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Opal Jewelry Information


One of a Kind - Opal Jewelry

Opals are more unique than any other gemstone. No two opals are alike, each one possesses it?s own totally unique DNA. Each opal has it?s own fire, brilliance and color pattern. For this reason alone, opal jewelry collectors are a loyal and zealous breed. These collectors realize that they are investing in something that no one else in the world has, a one of a kind opal ring, opal earrings, opal pendant or opal bracelet. What makes opal jewelry so incomparable? Two collectors may have the same ring setting, same color and carat gold, same size, but the opal (definition) set into the ring has it?s own exclusive quality never to be duplicated and easily recognized by even the most novice shopper. This is not true with diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphire jewelry among others because these stones with identical grades would require an expert and lots of high tech tools to discern the differences. Given this unparalleled trait, Opal jewelry is set high above all others in it?s own class. Once you fall in love with the lure of opal jewelry, you will be hooked on it?s exceptional and unique beauty.

Opal Jewelry - October Birthstone

If you are were born in the month of October you are lucky enough to call opal your birthstone according to the modern birthstone chart. Opal is thought to bring good fortune to those who adorn it especially when set in yellow gold. In ancient periods it was believed that opal jewelry also contained mystical properties and some even thought it to prevent black plaque from affecting the wearer. We have an October Birthstone Jewelry Guide where you can learn more about the history/lore, fame, care of and other tidbits of information about opal gemstones and opal jewelry. We have a birthstone guide for every gemstone for all twelve months. Need a gift for that loved one who has an october birthday, see all we have to offer in October birthstone jewelry here.

Opal Jewelry - Where sourced?

Unlike other gemstones, opal is not found in large mines or pockets in the earth. Instead, it is found in small pockets spread across vast areas of a region. It would seem that "hunting" opal was much more about luck than skill. Even with today?s technology, the opal deposits are so small and so irradic that ancient methods are still more reliable and widely used today. Originally, the opal gemstone was sourced mostly in Hungary and South America and traded via the far east to the Roman and French empires. Australian opal appeared on the worldwide market in the 1880?s and was thought to be a fake opal because it far out classed other known opal sources with deep rich fire and color. Because of these market constrains, fine gem quality opals are less frequent and more valuable than other precious gemstones such as emeralds and rubies. However, in the world market today, opal jewelry has yet to receive the "popular vote" and it still remains a well kept secret for those in the "know"

Types of Opals

Black Opal Gemstones

Is a naturally occurring solid opal gemstone. Black Opal is best described as vibrant color flakes permanently suspended in a deep black bar of body color. While the vibrant flakes are the same in most or all opals, the black body color is what creates the sharp contrast. These are the most rare opals and therefore the most valuable. Unlike boulder, doublet or triplet opals, the dark black body is not a result of a dark background, but naturally occurs within the opal and can be experienced from all sides of the gem.

Boulder Opal Gemstones

Is a naturally occurring solid opal gemstone. This opal occurs in nature and it?s special properties come from the way it is mined. Instead of trying to separate the opal from it?s surroundings, it is instead carved from it?s host stone (usually ironstone or quartz) with the dark backing still attached to preserve the natural dark background. These are then formed into various NON standard shapes and sizes to promote it's natural beauty for opal jewelry.

Light Opal Gemstones

Is a naturally occurring opal gemstone. The difference being that the background is semi clear having a milky white or milky blue consistency but also containing the same vibrant color flakes. This is the most common occurring opal and the most widely used in western markets due to it?s abundance. These are sometimes called jelly or water opals. Like with all opals, value is based mostly on the abundance and vibrance of the color flakes.

Doublet Opal Gemstones

Is a naturally occurring opal slice that is paired with a black background in order to give a contrast to the color flakes. Usually, quartz, glass, resin or ironstone are used as the background named " potch" The natural opal is adhered to the potch. A doublet is intended to be viewed from one angle, the top. The underside is usually rough, unfaceted or uncut and not of any beauty. These can be formed into standard or non standard shapes and set into opal jewelry.

Triplet Opal Gemstones

A triplet is similar to a doublet opal, but with more layers. Following the same process as a doublet opal, the triplet adds a third layer of thick quartz, glass or resin on top of the opal so that the opal is protected on both the top and bottom. Light passes through the clear quartz through the opal bounces off the potch and then back through the opal and back out the top. Again, triplet opals are only meant to be viewed from one angle. The bottom is rough and uncut or faceted and not of any beauty. Because of the additional layer, generally, triplet opals appear closer in body color to black or grey opals.

Common Opal

Is a naturally occurring opal gemstone but is considered NON gemstone quality. Most are opaque and do not posses any of the color flakes that make other opal gemstones so desirable. For this reason, this is not intentionally mined and rarely brought to market much less set in jewelry. To date, man has not found a viable use for this opal gemstone.

Created or Simulated Opal Gemstones

Like with any gemstone, man has attempted to cheat nature and solve the dangers and expense of mining opal by creating an imitation opal. Usually this is done using a hardened clear epoxy or resin. Identifying imitation opal is pretty simple once you know what to look for. The color structure is usually much more "ordered" or repeated and not as random as natural opal. The color structure is also larger as man tries to improve what nature has already perfected. The color flakes are less active, as again, man cannot compete with nature when it comes to beauty. Any reputable opal jewelry seller with disclose natural opal verse imitation opal.