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Opal Doublets, What Is An Opal Doublet

An Opal Doublet Enhances The Beauty And Durability Of The Opal

More Articles  |  Opal Rings  |  Custom Rings |   Claddagh RingsMens Rings |   Contact Us 

Opal gems are gorgeous and available in quite a few colors and types. If you leave the famous fire opal gemstone aside, most opal gems are either transluscent or opaque. Fire opal can exhibit a high degree of transparency, something that is not common in opals. You will often come across two terms when talking about opals they are, opal doublet and opal triplet. In this report we will try to explain the meaning of an opal doublet without getting too technical. At Kai Silver we can custom make your opal gem stone jewelry with the opal of your choice, the report is therefore unbiased and presents facts without any sales jargon.

One of the common opal gemstone varieties is the white opal. The beauty and grace of a white opal makes it appear far more valuable than what it's modest price tag would suggest. An opal doublet does two very good things to white opal gemstones, these work to the advantage of the buyer in the longterm. However misunderstandings about the meaning of opal doublets, often keeps buyers away from these gems.


opal doublet, what are opal doublet gemstones

An opal doublet is a combination of a natural opal gemstone and a sturdy backing. The backing which is ideally a black opaque gem like an onyx or agate, enhances the strength and appearance of the opal. Kaisilver opal rings and other opal gem stone jewelry can be made with normal opal gems or opal doublets, specify your requirements when placing the order.

We would like to clarify that not all white opal gems get prettier when made into opal doublets. If you have a white opal gem that is almost totally opaque and with no color flashes or specks, an opal doublet would make the gem sturdier but would not add to it's beauty in any way. The ideal white opal gem for making an opal doublet would be one which has a fair amount of color flashes AND is also a bit transluscent. You will see the importance of the color flashes and transluscence as you read through this report.

If you observe the white opal gem shown in the above image, it is cut with a smooth cabachon cut. The gemstone is flat at the base and a bit curved (humped) on the top. As a plain opal and without the attached base, the cut opal stone is not very thick. Opals can crack or break when they hit against hard surfaces. These are natural properties of the gem, the fact that the cut opal is not very thick also increases the chance of the opal getting damaged.

To make an opal doublet, the gem manufacturer takes a piece of black onyx or agate and cuts it to a thin sheet. In today's world we have noticed Chinese opal doublets and triplets using cheap plastic sheets for the base. While this is not against the law, it does seem to drastically reduce the value of the opal gemstone. A more traditional method used to make opal doublet gems is to use a thin slice of the rock, on which an opal is naturally formed. This is referred to as a 'boulder' and is generally a very dark brownish to black color. In our opinion, the meaning of an opal doublet should imply the use of a natural stone for the base.

What you have read so far proves that, opal doublets have better strength and durability as compared to plain cut opals. Let us now understand how the beauty or appearance of the opal can be enhanced by making an opal doublet gemstone. Once again observe the opal doublet image shown above, you will notice that the color flashes are clear and contrast well with the slightly darkish background. They would surely be less visible on a plain white background. A fair degree of transluscence on the white opal, allows the dark color of the attached base to 'seep' in through the gem. This is what darkens the background and allows a better display of the color specks and flashes. If you remember we mentioned that, transluscence of the white opal is necessary.

We have made much reference to white opal doublets in this report, but it is not only white opals that are converted to opal doublets. An expensive black or dark color opal gemstone could also be made into an opal doublet gemstone. In this case, the appearance of the opal might not benefit much from becoming a doublet but, the strength of the gem would surely be enhanced. The fact is that white opals show the best improvement in terms of beauty and strength when made into doublets.

Before we wind up this report on the meaning and properties of opal doublet stones, we will say a few things about opal triplets. If you have understood that an opal doublet has two layers, it is quite easy to comprehend that an opal triplet would have three layers. Although opal triplets and opal doublets have much in  common, the difference is something that you need to be aware of.

An opal doublet has a natural opal on top and is fixed with a dark and strong backing. An opal triplet is more like a sandwhich. You have a thin slice of opal mounted with a dark backing and a transparent material on top. It is true that an opal triplet protects the opal from above and below but, the important thing is that there is often very little opal in the final product. This is because the slice of opal set between the two layers is often made very thin. Commercially manufactured opal triplet stones have a sheet of opal that is wafer thin. If you had to weigh this fine sheet of opal, it would weigh no more than half a carat. So what you finally pay for opal triplets is more for the above and below binding materials, a sad story indeed.

Still on opal triplet gems, is the type of material used to make the top and bottom portions of the stones. A few years ago or probably a decade ago, the whole process of making opal triplet gems was quite acceptable. The bottom portion was a dark natural stone like onyx, agate or even a piece of boulder (rock). The top was a piece of natural white quartz or white topaz. In todays world the Chinese have excelled in the production of opal triplets with resin backs and plastic or acrylic tops. Technics are used to cut the slice of opal as thin as possible. If you had to buy a 14x10mm oval opal triplet gem, you could pay around 10 U.S$ to 15 U.S$ for the piece. The stone might be rated with a weight of around 6 carats. But what actually happens is that you get about half a carat of opal, the remaining 5.5 carats are cheap plastic or resin! The piece would have cost the manufacturer around 1 U.S$ to 2 U.S$ to manufacture, a huge profit margin indeed.

So before you make a choice of an opal doublet or opal triplet gem stone, try to understand the implication and meaning of the stones. Unfortunately the big sellers of gems and jewelry, hold back important information. It is felt that a fair and clean disclosure would discourage the buyer from buying the product. At Kaisilver we believe that the buyer needs to be educated and not pushed, into making an impulse buying decision.

This opal doublet report has been compiled by the gem experts at Kaisilver. We do hope that you have found it to be useful and interesting. At Kaisilver we custom make jewelry in gold and sterling silver with all gem stone options. Our support team at sales@kaisilver.com will be glad to guide you with any doubts or requirements that you might have. We can custom make your jewelry with your designs or ours.


Some Custom Opal Jewelry From Kaisilver

opal claddagh ring, 14k or 18k gold

Claddagh Ring With White Opal Gemstone ... RG151.

mens opal ring from Kaisilver, custom mens opal rings

Mens Opal Gemstone Ring, Custom Made ... MAN18.

fire opal heart ring kaisilver claddagh rings

Fire Opal Gem Stone Ring, Claddagh ... RG227.


More Articles: Check out the complete list of gems and jewelry articles compiled by Kaisilver experts .... more.


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