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Solid Opal, Meaning And Significance

What Is Solid Opal, Confusing Gem Jargon

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You might have heard of natural opal, opal doublets, synthetic opal an even imitation opal gemstones but, when names like solid opal can confuse even very enthusiastic gem lovers. In this report on opal gemstones, we talk about solid opal, what exactly is the meaning of solid opal. Equally important is to understand, the opal varieties that cannot or should not be referred to as solid opal gems.

Opal gems are classified as solid and not solid, based on their configuration. None of the opal varieties are available in liquid form so lay that doubt to rest. Opal is a natural gemstone and generally forms on other rocks, the term boulder rock is sometimes used to describe the host rock on which opal 'grows'. The miner who digs for the opal rough in the mining pits, tries his best to separate the rock from the opal. But even with that earnest effort, it is common for rough opal pieces to have some rock clinging to them. The gem cutter, who takes these pieces of rough opal gems and shapes and polishes them has a more critical task. The cutter is expected to strip off any rock that might still be stuck to the opal. So what the cutter finally hopes to get is a piece of cut and polished opal that is fully opal. Such an opal gemstone would be referred to as a solid opal gem.

In some cases, the opal formation on the parent rock might be quite thin. Stripping the opal from the rock would not give much of an opal gemstone yield. In such a case, the cutter might be instructed to cut the opal along with a (natural) backing of the boulder rock. It is common to see such opal gems being sold at attractive prices. Such an opal gem would not classify as a solid opal gem mainly because, the stone is not all opal - you also have some rock material on the opal.

Opal doublets are triplets are an interesting category of opal gems. In the case of opal doublet, a piece of cut and polished opal is mounted on a dark backing material. This material which can also be called the backing material, is generally a piece of black onyx or piece of boulder rock. The fact that an opal doublet combines, a material beyond just opal - this is another case where the name solid opal should not be used. Just for your information, the dark backing material attached to the base of the opal gem enhances the appearance of the color flashes and play in the opal. You could also say that, the combining of the opal and backing material adds durability to the gemstone.

An opal triplet gemstone is another type of assembled opal, this surely means that it would not be included in the category of solid opals. In the case of an opal triplet gemstone, a think slice of opal gem is bound between a top transparent layer and a dark bottom layer. The resulting gem is known as an opal triplet gemstone, and since it is not entirely composed of opal - you would not call it a solid opal gem. The opal triplet option, provides opal lovers with an attractive natural opal gemstone. The gem would be priced much lower than, a solid opal gem that had the same appearance and beauty as an opal triplet gemstone.

There is another naturally formed opal that is not clubbed into the category of solid opal gemstones. Unlike opal doublets or opal triplet gems, this opal is formed naturally. A large piece of host rock often has, small portions of opal. The pieces of opal seem to add a playful glitter to an otherwise, ordinary piece of rock. In most cases, the volume of opal as compared to the volume of the rock would be quite small. The opal is spread all over the stone rather than being, concentrated within a small portion of the rock. The gem cutter in this case, cuts the entire piece into smaller pieces and shapes and polishes each of the small pieces. As you might have guessed, each of those small pieces has some amount of opal and a significant portion of rock. Since the final piece of 'opal' would contain the host rock along with the opal, you would not refer to the stone as a solid opal.


We do hope that the term solid opal is now well understood by gem lovers who have read this report. While some gem buyers might swear that, solid opal gems are better than opals that are not solid - others might insist that opal doublets, and opal triplets provide a higher degree of durability. Before you make a purchase of opal gems or jewelry, read this report, understand the content and then make up your mind. Should you still have any doubts or queries, send an email to our experts at sales@kaisilver.com The team is trained and encouraged to do more than just sell. The primary objective is to inform and educate gem buyers and lovers. Having done that, the buyer is allowed to make a well informed and peaceful buying decision.



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