Is Solid Opal better than a Doublet in Jewelry ?

by Bill

Solid Opal Freeform

Solid Opal Freeform

Questions: In jewelry, why is a solid opal better than a doublet of identical appearance - (other than psychological).

I mean, people never take jewelry apart to see what's inside anyway!

Some of the beautiful opal jewelry I have seen is inlay. Does it make any difference to the wearer if that inlay is a solid opal or just a thin slice? Is it a durability issue?

Answer: In jewelry, it is the quality of manufacture (and the gem opal used) of the doublet, and/or quality of the construction of the inlay work that is all important.

Very high quality manufacture of opal doublets for fine jewelry means jewelry for life and has a sound investment value as well.

If a solid black opal or solid crystal opal is set in jewelry it would be wise to leave the back of the jewelry open to prove the authenticity of the gem being sold and genuine. How else could you prove that it was a genuine black opal/solid gem crystal unless you could view the back AND sides of the opal gem?

Ah, inlay work - yes, sometimes it is a durability issue where people use opal better suited for triplets (which uses a very thin slice of opal) rather than inlay material and also the kind of adhesive that they may use.

The thicker the opal slice the better for increased strength and durability.

With beautiful and bright inlay work to have reasonable thickness AND brightness of color, one must work with opal of a higher quality to have the desired outcome.

High quality gem doublets and high quality inlay work do have very sound investment value.

On a couple of my trips out to Lightning Ridge, I have seen some amazing examples of inlay and mosaic work with price tags to match!


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