Find out all about opals - an iconic australian gemstone
The following information gives a brief rundown on the three main types of opals that are available and the three main techniques used when displaying them in jewellery. Opals have become an iconic part of the Australian souvenir market with tourists wanting to take home a unique piece of Australia.
<p >There are three main techniques used for setting opals; solid, doublet and triplet. As the name suggests, a solid opal is exactly that - a solid piece of opal in it's natural state that has been shaped and polished. Doublets and triplets consist of a paper-thin slice of opal cemented to a black backing. Triplets have, in addition to this, a clear quartz or glass capping over the top to magnify the colour, protect the stone, and give it a cabochon (domed) appearance. The idea of doublets and triplets is to imitate valuable black opals at a fraction of the cost. The following diagrams show the differences between solid, doublet and triplet opals.