All about Opal!


Gemsations created opal and sterling silver ringWhat is Opal? Opals are a “mineraloid” because they do not have a crystalline structure like most minerals. Instead, they are originally deposited as a silica gel inside host rocks.

What are the types of Opal? There are many types of Opal both precious and common. Some types that are often used in jewelry are White Opal, Black Opal, Boulder Opal, Peruvian Opal and Crystal Opal.

What are Opal Doublets and Triplets? Opal Doublets and Opal Triplets are enhanced forms of natural Opal. A doublet is a thin layer of natural Opal that is glued on top of a dark backing to enhance the color and enlargen the stone. This also lowers the price because the amount of natural Opal within the stone is less. Triplets include even less genuine Opal. They are similar to a Doublet, but have a top layer of Quartz. Doublets and Triplets make the beauty of Opal stones more affordable, but they are susceptible to water damage that can seep in between the glued layers.

What color is Opal? Opals are famous for their fire- vivid splashes of gorgeous colors in reds, oranges, yellows, blues and greens. Black Opals have a dark base while White Opals are… you guessed it…white, but both display multiple firey colors. A crystal Opal can be black or white, but it is more transparent than other forms. Peruvian Opal is aqua green or light pink and doesn’t have the same fire as its cousins.

Where does Opal come from? The most famous and vibrant Opals come from Australia. In fact, Australia supplies the large majority of Opals, but other countries such as Mexico and the United States also have Opals.

What are the metaphysical properties of Opal? Opal is thought to bring or enhance romantic love. They are also associated with prophecy. Opal is the October birthstone and is the gift gemstone for the 13th wedding anniversary.

How do I clean and care for Opal? Opals require extra care as they are relatively soft and sensitive to temperature changes. Never use harsh cleansers, steam or ultrasonic cleaners. Opals do need humidity to retain their fire, so they should not be consistently stored in dry environments. In fact, it is helpful to soak SOLID Opals in water occasionally so they do not crack without humidity This is not true for Doublets and Triplets because soaking them in water can loosen their glue and allows for foggy spots! Opals can crack if they experience rapid temperature changes. Because they are relatively soft, they should be stored away from other stones that can scratch them. Solid Opals can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap, but Doublets and Triplets should be wiped with a damp cloth. As with all jewelry, take care not to strike it against a hard surface.

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