Synthetic Opal and what to look for…

We’ve been hearing reports of a lot more synthetic opal being passed off as Solid Natural Opal recently, and strangely enough, we received a ‘promotional’ pack of synthetic opal in the mail, from a supplier.
We do not endorse synthetic opal here at ODU (and you will not see any in stock), but we do recognise its use.
So, instead of saying ‘don’t buy it’, we would rather educate our clients as to what to look for.

Here, you’ll see a nice dark green/blue combination.  To the average person with little to no opal knowledge, this would look like solid Black Opal, BUT… look at the side and back of the stone. Notice the solid bars of colour, as though it was cut from a slab? Dead giveaway. So is the lack of Black Potch (colourless opal) that is left under Black Opal to provide the dark body tone.


The light ‘Fire’ opal material is a little trickier, has it does look like nice White Crystal Opal, but again, look at the colour bars forming on the side.


And, with the newest material, the creators have started to implant sand inclusions into the synthetic material, making it even a little harder to spot. But still, the lack of potch on the back is a bit of a giveaway.


Simplest guide – if it looks too good to be true for the price you’re getting it for, go with your gut feelings.