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In your opinion, are Australian opal doublets worth buying?

Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
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Jul 5, 2023
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80
Hi, gang. I have almost zero experience with Australian opals, but I know the really nice bright ones--- and especially black opals---can be CRAZY expensive. So I was wondering if you consider it worth buying decent quality doublets instead? From my limited research, it seems like you can get some pretty nice looking doublet opal studs as long as they are in bezel cups. that way you can't see the little lines that separate the sliver of genuine opal from the piece of black potch (or whatever else is being used behind it such as black onyx or what have ya) AND the aforementioned black colored backing piece/potch brightens the opal and makes the play of color look more lively. Apparently with the type of bezel cups that completely obscure roughly half of the gemstone it's sometimes hard for even experienced Jewelers to be 100% certain if they are doublets or not. It seems like THIS would be a pretty nice solution for getting a lovely pair of opal earrings that look a lot more expensive than they actually are.

What do you guys think? And do you have any reliable sources who sell fairly inexpensive doublets of high quality that are masked nicely with the style of bezel cups I'm talking about?
 

Starstruck8

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2021
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633
If it's the look you want, go for it. There are some of beautiful doublets out there. Just make sure you pay the appropriate price, and be aware that they will have very low resale value.

If you are thinking of studs, I honestly doubt that many people will spot them as doublets, even without cups/bezels. You don't usually get that close to strangers' ears... The only giveaway is that they may look suspiciously good.

Full disclosure: I don't have any doublets and wouldn't buy any. That's because I'm primarily a collector. But if you want the look, and your GF is fully on board, go for it.
 

Avondale

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
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1,097
I have a small doublet set in a pendant, it’s a dear gift from someone I once knew. It’s prong set and the only way to know it’s a doublet is by turning it around to see the onyx backing. It’s unnoticeable from the side. Of course, anyone who knows anything about opals will know it’s a doublet just by looking at the body colour, but in the end, who cares. It’s affordable and pretty. So I say go for the studs and don’t worry too much about the way they’re set.
 

Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
If it's the look you want, go for it. There are some of beautiful doublets out there. Just make sure you pay the appropriate price, and be aware that they will have very low resale value.

If you are thinking of studs, I honestly doubt that many people will spot them as doublets, even without cups/bezels. You don't usually get that close to strangers' ears... The only giveaway is that they may look suspiciously good.

Full disclosure: I don't have any doublets and wouldn't buy any. That's because I'm primarily a collector. But if you want the look, and your GF is fully on board, go for it.

Thanks so much for your input! I know what you mean about the "authenticity" factor. For instance, I would never purchase treated diamonds--- or natural diamonds with I1 clarity--- as a gift. It would bug me on multiple levels even if the recipient didn't fully grasp the relative low quality of the stones. But from what I understand, with doublets the slivers on top are genuine opal. So in a bezel cup setting nobody would have to be the wiser about the Black backing Stone/potch behind the sliver of opal.

I don't think I could handle regular 4-prong doublet studs, however. For me it would be too easy to see that little dividing line between the sliver of opal and the backing material when viewing the studs from the side. I'm actually a HUGE fan of admiring my girlfriend's ear bling (I've slowly but surely been putting together a modest but lovely assortment of studs for her during the past 18 months), and I am very often VERY close whilst admiring said bling.

But it is completely valid that you are NOT interested in doublets since you're a collector. I totally get it. If I was independently wealthy I would buy nothing but the best solid black opals (and at least a few of 'em). But that is not the case. Alas.... ‍



Any other opinions? Keep 'em coming, y'all!
 

Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
I have a small doublet set in a pendant, it’s a dear gift from someone I once knew. It’s prong set and the only way to know it’s a doublet is by turning it around to see the onyx backing. It’s unnoticeable from the side. Of course, anyone who knows anything about opals will know it’s a doublet just by looking at the body colour, but in the end, who cares. It’s affordable and pretty. So I say go for the studs and don’t worry too much about the way they’re set.

Your pendant sounds especially nice once you attach the sentimental value. Awesome! I'd love to see a picture of it if you have any.

Also: that is a really nifty looking ring in your profile pic!
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 22, 2014
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6,607
Hi, there is obviously a huge price difference between solid, doublet and triplet opals and it can be extremely difficult to tell the difference between them unless “up close and personal”. In terms of future value only solid opals are realistically in that league. Doublets and triplets are more “fashion jewellery” level.
I have all 3 “levels” of opals and I would challenge anyone to tell the difference while I’m wearing them!
There is actually an added bonus with triplets, aside from being super cheap, a good quality one usually has “a cap” of synthetic sapphire and that is much harder than natural opal. Natural opal is low on Mohos so likely to abraid over time (silica in dust is 7) so a triplet in a ring or bracelet can be worn to your hearts contents.
Just remember though that doublets and triplets are glued so not for lengthy immersion in water or in ultrasonic cleaners.
 

Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
Hi, there is obviously a huge price difference between solid, doublet and triplet opals and it can be extremely difficult to tell the difference between them unless “up close and personal”. In terms of future value only solid opals are realistically in that league. Doublets and triplets are more “fashion jewellery” level.
I have all 3 “levels” of opals and I would challenge anyone to tell the difference while I’m wearing them!
There is actually an added bonus with triplets, aside from being super cheap, a good quality one usually has “a cap” of synthetic sapphire and that is much harder than natural opal. Natural opal is low on Mohos so likely to abraid over time (silica in dust is 7) so a triplet in a ring or bracelet can be worn to your hearts contents.
Just remember though that doublets and triplets are glued so not for lengthy immersion in water or in ultrasonic cleaners.

Thanks for the excellent post! I was actually just reading about the added durability of "the cap" you described ( but the article I read said it was a cap of quartz, which I found kinda confusing ).

Thanks for your feedback. And thanks for the tips about avoiding water. That makes perfect sense--- if the water got under the epoxy I'm sure it would impact the play of color, etc of the sliver of opal glued to the backing material. ‍

Do you have some good suggestions about where to find affordable nice quality doublets and triplets?
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
18,644
I've bought a few amazing doublets from burglund opal on Facebook. Good guy and prices are extremely fair. I knew what I was getting and paid a fair price for them. The look is gorgeous without the price tag, and if I set them it will be with a bezel
 
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Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
I've bought a few amazing doublets from burglund opal on Facebook. Good guy and prices are extremely fair. I knew what I was getting and paid a fair price for them. The look is gorgeous without the price tag, and if I set them it will be with a bezel

Awesome! I'll have to check him out.
 

Brigid

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
198
As an Australian opal lover my preference is solid, due to colour play; I think they display a greater array of colour flashes/patterns compared to either a doublet or triplet opal. Look for opals that show flashes of red, pink, aqua & green rather than just predominantly cream, orange & blue; this will take time & research. Earrings sound perfect as your first foray into opals and they’ll be lighter to wear with a doublet or triplet than solid opals.
I’m Australian and I have seen (had) quite a ‘Lot’ of opals in my time.
Doublet and triplets can look gorgeous in jewellery, but opals are a soft stone regardless of whether it’s a solid, doublet or triplet, so they’re only for occasional wear.
Disclaimer; I’m not an opal expert by any means, I just find them amazing due to Mother Nature!
 
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Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
After listening to the input here I've decided to save even more money by using a blank pair of 14 karat yellow gold four prong 6×4 oval settings I already have instead of buying a pair already set in bezels. What do you guys think of these doublet opal pics? (See attached pics)

These would only be $105 total after shipping and taxes. Sounds like a decent price to me, but what do you guys think? And HERE is what the seller (who is from Australia) had to say about 'em when I asked about overall durability and if he thought they would fit in standard 6x4 oval 4-prong settings:


"The Opal used to make these Doublets is Gem Grade Coober Pedy Crystal Opal. It is a thin slice which is attached to a dark backing. These ones are backed with Queensland Boulder Opal.

They are ideal for a standard four prong settings and are very durable.

Looking forward to hearing back from you."

Screenshot_20240510-075243~2.png
 

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Avondale

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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1,097
Also: that is a really nifty looking ring in your profile pic!

Thanks! It's yet another piece with tremendous sentimental value - my late grandmother bought it for me when I was born, and then kept it for years until she gave it to me when I turned... you know, I don't remember now, it was either 14 or 16. Somewhere in high school.

Your pendant sounds especially nice once you attach the sentimental value. Awesome! I'd love to see a picture of it if you have any.

Sure! I took some, and a video. As you can see, the cat was very interested in the process, so you get him as a bonus. :lol:

The opal itself is in the 6x8mm vicinity, also Coober Pedy.

1715346283786.png

This is the back, it doesn't show well in the photo but it's quite thin:

1715346339118.png

From the side. If you look really close or have a zoomed in photo, you can see it, but in real life the backing is unnoticeable on one side and very slightly visible on the other:

1715346413686.png

And here's the video, excuse the cat hair:


The pair you've selected looks lovely with these broad paintbrush strokes. Plus you'll have more oval studs to feed your OCD and straighten up. :mrgreen:
 

Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
Thanks! It's yet another piece with tremendous sentimental value - my late grandmother bought it for me when I was born, and then kept it for years until she gave it to me when I turned... you know, I don't remember now, it was either 14 or 16. Somewhere in high school.



Sure! I took some, and a video. As you can see, the cat was very interested in the process, so you get him as a bonus. :lol:

The opal itself is in the 6x8mm vicinity, also Coober Pedy.

1715346283786.png

This is the back, it doesn't show well in the photo but it's quite thin:

1715346339118.png

From the side. If you look really close or have a zoomed in photo, you can see it, but in real life the backing is unnoticeable on one side and very slightly visible on the other:

1715346413686.png

And here's the video, excuse the cat hair:


The pair you've selected looks lovely with these broad paintbrush strokes. Plus you'll have more oval studs to feed your OCD and straighten up. :mrgreen:

Nice pics! You're right, the backing is barely noticeable from the side!


