Opal is one of the rarest gemstones on earth. It has a rich and varied history and a vivid presence in today’s culture. Although it’s not quite as popular as diamonds or rubies, opal is still a much-loved stone in many collections worldwide. Originating from Australia, Opal is mined through open-cut mining methods, which means mining giant holes in the ground and then covering them back up once they’ve finished extracting what they need. This leaves behind vast piles of discarded material known as mullock heaps which can contain anywhere between 20% – 50% Opal.
Natural Opals Are an Anomaly
Opals are rare and unique gemstones. They can be found only in a few countries and are expensive. But a rough opal, however, can be cheaper. They are uncut and unpolished opals. There are many reasons why people would want to fake their opal rings or necklaces. And it’s essential to know how to tell if your opal is genuine because fakes aren’t always easy to spot. So how can you know whether your precious opal is authentic?
The most obvious sign of a fake is if the piece looks too perfect or clean for its age (it might have been refinished). You should also look out for any cracks on the surface or unevenness in the coloration—because natural opals are highly irregular, this should be expected. Also, make sure that your jewelry is made from Australian black or white gold; if it doesn’t say “Made in Australia” somewhere on it, then chances are good that it wasn’t made there.
Inclusions Are Evidence of Genuineness
When you look at an opal, you can see some natural imperfections in the stone. These are called “inclusions.”
Inclusions are small pieces of minerals that were trapped inside the rock when it was forming. They’re usually not visible to the naked eye but can be seen with a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe. Inclusions can also be seen with your bare eyes if you look closely enough at an opal. If you are buying a rough opal, you may not be able to see it.
Patterns and Colours Are Crucial to Authenticity
Look at the pattern and colors on your opal. If it’s a fake, there will be no pattern or color.
If you have a genuine Opal, each stone has to be cut and polished individually by hand. A skilled gem cutter would use special equipment to ensure that each piece of opal is cut as precisely as possible. This means that every piece will have its unique pattern and coloring, which should be visible when held up to the light in good light conditions such as daylight or fluorescent lighting.
There Is a Difference in Weight Between Natural and Synthetic Opals
The easiest way to tell whether your opal is real is by weight. In most cases, real opals will be heavier than synthetic ones. Real opals are denser than synthetic ones and have a higher refractive index, making them feel heavier.
Check the Weight, Colour, Pattern, and Inclusions to Ensure That Your Opal Is Genuine
If you suspect your opal might not be real, weigh it against other similar-looking stones from different vendors in the same category (e.g., check the weights of all black opals together). This will help you see if there’s any significant difference in weight between them.
The color of opal can also help you determine whether or not it’s genuine—or fake. For example, white and blue-white colors may indicate a high probability that your stone is artificial because these colors are hard to replicate with manufactured materials at this time. However, don’t let this fool you into thinking that just because your opal has one of those colors means it can’t be genuine; some manufacturers use dyes on top of their product to achieve those effects. So while these types aren’t prevalent among authentic pieces nowadays, several decades ago, things were different.
Patterns are another thing that can help tell real ones apart from their artificial counterparts: typically speaking, “opal” patterns will appear across multiple facets rather than just one tiny spot like those seen on synthetics often do.”
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