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Imitation opal


#1

I recently have begun to see a lot of jewelry with imitation
(synthetic?) opal in it. Just wondering.does it have the same
problems as real opal, i.e. crazing and shrinkage? Do you need to be
a careful with is as the real thing? Anyone out there cut some of
it? I’m thinking I might like to give it a try. Any info or
suggestions would be greatly appreciated. - Wendy In way too
hot northern California


#2
I recently have begun to see a lot of jewelry with imitation
(synthetic?) opal in it.  Just wondering.does it have the same
problems as real opal, i.e. crazing and shrinkage?  Do you need to
be a careful with is as the real thing? 

Depending on what the synthetic or simulant opal is, you may have
just as many problems with the material as you do with natural opal.
The problems however may be different. Is is best to ask the person
who sells you the synthetic or simulant opal what it is and what to
watch for. The material is probably just as soft if not softer than
natural opal. It may also be a composite of some sort that needs
special care. You should be careful with any gem material no matter
how hard or how tough. I do not think it will craze (though I could
be wrong), and I have never heard of shrinkage with any opal.

Cathy


#3

Wendy, there are a number of different simulant opals out there, and
a some claim to be synthetic opal, but there have been a couple law
suits over that claim. Anyway, some of these opals are plastic, and
as such are not very hard or long lived in jewelry. Some look very
convincing though. The glass simmulants such as Slocum stone should
be treated like glass with similar wear issues.

The Gilson and Inamori opals, the synthetics, are about the same
hardness and toughness as natural opal. The Gilson is very heat
tolerable though. A fellow opal dealer’s wife uses it with PMC and
has “never had one crack” which I find amazing, but I have no reason
to doubt her.

Hope this answers your questions.

Don


#4

I saw an interesting ring recently. It looked and behaved very much
like a natural opal cab, but the ‘fire’ appeared to be made of chips
that were a little too symmetrical in size and distribution to have
occurred naturally, and in certain lights the surface had almost an
acrylic-like appearance. The label said “lab opal”. My question is
this: Is it an aggregate of natural opal chips in a clear plastic
medium ? Is it synthetically ‘grown’ as are rubies, sapphires, etc;
or is it something other than opal altogether that
was created in a lab? Dee


#5

Hello I want to say something about your question ? synthetic or
imitation? first of all an imitation could be anything that just
looks like the orginal can said as imitation. but for the synthetic it
should have the physical and optical proprties same or nearly same.
as orginal cubic zirconia and moissanite are imitation to diamonds
not synthetic diamonds thank u tomyjoseph.spectrum.net.in