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When you are looking at Opalite vs Opal, opalite is similar to other gems in terms of looks but it has different characteristics, but even so, it looks like an opal and is valued for its inexpensive price.
If you have an interest in gemstones you probably have heard about opals but while opal is a natural stone out of nature, what is opalite? With opalite vs opal is there a difference or is opalite a chip off the opal stone?
Is opalite a manufactured stone? Yes, man-made opalite is a type of glass resin that has been made to imitate the real opal. Opalite gemstones provide an affordable alternative to opals. If you want to wear a genuine opal and you do not have the money to afford one, you can wear opalite and nobody would know the difference.
With opalite vs opal you are never going to see the same play of colors that opals are so well known for.
Opalite Vs Opal – Both Are Birthstones
Libra is the zodiac sign for those born in September and October and the birthstone for Libra is opalite. Later in October, those born at this time of year will have the beautiful opal as their birthstone. Both make wonderful gifts for birthdays.
With opalite vs opal, most opals have an irregularity – they are inclined to be bumpy because of their natural formation, whereas with man-made opalite it is flat or smooth. This is because the two sections are flattened so that they can be glued together. That’s why you want to be careful with checking your so-called opal, especially if you can’t see its back or side. You need to make sure that it is not opalite when you want opal.
Where Does Opal Come From?
So, where does opal come from? Opal is found in many countries of the world, some of which are the Western United States, Brazil, and Mexico. When you talk of opals, to answer the question where does opal come from, you generally think of them as coming from Australia. It is because Australia produces no less than 5% of the world’s opal. It was way back in 1915 when opals were discovered in Coober Pedy. By the 1970s, the opal rush was thriving. Today, opals are one of the most beautiful gemstones, formed when water seeps into crevasses in the rock.
How Is An Opal Formed?
Opal is a gem prized by royalty. But how is this most beautiful stone formed? How is an opal formed in nature and is it a quick process? The water that seeps into rocks eventually evaporates, causing silica to dry and harden into precious opal.
With opalite vs opal, you will discover that opalite is not from nature but rather a man-made variety of glass and it does not have fire or play of color like opals.
Opal was discovered more than a century ago by a teenager and his father in Australia’s Great Victoria Desert. This find of opals set off prospecting in the Coober Pedy region. How is an opal formed? Opal is made up of tiny silica spheres, formed when water seeps into cracks in the earth’s crust. So for opals to form you need silica rock and short spells of rain followed by long periods of drought.
As water evaporates, it leaves behind a silica deposit. So opal is formed from silicon dioxide and water. Natural opals have not been treated in any way apart from cutting and polishing.
Different Types Of Opal
Comparing opalite vs opal, you get many different types of opals but you just get two types of opalite. One kind of opalite is naturally formed just like opals and the other is the human-made version.
With the different types of opal, the land down undermines a massive percentage of the world’s different kinds of opals and these include white opals, boulder opals, black opals, crystal opals, and also crystal doublets and triplets. All the different types of opals are made into jewelry such as necklaces, rings, earrings, and brooches.
Black Opal – The Most Valued
As suggested, there are many different kinds of opals with black opal being the most valued of opals. Contrary to what you may think, black opals come in other colors. The black opal has a dark body tone which can be anything from a gray color to pitch black, but this is referring to the general body tone of the stone and is not related to the many other colors in the opal.
Opalite is an efficient stone in terms of pricing and availability. The stone is often referred to as a piece of glass. It is artificial and this is one of the main reasons for its wide availability.
Both Opal And Opalite Are Beautiful In Jewels
The opalescent glass comes with other characteristics and it has some metaphysical properties. People love wearing opal and opalite with the necklace being the most popular choice. The price makes it easily accessible and its physical properties make it excellent in jewelry. Its metaphysical properties can help to soothe your heart and mind.
Opalite has lots of physical properties that make it unique and it is fairly simple to afford and own compared to more expensive crystals and stones. It is often sold under different names. It does not sparkle but its softness makes it easy to carry around. Of course, you can also find a natural opalite which is usually found in opalized volcanic ash. These stones are very rare.
Opalite Can Be Confusing
But can you find opalite naturally seeing that it is actually man-made? That is because Opalite does refer to man-made opal, however, it also is a type of typical opal. So essentially, natural opalite is not man-made; instead, it is a naturally-occurring purple or green opal.
When it comes to opalite vs opal, it seems natural that there will be a lot of confusion about opalite. Is it synthetic or natural? As suggested, you get man-made or synthetic opalite which can be translucent or milky stone, and anything in between. Most times it is made of opalescent glass but also of resin or plastic. So this synthetic opalite looks whitish, milky to colorless.
Because it is a form of recurrent opal, the naturally occurring opalite has a similar composition – water and silica. In geology, opalite is defined as a common opal. So the word opalite is referred to as imitation opal that does not show a play of color. This common opal is found all over the world with most of it being a white to a yellowish shade that is not usually considered for use as a gem.
But there are some natural common opals that do have a wonderful color and that are cut into gems. There are even some transparent common opals that have a color and also a clarity that enables them to be cut into a faceted gem.
Opalite Is Not Considered A Gemstone
Synthetic, man-made, or fake opalite does not show play-of-color. It is most times sold as opalite without any explanation as to where it comes from. In fact, the name opalite is used for a good number of man-made materials and they do not have the same chemical composition and properties as natural opal, but they do look like a natural opal.
There are some play-of-color opalites that are pretty convincing opal similarities and they can be difficult to distinguish from natural opal, even with a microscope. Yes, an experienced gemologist can tell the difference between common- and synthetic opal.
If you have forked out a lot of money for a so-called opal and you are worried that you actually paid for opalite, a good idea would be to hand your opalite or opal in at a reputable gem identification laboratory to see what it really is.
With opalite vs opal, you will learn that opalite is a general expression for low-grade opal with inclusions. Talking about opalite, it may be flawless but it can’t be likened or compared to the opal. When you are comparing opalite vs opal, you will see that opalite is not a real gemstone and it does not occur in nature.
It is far cheaper and also far more readily available than natural opal. But having said that, by paying less for opalite, you still get a beautiful luminous man-made crystal.
When comparing opalite vs opal, they are both associated with healing and goodwill. It is believed that opalite is good for being able to balance mood swings. With we are talking about opalite vs opal, because of its beautiful iridescence, opalite is also used to make jewelry and when you wear it, like opal, with its healing energies, it is also a great piece of jewelry to wear close to you.