Synthetic Or Simulant
Synthetic or Lab Created
These types of gemstone are created in controlled laboratory conditions. They have the same chemical composition and physical properties to that of the natural gemstones. Various methods are used to create synthetic gemstones. Some of these processes can be
very expensive. Sometimes a Lab Created gemstone can even cost more than the natural stone. For the most part these processes provide us with excellent looking gems. At a more affordable price.
Simulant or Imitation
These are a look alike to real gemstones. The chemical composition and physical properties are not the same. These stones only look the same as their natural counterpart. For instance when a material like glass is cut to look like ruby, sapphire or emerald.
Another typical example is Cubic Zirconium. Totally man made with no natural counterpart. But when cut, it looks remarkably like Diamond . In most cases these types of stone can be identified very easily.
What is opal?
Technically, opal is SIO2 and a minute trace of h20, bound together in a latticework that resembles marbles in a fish tank all settled in nice, orderly little rows. Because the silica is generally spherical, each tiny particle adjoins its neighbors, but never flat surface to flat surface.
Light passes amongst these particles, speeding up and slowing down as the size of the spheres and spaces between them changes with the angle of view. Thus, longer light waves produce RED color hues and the shorter waves produce the BLUE color hues.
Remind you of the prism you saw in grade school? In fact in simple terms, opal may be thought of in this same way. These little silicon balls all lined up in their little rows. Touching side to side, have a kind of triangle shape between them. Which throws out light much the same as that prism did.
Gilson Created Opal:
The laboratory opal producing process, was first invented by Pierre Gilson, Sr. of France in 1974. This process produces a kaleidoscope of colors. From the rare and precious black opal,
to crystal and white opaque opal.
The Gilson formula is considered the truest gemological process in the world today. Considered by many gemologists to by the world's finest laboratory grown Opal. This process takes from 14 to 18 months,and the colors are natural with no treatment or enhancements.
Unlike its natural counterpart, this created opal is much tougher and not prone to breaking.
It gets it's hardness because it contains no water. Unlike natural opal which does contain water. The lack of water in Gilson opal has currently brought about debates and differences of opinion. Concerning the final classification of Gilson Opal.
In any event. Natural Black Opal is exceedingly rare and expensive. With Created Black Opal cabochons, you can have all the sizes you need at an affordable price! The Gilson White opals are very nice too.
These stones whether they are finally classed as Imitation or Synthetic. Are the best mimic to real opal we have seen. They are grown in similar conditions as to what might be found in nature and do have all of the elements but water. We think their beauty, toughness and heat resistance is a plus.
Thanks to Gerry Manning and his family For this information.
They are Gilson worldwide and bring us this fine product. The picture above is some of their high grade blue green inlay opal. They have many more colors and varieties. At present we don't stock loose stones or rough. We do occasionally have finished jewelry like the set in the above photo. But You can find out much more about this opal at their website http://opalsbymanning.com