Opal Doublet: Gemstone and Jewelry


Opal is a truly fascinating gemstone, with its rainbow flashes of color mesmerizing one's senses. But what happens when this iridescent stone combines with another material to create an even more mesmerizing effect? That's where the Opal Doublet comes in. This unique gemstone consists of a thin layer of precious opal that is bonded to a backing of common opal, black matrix, or other materials. The result is a colorful gemstone that shines with the brilliance of pure opal, but at a more affordable price point. Opal Doublet is popular in gemstone jewelry due to its beauty and affordability, and has become a sought-after gemstone for both collectors and casual jewelry lovers alike.


History of Opal: 

Opal has been revered by humans since ancient times. The gemstone was first mentioned by Greek philosopher and naturalist Pliny the Elder in his book, Naturalis Historia, way back in 70 AD. He described opal as an enchanting stone that could capture the colors of other gemstones. In the Middle Ages, opal was known as the "eye stone" since it was believed that the gemstone could cure diseases associated with the eyes. Opals were often worn as amulets or set in jewelry to protect the wearer from evil and ward off bad luck.

Due to its iridescence, opal was also considered to be a magical stone. In ancient times, it was believed that opals were formed from lightning strikes. Opals were also used to predict the weather, with their colors changing in response to the coming rain. But despite its rich history, opal was not always viewed favorably. In the 19th century, opal was accused of being unlucky due to the novel Anne of Geierstein: or The Maiden of the Mist, in which the opal brings bad luck to the protagonist.

The novel helped spread the myth that opal was a symbol of bad luck and death, which caused the gemstone's popularity to decline for many years. However, in the early 20th century, Australian gem miners discovered a new type of opal that was much more abundant and cheaper than previous opals. This discovery lead to opal's popularity increasing once again.


What is an Opal Doublet?  

An Opal Doublet is a gemstone created by bonding a thin layer of precious opal to a backing material. This backing material is usually made of common opal, a black matrix or sometimes other materials. The doublet is made by adhering the thin layer of precious opal to the backing material using an adhesive. Opal doublets were first created in the late 1800s in Australia. At that time, opal miners would create opal doublets to sell to tourists who preferred the look of an opal but found it too expensive.

The creation of opal doublets allowed miners to use all parts of the rough opal, making it possible to increase its value and decrease their waste. The bonding of the thin layer of opal with the backing material improves the overall stability of the gemstone and also enhances the luster and color of the opal. This is because the common opal backing darkens the background of the stone, thereby enhancing the bright colors of the precious opal layer in front.


Uses of Opal Doublet: 

Opal doublets are popular in fine jewelry because of their unique look and affordability. They are often used in pendants, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Opal doublets are versatile gemstones that can be used in a variety of jewelry styles, from traditional Victorian to modern minimalistic. Because of its added durability, the opal doublet can also be used in jewelry that is commonly exposed to wear and tear.

For example, it is popular in cocktail rings that go through the hazard of everyday wear. One of the most popular uses of Opal Doublets is opal doublet engagement rings. This is because opals have long been associated with love, and a doublet offers an impressive iridescent stone that brides-to-be of all styles and preferences adore.


Types of Opal Doublets: 

Opal Doublets come in many colors, but the most common colors include white, black, and blue. The color of the opal in a doublet will depend on the shade of the backing material, as well as the thickness of the precious opal layer.

1. Black Opal Doublets: These doublets have a black backing material, which makes the colors of the precious opal layer more intense. Black opal doublets with a thin layer of opal are the most valuable, and the most sought after.

2. Blue Opal Doublets: These doublets have a blue backing material and produce a blue-green or turquoise color in the precious opal layer.

3. White Opal Doublets: These doublets have a white backing material, which is usually made of common opal. The white backing brightens the colors of the precious opal layer, giving it an overall bright and clean look.

Other materials can be used as a backing for Opal Doublets, such as Ironstone and Porcelain. A very scarce kind of a doublet, from the Lightning Ridge mines, called the 'Pipe Opal Doublet', is made of a thin layer of Opal mined from inside fossilized tree roots, that is then attached to the root material which makes the backing.


Choosing Opal Doublet Jewelry: 

When looking to buy Opal Doublet jewelry, there are several factors to consider. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best Opal Doublet jewelry for you:

  1. Color: Opal doublets come in a wide variety of colors. Choose the color that you like best, whether it be white, black, blue, or other colors.
  1. Size: Determine the size of the opal doublet you want. Smaller opal doublets are less expensive, but larger opals have more luster and are more desirable.
  1. Clarity: Opal doublets have various degrees of clarity. A clearer opal doublet will have more luster and transparency, while a less clear opal will have more matrix, exposing the common opal layer underneath.
  1. Quality: The quality of your opal doublet largely depends on the quality of precious opal used. The more colorful and luminescent the opal, the better.
  1. Setting: Consider the type of setting you prefer. Do you want an elaborate setting with diamonds and intricate designs, or do you want a more simplistic setting that lets the opal doublet shine?


Caring for Opal Doublet Jewelry: 

Opal Doublets are a soft stone that can be scratched easily, so it is important to take good care of your Opal Doublet jewelry to keep it looking its best.

  1. Avoid exposure to heat and chemicals: Opal doublets can crack and lose their iridescence if exposed to high temperatures or chemicals. Avoid leaving your jewelry in direct sunlight, or using household cleaning products or perfumes while wearing it.
  1. Clean your opals regularly: Use a soft cloth to wipe your Opal Doublet jewelry clean, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.
  1. Store your opals carefully: Keep your Opal Doublet jewelry in a soft cloth or pouch that can protect it from bumps and scratches. Avoid storing it with other jewelry that can scratch or damage it.
  1. Earthquake-proof your Opal Doublet jewelry: While not everyone lives in an earthquake-prone area, Opal Doublet jewelry is especially fragile. Make sure all your valuable jewelry, opals or otherwise, rests in a secure and earthquake-safe location.



Opal Doublets are a unique and beautiful gemstone alternative that are both affordable and strikingly beautiful. They are versatile enough to be used in a variety of jewelry styles and settings, but require a bit of extra care to ensure their longevity. From the ancient Greeks to modern jewellers, opal has been revered for its beauty, rarity, and mystical qualities. The Opal Doublet is a unique and innovative way to enjoy the colorful opal stone. Its breathtaking display of rainbow hues makes it a perfect gemstone choice for a wide range of jewelry styles, personalities, and budgets.

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