What is an Opal Doublet?
An Opal Doublet is a man made finished opal piece. It consists of 2 layers, or a double layer of thin materials stuck together. The bottom layer is usually a backing type of material such as black opal potch in most instances, or hard plastic or ironstone. It is typically black and acts to enhance the colours and patterns of the thin slice of opal that is fixed on top of it as the second layer in the doublet. Apposed to a solid opal, an opal doublet is affordable and can offer some absolutely stunning patterns and colours; enhanced by the black potch backing. This is why crystal opal is the most usual type of opal used in opal doublets. It takes away the translucent visual aspect and enhances the brightness and colours in the crystal.
An interesting type of Opal Doublet is the Shell Fossil Opal Doublet. Thin slices of Opalised Coober Pedy Shell fossils are usually very brittle and will break or fracture easily. Re-enforced backing in the form of an opal doublet will ensure its stability.
It is important for the care of your opal doublet to not expose it to chemical or excessive water when cleaning. To clean simply use a slightly damp cloth. Excessive water or use of chemicals can damage the resin used to stick the doublet together. Opal Doublets are often chosen to be used in ring stones, earrings and pendants where the back of the opal is not desired to be seen.