The town of Coober Pedy, Australia produces more opal than anywhere else. Its culture has been thoroughly shaped by opal mining. Learn more about this colorful location and the methods used to hunt for precious opals.
How well do you know your birthstone gemology? Take our short quiz and learn about the composition, cutting, and value of birthstones.
Made from two or more materials, assembled gems can make durable and affordable jewelry. Learn more about gemstone doublets, triplets, and other varieties.
Gemstone luster describes how a gem's surface looks when it reflects light. Learn the common terms gemologists use for this property and what can affect it.
Gemstone birefringence is a measure of a gem's double refraction. Learn how it’s used to identify gems and see the effects birefringent gems can display.
Looking for opal polishing advice? Our survey results can you help you choose the right polishes, laps, and polishing techniques for these popular gems.
Once the stone of kings, the fragile opal has a convoluted personality and lore. Opal symbolism is as varied as the play of color of the stone itself.
The faceting process turns rough stones into finished gems. Learn the steps custom faceters take to create unique gemstones that tell a client's story.
Gemstone heat treatments can increase the beauty and value of many rough pieces. Learn how to conduct the most common procedures safely.
Opals can fetch high prices but may be difficult to cut. These tips for carving opals can help gem cutters make the most of these beautiful stones.