The name "opal" comes from the Latin term "Opalus." It means the essence of all gems gathered into a single stone. Because it seems to contain the colors of all the other gems, the Romans referred to it as the "Queen" of gems. To that ancient civilization, the opal was a symbol of purity and hope. They viewed it as a gift from the gods and saw the flickering color as the bolts of lightning that brought it down to earth. They saw it as Nature's fireworks, displayed in miniature by the shimmering colors in the stone. This fanciful interplay of colors is the trademark of the opal.
Surprisingly, opal is not a true mineral. Instead, it is classified as an amorphous type of silica that is similar to quartz and is called a mineraloid. There are opals with and without the shimmering colors. Opals that contain the dynamic play of colors are classified as precious opal, and are considered a precious gem. A precious opal of high quality should have a shimmering rainbow of colors when you rotate it, the colors should be vivid and bright as they shift from hue to hue.
Among opal found for sale, many are considered general opal, and just a few are beautiful enough to be classified as "precious." In an opal, you can see many colors, including pink, brown, grey, white, blue, green, and even transparent. Jewelers consider general opal to be a milky white color without any shifting colors. It does not have a high commercial value and is not considered a precious gem.
Non natural Opal
Opal that is created in a non-natural method can be of two varieties. One has glass included and is translucent milky white without a shifting color. They are known as artificial opal. The second type is created in a lab and exhibits the shifting colors. These are known as synthetic opal.
Technically called Polymer Impregnated, synthetic opal is created in a laboratory in a process that takes about a year and is similar in character to natural opal. The primary difference between natural and lab grown opal is the time it takes to create them. The lab is able to speed up the process significantly. The synthetic opal we carry are gorgeous and contain a dynamic play of color that truly befits the name "precious opal."
The Possibilities Of Synthetic Opal
As previously mentioned, very few opals found in the world have enough color or are fine enough to be categorized as precious opal. This scarcity has resulted in precious opal skyrocketing in price, making it less appealing for development. Other than some historical value, opal is not usually considered a mainstream gem.
Synthetic opal has made up for the rarity of naturally grown opal, while still showing off the gorgeous play of colors in its many forms. The rich pattern of colors and many methods of cutting synthetic opal also mean it has a huge range when it comes to creative design, allowing jewelry designers to exercise their imagination to get the most from the shifting colors.
In conclusion, the development of synthetic opal has allowed manufacturers to meet the demands of the market with a sustainable future. This makes it the perfect alternative to rare natural opal. In the fashion world, synthetic opal will soon be a featured player when it comes to jewelry design. The popularity of the stone along with its commercial appeal have made it a top choice among fashion designers.
A New Look For Fashion Jewelry
When it comes to fashion jewelry, synthetic opal is a great choice. The market is saturated with crystal and cubic zirconia products, and synthetic opal presents an attractive and unique option for designers. The shimmering and playful colors allow products to display more character and stand out in the competitive jewelry market. Additionally, the rising cost of acquiring natural opal means that buyers and investors alike must risk more of their money with a diminishing return on quality. That makes synthetic opal, with its lower price and more consistent quality, a much more attractive option for the jewelry industry.