Precious opal shows a variable interplay of internal colors and even though it is a mineraloid, it has an internal structure. At the molecular level, precious opal is composed tiny spheres that form a cubic close-packed lattice formation. These spheres and the way they are positioned and laid out is what helps produce the internal colors opal is known for when it reflects light. Opal gemstones can make stunning jewelry pieces like 14K Gold Opal Heart Pendants and rings. It is the regularity of the sizes and the packing of these spheres that created the different brightness, hues, and colors that can be seen in different varieties of opal.
Jewelry Made With Opal
For gemstone use, the term “solid” opal is used to refer to gemstones that are made only of pure opal. Opals that are too thin to make a solid gemstone piece can be combined with other materials in order to form opal jewelry like 14 k gold opal heart rings. An opal doublet is the term used when the thinner opal is placed over a darker stone or gemstone in order to highlight the colors of the opal piece. An opal triplet is similar, but has a third layer of clear material placed on top to help emphasize the colors of the opal underneath. The clear cap helps protect the thinner opal and it also acts as a magnifying glass to accentuate the stone’s colors.
Opal Production Around the World
Australia produces around 97% of the world’s opal and as much as 90% is considered to be the traditional white or crystal opal. White makes up 60% of the opal productions and the purest form of opal hydrated silica makes up 30% , 8% is black and only 2% is boulder opal. Besides the gemstone varieties of opal precious stones that show a rainbow of colors play, there are other kinds of common opal: milk opal, milky bluish to greenish, resin opal-which is honey-yellow with a resinous luster, wood opal- which is when the organic material in wood is replaced with opal, menilite- which is brown or grey, hyalite-a colorless glass-clear opal, geyserites- also called siliceous sinter which is found near hot springs and geysers.
Opal gemstone making stunning jewelry pieces and it is easy to find the perfect opal and diamond rings and earrings.