Types of Australian Opals

To idenify the type of Opal, turn the Opal over to determine in which “Family” it belongs. White Opal has a white base, Black Opal has a dark base, Crystal Opal is “see through”, Crystal Clear Opal and Boulder Opal have a brown sandstone base. These four Opals are classified as “Solid Opals”.

Opal Doublets and Triplets

Doublets and Triplets are made from slices of white opal.

  • Doublets = Double = Three Layers. The top piece of the doublet is a slice of natural white opal. The base of the doublet is usually a piece of throw away brown boulder rock. Before the two pieces of rock are glued together the top side of the boulder rock is painted black. This simple process accentuates the colors of the natural Opal slice.
  • Triplets = Triple = Three Layers. If you glue a domed quartz cap on top of a doublet, you have a triplet. The quartz cap magnifies and protects the Opal slice.

The four solid Opals are easily distinguished from the doublets and triplets that have been through a manufacturing process. Solid Opals have been cut and polished from one peice of “Mother” or “Base” rock. There are no join lines where 2 or 3 pieces have been cemented together to make doublets and triplets.

Caring for Doublet and Triplet Opal Jewelry

Because pieces have been glued together do not get them heated as the glue will soften and change the Opals’ appearance. Similarly, showering, swimming – take off your Opal jewelry. Do not put in jewelry cleaning solutions.

Caring for all Opal Jewelry

Do not put Opal jewelry on, or take off, over a hard surface. (i.e. bathroom vanity, tiled floors) Much better to sit on a bed, or over a carpet – just in case! All types of Opal have a different price structure which is confusing! Also, it is not bad luck if you don’t own a piece of Opal jewelry!