Have you ever wondered if your jewelry's opal is real? Figuring out if an opal is real can be tricky, but it can be possible. With the right tips and tricks, you can find out whether your opal is authentic. In this blog post, we'll explore some signs you should look for to determine if an opal is real. So, if you want to find out if your opal is genuine, keep reading! At Siebke Hoyt, we want to help you ensure that your jewelry is the real deal.
Check for a Doublet
If you're looking to determine whether or not your opal is real, one of the easiest ways to tell is by checking for a doublet. A double opal comprises two pieces layered together and is usually much thinner than a regular piece of opal. To check if your opal is a doublet, examine it closely under good lighting and look for seams or differences in the pattern of color on the stone. If you see a thin line or some other type of discontinuity running through the opal, it's likely a doublet. Real opals typically don't have any visible layers and will be more consistent in color and pattern.
Inspect the Opal's Base
One of the best ways to check the authenticity of your opal is to inspect its base. While all opals have a beautiful surface, the base can tell you whether or not you're getting a real deal.
A real opal will have a rough, uneven surface at its base. This is caused by microscopic water droplets that form within the gemstone during its formation and crystallization. On the other hand, fake opals usually have a flat, uniform bottom.
In addition, you should look out for signs of tampering or treatments. If the base appears to have been buffed or cut in any way, it is likely not a genuine opal.
Examine the Play-of-Color
Opals are one of the world's most beautiful and unique gemstones, but it can be difficult to tell if a particular opal is real or fake. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to tell if your opal is the real deal. One of the key characteristics of a real opal is its play-of-color, which refers to the flashes of rainbow colors that shimmer and move across the stone as it's turned in the light. This effect, known as adularescence, is produced when light is reflected from tiny spheres of silica gel contained within the opal.
A real opal typically displays a vibrant play of color, while a fake opal usually lacks this effect. Examine the opal closely to see if it reflects rainbow colors when held at a light source or in direct sunlight.
Consider the Opal's Hardness
When determining the authenticity of an opal, one of the most important tests is to consider the hardness of the stone. Real opals are quite hard; they should not scratch easily or show signs of abrasion. A quick way to tell if an opal is real is to rub it against a porcelain surface. If it leaves a scratch on the porcelain, then it's not a real opal.
Another test to determine the hardness of an opal is to use a gemstone hardness pick. This device measures the hardness of various gemstones and can easily identify real opals from fake ones. To use the gemstone hardness pick, place the device's tip on the opal's surface and press lightly. It is likely not a real opal if it leaves a mark.
Determine the Opal's Value
If you want to ensure you get the most out of your opal, it's important to understand how to tell if it's real.
To start, look at the opal closely and examine its color, pattern, and brilliance. Real opals should have a uniform body color, often with a bright fire or play of color that flashes as it moves in the light. The opal colors can range from pale pink to vibrant blues and greens. Patterns can include stripes, bars, flashes, or veins of color.
Another way to determine if an opal is real is by testing its hardness. To do this, take a hard object like a needle and scratch the opal's surface. If it scratches, the stone is probably not real.
Lastly, you can use a loupe or magnifying glass to inspect the surface of your opal. A real opal should appear transparent and feature small air bubbles or a distinct crystalline structure. Fake stones will often be cloudy or feature obvious flaws on their surface.
Now that you know the basics of determining if an opal is real, you can confidently buy and wear the gems without worrying about being scammed. It's important to remember that not all opals are created equal; some are more valuable than others, depending on their size, shape, and color.