Opals are found in diverse forms and can extensively differ in quality and appearance. To know more about the National gem of Australia, read on.
1. Colour: There are basically three main colours of an opal. A single colour, three or more colours and even a beautiful rainbow of colours. The gem also displays background colour known also the as body colour. This body colour is a result of small impurities suspending within the stone.
Opals are largely classified into two categories as per their background colour. The opal having a black background is largely the choice of most people as its play of colour assumes greater attention against an inky colour backdrop.
The greatest side of an opal without argues is the play-of-colour. Fans of opal largely prefer a sharp play of colour so for obtaining a high rating, the opal should be bright and vivid.
Next to play-of-colour is the significance of an opal’s range. A scarce one has lots of play-of-colour that is not only bright but also dazzles across the whole opal spectrum.
2. Pattern: You may ask what is pattern. It is the play-of-colour’s disposition which takes many forms. Well known play-of-colours are A) pinpoint (pinfire) – tiny areas of colour
B) Mosaic (harlequin) – big portions of colour set intimately
C) Flame – these are Reddish streaks spread all across the opal
D) Peacock – patches of blue and green.
Mainly, gem experts lay preference on big and intimately arranged colour portions over distributed dots. Opal colour must be radiant no matter what the design or pattern is. This is how an opal becomes valuable.
3. Transparency and Clarity: Clarity or coherence of an opal is the stage of freedom and invisibility from inclusions which ranges from total invisibility to opaque. The beautiful crystal opals are loved for their transparency, and the black ones are not, for a cloudy background which decreases the gems value, and makes it less beautiful and less steady.
Opal has fractures and blemishes which is common in all gems. It also contains the fragment matrix which is detrimental to the appearance of a polished stone.
On dropping of moisture, an opal causes crazing. What is crazing? It is plenty of cracks which look something like a spider’s web. Dropping of moisture as one can easily assume, happens due to heat or excessive dryness.
4. Cut: Opals are not given a standard shape and size. Rough is cut to show the stone’s play-of-colour which is amazing. Fashioned into large shapes, most play of colour is retained. This distinct gem is suitable for rare occasions like diamond and opal engagement ring or diamond and opal wedding ring.
5. Carat Weight: Carat weights and sizes among opals are many and have a lesser density than other gemstones. You can wear a large opal too comfortably.
So, if you were planning on to buying a ring mounted with opal, reread the above for a smart purchase. And most importantly, wear a confident countenance to let not you get duped by tactics of retailers.