Is white opal the same as crystal opal? Although these two opals can look very similar, there’s a big difference between that boils down to two keywords; translucent and transparent.
White opal sits between N8 and N9 on the body tone scale and is the lightest opal you can get. Although it can look similar to a crystal opal, white opal has a translucent body tone that looks like frosted glass. This milky, frosted glass look is key in distinguishing a white opal from a crystal opal.
Crystal opal sits between N7 and N8 on the body tone scale and exhibits more brightness than a white opal can. This is because crystal opals are semi-transparent meaning that they look almost glass-like with no milky or frosted tint.
As with all opal, grading can be subjective. There is a fine line between crystal opal and white opal – both could be N8 on the body tone scale and then it becomes a matter of opinion. As always, you need to use the scale as a guide only. Ultimately it is about what appeals directly to you or the wearer that counts!