Opal jewelry handmade by Texas artisan jeweler, Kathy Bankston.
I use a variety of opals in my jewelry. Each listing will state weather it is a natural, synthetic, or simulated opal.
Each natural opal is unique and beautiful. Natural opals are also the most delicate gems commonly worn. They require special care to ensure their health and longevity. Opal is relatively soft, with a rating of 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale.
Opal's fire was long thought to be the result of iridescence. However, with the advent of scanning electron microscopes, we now know that it is a result of diffraction.
Major suppliers include Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and the US. Values are normally determined by the presence and nature of color flashes.
Synthetic opals are created in a Lab, but its' properties, chemical, optical and physical, are identical to that of a naturally occurring Opal.
Simulated Opals are also created in a Lab, and is optically identical to natural Opal, but does not have the same physical and chemical characteristics.
Cleaning Your Opal. Solid opal should be cleaned gently with mild detergent in warm water and a soft toothbrush or cloth. Avoid bleach, chemicals and cleaners. Opal jewelry may be wiped with a damp soft cloth and mild detergent, but should never be soaked or immersed.