Re: more oval studs to straighten: hahahahaha! True dat. My earring straightening work is never done with that woman, best believe.
 

Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
As an Australian opal lover my preference is solid, due to colour play; I think they display a greater array of colour flashes/patterns compared to either a doublet or triplet opal. Look for opals that show flashes of red, pink, aqua & green rather than just predominantly cream, orange & blue; this will take time & research. Earrings sound perfect as your first foray into opals and they’ll be lighter to wear with a doublet or triplet than solid opals.
I’m Australian and I have seen (had) quite a ‘Lot’ of opals in my time.
Doublet and triplets can look gorgeous in jewellery, but opals are a soft stone regardless of whether it’s a solid, doublet or triplet, so they’re only for occasional wear.
Disclaimer; I’m not an opal expert by any means, I just find them amazing due to Mother Nature!

What do you think about the color flash combinations/assortment on THIS pair of 4.5mm 2nd piercing accent studs? They are doublets, and the total cost is $210. Seems like a pretty good value overall.

Screenshot_20240510-121536.png
 

Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
Which pair of opals do you think look nicer, gang? The 6x4 mm loose pair for only $105? Or the little round opals (the opals are 4 mm each, and the bezel settings take them up to about 4.5 mm in terms of the total jewelry size on the ear).

I'm torn. I would be saving about $100 if I go with the 6x4 mm loose pair of ovals since I already have 14 karat yellow gold four prong settings I can use. Plus I'm thinking the color would be more noticeable since they are bigger opals. On the other hand, I like the colors in the smaller pair better (especially the pinks). But at that size the slightly better color wouldn't be very noticeable, right?
Screenshot_20240510-121536.png
 

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Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
Which pair of opals do you think look nicer, gang? The 6x4 mm loose pair for only $105? Or the little round opals (the opals are 4 mm each, and the bezel settings take them up to about 4.5 mm in terms of the total jewelry size on the ear).

I'm torn. I would be saving about $100 if I go with the 6x4 mm loose pair of ovals since I already have 14 karat yellow gold four prong settings I can use. Plus I'm thinking the color would be more noticeable since they are bigger opals. On the other hand, I like the colors in the smaller pair better (especially the pinks). But at that size the slightly better color wouldn't be very noticeable, right?
Screenshot_20240510-121536.png

No opinion on either pair, gang? Should I just keep looking, then? Please advise.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
23,346
No opinion on either pair, gang? Should I just keep looking, then? Please advise.

it is only just 9am on mothers day here, so we are all sleeping down here !!!
i -who lnows next to nothing about anything and i know my laptop does not do true colours, i would keep looking,
 

toomuchB

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 17, 2022
Messages
155
Which pair of opals do you think look nicer, gang? The 6x4 mm loose pair for only $105? Or the little round opals (the opals are 4 mm each, and the bezel settings take them up to about 4.5 mm in terms of the total jewelry size on the ear).

I'm torn. I would be saving about $100 if I go with the 6x4 mm loose pair of ovals since I already have 14 karat yellow gold four prong settings I can use. Plus I'm thinking the color would be more noticeable since they are bigger opals. On the other hand, I like the colors in the smaller pair better (especially the pinks). But at that size the slightly better color wouldn't be very noticeable, right?

Its a matter of personal preference. Judging opal from static images is hard. With that said, I personally prefer the pattern of the ovals but I like the reds in the rounds.
 

Avondale

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
1,097
Well, for what it’s worth, I prefer the ovals. However. In general it’s better to judge opals by video instead of static images only. Opals aren’t like other gemstones, they’re dynamic and their play of colour can only be appreciated in motion. Maybe the rounds are actually better in person. We have no way of knowing.

Anyway, this is PS and we’re all enablers here. So why not just buy both? :mrgreen:
 

Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
Well, for what it’s worth, I prefer the ovals. However. In general it’s better to judge opals by video instead of static images only. Opals aren’t like other gemstones, they’re dynamic and their play of colour can only be appreciated in motion. Maybe the rounds are actually better in person. We have no way of knowing.

Anyway, this is PS and we’re all enablers here. So why not just buy both? :mrgreen:

There actually was some video imaging for the rounds, and the play of color looked nice. For the oval pair there was no video imaging. I should definitely ask that seller for a video clip. Thanks for the advice!
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Aug 4, 2008
Messages
14,833
As an elder statesman jeweler once told me, doublets and triplets are wear grade.
Wear them and enjoy them as much as you want and replace as needed.
 

Arthur Kennedy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 5, 2023
Messages
80
Ok, here's a link to a short clip of that pair of 6×4mm Australian opal doublets, gang. I actually think they look pretty nice. But what do YOU think of the overall quality of the play of color? Like I said, this pair is on sale and would cost right around $105 after taxes and shipping. seems like a decent price, but I don't really know what a small pair of opal doublets would go for a generally....


 
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