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About Opal

Forms of Opal

 

Australian opals are the finest in the world. Good stable Australian opal has proved to be a sound investment over the past 25 years. It is one of the few gemstones that has continued to appreciate in value at a steady rate. But before you race out and buy one, learn a little about them and in what form they come and what is available.

They fall into three categories: solids, doublets, and triplets.

Solids

are natural stones which have been cut and polished without being interfered with. Many have a natural potch or rock back.

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Doublets

are usually two pieces of opal cemented together. They are made by cementing a layer of high-grade opal to a black potch back, which enhances the colour. For economical reasons, many have thin faces. But domed cabochons made from good quality crystal opal, do in many cases, resemble fine quality black opal, which is due to the partial absorption of light by the black back. Their value is only a fraction of that of a solid black gem of the same quality. Although not always encouraged by the trade as an investment stone, the better pieces do bring a reasonable price and are certainly worthy of a place in any good gem collection.

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Triplets

are doublets usually made from a lower grade opal with clear domed caps cemented to their faces. The hardness of the cap may vary from glass to quartz, depending on the quality of the opal. The cap not only protects the opal but magnifies the intensity of the colour and pattern, greatly enhancing the overall appearance.

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This web-site is currently still in development. In order to see more opals and to make some great opal bargains in black opal, white opal, boulder opal, and rough opal please check out the OpalShop web-site.