3 ways to spot a synthetic or fake opal

In today’s video we give you 3 tips on how to spot a synthetic or fake opal. Opal is one of the most fashionable gemstones right now and we see lots in the market place.

Now we know that there are many reputable sellers out there clearly stating that their opal is synthetic, but we have come across a sneaky few who try and pass it off as the real thing and we want you, the opal lover to know exactly what you are looking at!

Firstly, synthetic or lab created opal is made in a lab, it did not come out of the ground. The fake opal may contain a percentage of hydrated silica but will not be exactly the same in chemical composition. Usually you will see synthetic opal sold as uniform shapes – often in multiples within a piece of jewellery or as sets.

So how do you tell? Basically there are 3 things that will stand out on a synthetic or fake opal as opposed to a natural one.

  1. Uniform and repeating pattern the whole way through a stone – without any potch being present.
  2. Synthetic opal produces columns of color  – you may see the column or the termination where the pattern is fairly blocky and distinct.
  3. Lizard Skin pattern within the color blocks

Watch the video for the full explanation and up close images showing you exactly what to look for!

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