Opals are some of the most beautiful and unique gemstones in the world. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, making them a popular choice for jewelry. However, not all opals are created equal, and some can be fake or artificially enhanced.
Whether you're shopping for opals in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico or in Sydney, Australia its important to know what to look for. And what not to look for! There are a few things you should know to help you spot fake opals.
Don't worry, you'll be able to tell by the end of this article!
Look for the play of color
One of the most distinctive features of a genuine opal is its play of color. This refers to the way that the colors of the stone appear to shift and change as the stone is moved. If you're looking at an opal and you don't see any play of color, it may be a fake or an inferior quality stone.
Other ways to detect play of color is to the opal's color patterns, using a magnifying glass or microscope to examine the opal's internal structure, or subjecting the opal to ultraviolet light.
Check the weight
Genuine opals are relatively lightweight compared to their size. If you're holding a stone that feels heavier than you would expect, it may be a fake or an opal that has been treated with a substance to make it appear more valuable.
Look for inclusions
Inclusions are small imperfections or flaws that can be found in natural opals. If you're examining an opal and you don't see any inclusions, it may be a fake or a treated stone. However, keep in mind that some opals are valued precisely because of their lack of inclusions, so this is not always a foolproof method for spotting a fake.
Look at the color itself
Opals come in a wide range of colors, including white, black, blue, green, and red. However, some unscrupulous sellers may try to pass off synthetic opals or other stones as genuine opals. If you're looking at an opal that has a color that is too perfect or too uniform, it may be a fake.
Check the price
Finally, you should always be wary of opals that are priced too low. Genuine opals are relatively rare and valuable, and you should expect to pay a fair price for a quality stone. If a seller is offering an opal for a price that seems too good to be true, it may be a fake.
Puerto Vallarta is a popular destination for tourists, and there are many shops and vendors selling jewelry and gemstones. There are many mines in Puerto Vallarta making it a popular place to buy opal and silver jewelry. If you're shopping for opals in Puerto Vallarta, be sure to take your time and examine each stone carefully. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the stone's quality and origin, and be wary of sellers who try to pressure you into making a purchase. With a little bit of knowledge and some careful observation, you can spot fake opals and find a genuine stone that will be a treasured addition to your jewelry collection.
If you're looking for more destinations to find opals we have a list right here naming the top 10 locations around the world along with the opals they are famous for:
Australia - Australia produces more than 90% of the world's opals, making it the best destination to buy high-quality opals.
Ethiopia - Ethiopia is known for producing some of the most unique and stunning opals in the world, including Welo and Mezezo opals.
Mexico - Mexico is home to the famous Fire Opal, which is known for its bright orange-red color.
Brazil - Brazil is one of the largest producers of opals in the world, and it is known for its beautiful black opals.
Peru - Peru produces some of the world's most beautiful blue-green opals, including the famous Andean Opal.
United States - The United States produces some beautiful opals, including the famous Virgin Valley Opal from Nevada.
Honduras - Honduras is known for producing some of the world's most beautiful black opals.
Indonesia - Indonesia produces a unique type of opal called the Kalimaya Opal, which is known for its beautiful rainbow colors.
Tanzania - Tanzania produces some beautiful black opals, including the famous Arusha black opal.
Canada - Canada produces some unique opals, including the famous Ice Opal, which is known for its beautiful blue-green color.
It's definitely a good list to bookmark incase you decide to go on an opal world tour one day!
Opals are a beautiful stone, as rare as they are a pleasure to look at. They are often used in Indian jewellery and silver jewellery. Designers like Bvlgari and Van Cleef & Arpels utilize opals in their iconic designs. Naturally, the issue of opal fakeness is a significant concern for buyers of this precious gemstone. With the increasing popularity of opals, unscrupulous dealers are producing synthetic or fake opals that can be difficult to distinguish from natural ones.
Are you ready to test your knowledge?
Watch this quick real opal vs synthetic opal video to see if you can spot the difference:
How did you do? Can you spot the difference?