Synthetic Opal

Synthetic opals are opals that are created in a labratory. Most synthetic opals are difficult to identify from natural opals without laboratory tests. There are a few clues, however that can help you suspect synthetic opals. First of all, synthetic opals have an incredible fire, or play of color to them. Second, most synthetic opals have a patern that is generally too regular to occour naturally. Sometimes they also have a globular pattern to them. When viewed from the side, most synthetic opals seem to have a play of color that occours in columns rather than the random play of color that occours naturally. Finally, synthetic opals are generally a little lighter than natural opals. It is important to note that none of these characteristics prove that an opal is synthetic; but, while they can ocour naturally, they normally don't.

Chinese lab created synthetic opals
80% silica 20% polymer

Gilson synthetic opals

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