Crystal Opal is Not Crystal

Justin clears up confusion and let’s us in on his simple technique of telling what is, and what isn’t, a crystal opal.

How can we tell? Do you need the body tone and brightness scale? Is white opal crystal? Help me Justin!!

In this video, Justin tells us that the way to tell whether an opal is crystal actually has nothing to do with the body tone and brightness scale! Crystal opal has a body tone and brightness that is measured using this scale, like all opal, but the trick to telling whether it is considered crystal is by using a flashlight.

How do I tell whether my Opal is Crystal Opal?

Using a black opal, a crystal opal, and a white opal, Justin shows us that by holding our opal up to a bright light, such as a flashlight or window, we can easily see whether it is a crystal opal or not. Crystal opal, when being held closely to a bright light, will have a certain level of transparency. The light will shine through the opal no matter what the body tone or brightness is; it could be tinted black and still be a crystal opal!

Crystal opal is considered translucent as light is allowed to pass through but not detailed shapes. Opal that is not crystal will not have the same level of translucency; black opals will show no light and white opal will show a milky light. This is an important difference; white opal will have the appearance of frosted glass when held up to a flashlight not a clear light.

Now, this doesn’t mean that crystal opals are the same as other crystals, such as quartz. Crystal opal is just a name for a translucent opal; crystals don’t have the same color play or the structural make up as a crystal opal does.


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