What is Synthetic Opal?
A: Opals of all varieties have been synthesized experimentally and commercially. The discovery of the ordered sphere structure of precious opal led to its synthesis by Pierre Gilson in 1974. The resulting material is distinguishable from natural opal by its regularity; under magnification, the patches of color are seen to be arranged in a "lizard skin" or "chicken wire" pattern. Furthermore, synthetic opals do not fluoresce under ultraviolet light. Synthetics are also generally lower in density and are often highly porous.
Two notable producers of synthetic opal are Kyocera and Inamori of Japan. Most so-called synthetics, however, are more correctly termed "imitation opal", as they contain substances not found in natural opal (e.g., plastic stabilizers). The imitation opals seen in vintage jewelry are often foiled glass, glass-based "Slocum stone", or later plastic materials.
Other research in macroporous structures have yielded highly ordered materials that have similar optical properties to opals and have been used in cosmetics.
Synthetic opals usually display a very distinctive snakeskin pattern and they show brighter colors than natural opals. The spots of color are larger but they interact with light in a very similar way to natural opals. They also contain a fair amount of silica (usually around 70-75%) which is impregnated with plastic. Synthetic Opals look good and appeal to some but cant replace what Mother Nature creates.
Synthetic solid opal can be very difficult to identify, unless you are an expert, or have a lot of experience. Look closely at the pattern - Opal created in a laboratory (Gilson opal), displays bright colours in large patches of colour. The pattern is often 'too perfect' and ordered, and can also often display a 'snakeskin' pattern. If you are still not sure, take it to a gemmologist or an opal expert.
Therefore, Synthetic opals is the best stimulant for the Real Opals,and it's beautiful and brilliant for the Jewelry designs.
At Fu Rong Gems, you can Buy high quality of Synthetic opal Gemstones at Wholesale Direct Factory prices from the Real China Professional Manufacturer and Suppliers.
Synthetic Opal Gems Color Chart- Click to view large image.