Opal is one of the most popular gemstones known for its spectacular play of color. As a result, opal is also one of the most imitated stones on the market. Here are a few tips to help you tell if an opal is real:
Inspect the Stone’s Surface
Opals have a smooth, waxy surface and are often somewhat translucent. A real opal also comes in a white body tone, which is the color of the stone itself.
Look for a Play of Color
The “play of color” is what makes an opal so unique and desirable. This refers to the way the stone appears to change color when viewed from different angles. If you don’t see any color play, the opal is likely a fake.
Check the Stone’s Hardness
Opals rank between 5.5 and 6.5 on the Mohs scale, which means they’re fairly soft stones. If you can easily scratch the surface of the opal with a knife or other object, it’s probably not real.
Look at the Price
Real opals can be quite expensive, so if you see an opal that’s being sold for a very low price, it’s likely a fake. Beware, though, some fake opal sellers can still charge high prices.
Check for Doublets and Triplets
These are fake opals that are made up of two or three thin layers of stone glued together. You can usually tell if an opal is a doublet or triplet by looking at the back of the stone. If you see a black backing, it’s likely a fake.
Be Aware of Common Synthetic Opals
Some companies create synthetic or man-made opals that look very similar to the real thing. These are commonly referred to as “fire opals” or “lab-created opals.” If you’re not sure if an opal is real, ask a jeweler to inspect it for you.
Contact us at Nazar’s & co. Jewelers for more information on buying opals. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about purchasing opals.