What Is An Opal Doublet?

What is an Opal Doublet? | Seda Gems

Opal is one of the most precious and highly valuable gemstones on earth. Mostly found in Australia, it is often referred to as Australia’s national gemstone. Basically, there are two main types of Opal which are the precious Opal and the common Opal. The precious Opal is relatively rare while the common Opal is the most common type found on planet earth.

Now let’s consider what an Opal Doublet is. When stone construction is taking place, artisans cut the entire Opal as a single fine layer and glue it to the base of obsidian or ironstone. The two parts are then referred to as an Opal Doublet. Basically, an Opal Doublet is considered to be a thin layer of Opal constructed or glued onto a backing which could be common ironstone or Black Opal potch. Opal Doublets are commonly made out of Opals that couldn’t pass into a solid stone due to their lack of thickness.

Don’t get too confused about Opal Doublets; it is that thin piece of Opal that is glued to a backing that is much thicker than the Opal itself. The thin slice of Opal can be about a few millimetres thick. Opal Doublets are a relatively cheap way to have a colorful Opal in your life. They are relatively inexpensive compared to the price of solid Opals. You can have a colorful and precious Opal Doublet without having to pay for the expensive price of a solid Opal.

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How To Detect An Opal Doublet

An Opal Doublet is not exactly hard to detect. You shouldn’t confuse it for an Opal Triplet because there are certain differences between them. To detect an Opal Doublet easily just turn it to the side & look for the part where the Opal is joined to the backing. Simply pick up an Opal Doublet, look at the side and look for the joining line between the Opal and the backing.

One of the most common questions that a lot of people ask is, “How do I tell the difference between an Opal Doublet and an Opal Triplet?” An Opal Triplet is also formed by gluing a thin slice of Opal to a solid backing. But you need to look a little closer to detect an Opal Triplet. If the Opal is extremely thin and has a clear cap placed over it, it is definitely an Opal Triplet which is different from an Opal Doublet with no clear cap over it. The clear cap is usually derived from Quartz and sometimes plastic. It is also important to know that the slice of Opal in an Opal Doublet is much thicker than that of an Opal Triplet.

What is an Opal Doublet? | Seda Gems

The cap on the Opal Triplet is often added to protect the extremely thin and soft Opal slice from impact and abrasion. The clear cap is commonly made from clear quartz or other transparent materials including plastic resin. Opal Doublet’s have a backing piece but no clear cap.

What Is The Back Of An Opal Doublet Made Of?

Generally in Opal Doublet construction, backing is used as a reinforcement, especially those that are cut into thin sizes. Opal Doublets are usually glued to a strong Ironstone backing to create a reinforcement to the thin Opal. The strong ironstone backing for Opal Doublets is usually brown in color. The backing doesn’t only do the work of reinforcement; its brown color also creates a pop of color for the thin Opal. Ironstone is a natural stone and it exists in abundance.

What Is An Opal Doublet Used For?

The jewelry industry has witnessed great encouragement with Opal Doublet. A lot of people love to wear matching Opal earrings, pendants and rings. Opal Doublets create a great and ideal way to wear matching jewelry.  Opal Doublets are common in the Opal industry right now. Opal Doublets are often used to imitate some other more expensive gemstones on the market. Since Opal is the most colorful of all gems, it is a very important source of beauty to the neck, ears and fingers.

What is an Opal Doublet? | Seda Gems

When looking through a set of Opal jewelry, it is likely that you will find a bezel set. You will find the metal rounded up over the edge of the Opal. The metal used to round up the sides of the Opal Doublet creates two effects; it hides and protects the joining between the Opal and the backing. It also gives the illusion of a large natural expensive Opal.

Origin Of Opal Doublets

Opal was a rare and highly valuable gemstone. Far back in Europe, it was a gem of royalty until there was a large deposit found in Australia in the 19th Century.

The origin of Opal Doublets can be traced back to Lightning Ridge in Queensland, Australia. They were made through the use of translucent crystal Opals on natural Black Opal potch backing. The mainstream production of Opal Doublets these days is now found widely, but ironstone is more commonly used as the backing.

How To Care For Your Opal Doublet

Opal Doublets are strong and just have a few certain precautions when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Avoid cleaning your Opal Doublet jewelry with strong chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners. As the Opal slice is glued to the backing, strong chemicals or ultrasonic cleaning may have an adverse effect on the adhesion. Your easy cleaning routine should be with a cloth dampened slightly with warm soapy water.

One of the things most people love about Opal Doublets is that they are not as expensive as many other gemstones. You can still have beautiful, colorful and amazing opal jewelry in the form of an Opal Doublet at a fraction of the price.

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