In an effort to help you learn more about opal we have put together a list of terms and there meanings that are used in this web site. If you still have questions that need answers please email us.
A stone made of three parts. 1) The base can be made of various materials, however we try to use materials that are temperature stable and compatible with opal eg, glass, obsidian, ironstone(boulder) or potch(opal without colour). We, use glass because it is readily available in the thickness we want. 2) The centre is a thin slice of opal that is either painted or dyed black. This is done to highlight the colour and pattern in the opal. 3) The top, cap or covering can be glass, moulded crystal or quartz. Each of these transparent materials represents a different hardness. Each of the three layers are laminated together with the latest epoxy resins or compounds. As much as these compounds are state of the art I wouldn’t recommend getting triplets wet on a regular basis.
A stone made of two parts. 1) The base can be made of various materials, however we try to use materials that are temperature stable and compatible with opal eg, glass, obsidian, ironstone(boulder) or potch(opal without colour). We, use ironstone(boulder) because of it’s natural beauty. It looks great when used with open backed jewellery. 2) The top, being opal, is either painted of dyed black then laminated to the base with an epoxy resin. The darkening of the opal helps to highlight colour and pattern. When the epoxy resin is dry the stone is cut and polished into a doublet.
A solid opal is a natural stone that is cut and polished, as one piece, in a particular way to highlight the natural beauty of the stone. This may be a cabochon or carving.
Not every stone can be cut the same way. This is the reason that triplets and doublets exist. Sometimes a piece of rough opal needs to be carved. This may be done to accentuate certain colours or patterns or to make the most of the opal without too much loss. Carving is an expression in opal that has no standard shape or form.