is the difference between solid opals and opal doublets / opal triplets?
While us jewellers tend to be an honest bunch (our reputation depends on it!) unfortunately there are a select few that won't let on about what exactly a piece of jewellery might be.
Hopefully this post should give you all the tools you need to identify exactly what you are getting. Read on to find out just what the difference is between the three.
Opal Doublets & Opal Triplets
Opal doublets & triplets are when an Opal has been combined with synthetic material. The main reasons for doing this is to enhance an Opals colour and to add a strength or thickness to an Opal.
An Opal doublet is a piece of translucent or semi translucent Opal glued to a dark backing giving the impression it is a full piece of Opal. The dark backing can be ironstone material, potch, plastic or even other materials.
Opal doublets are generally cut to show off the most impressive part of the Opal and with the dark back enhancing the colours it can make for a great looking stone. While they are not necessarily worth less then a full Opal, they can also be a cost effective way of owning a lovely looking Opal.
Here is an side on example of an Opal doublet:
Opal triplets are thinly cut pieces of Opal that has a dark backing like described above but also has a clear class or quartz dome top. While this dome top protects the Opal overall triplets are generally very low value.
Here is an example of an Opal triplet on its side:
An Opal solid is an Opal that is consists entirely of Opal. There has been no man made clear tops or backing stuck on and there is also no host material throughout the Opal.
A lot of our Opals have an ironstone or matrix host rock which while 100% natural occurring are not referred to as solid Opal.
Opal solids are most commonly Australian black Opals however white Opals or even some boulder Opal can be cut into an Opal solid. An expensive Opal solid will be an exceptional looking stone while lower priced ones will show less flashy colours.
I hope this post answered any questions you might have had. You can find more information in our article about Opal fakes which also goes into what synthetic Opal is.
Thanks for reading.
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