Opals are unique gems with their own unique terminology. Learn the modern standard system for classifying and appraising opals used by major gem labs.
Our opal buying guide can help you learn how opals are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.
Everything you ever wanted to know about opal gems. Find value guidelines, scientific data, expert comments, and more in our Gemstone Listings.
Some opals from Spencer, Idaho show asterism or the “star stone” effect. Learn how to price these beautiful but rare star opals.
What's the best doublet glue for creating assembled stone jewelry? Learn about the choices as well as tips for making the bond between gemstones stick.
Cabochon cuts are popular for showcasing opal doublets. Learn a trick for making a bezel setting for doublets that are wider on top than the bottom.
Opals should be handled with care. If you buy opals that have been kept in water, follow these instructions to dry them safely.
Learn which rough gemstones are ideal for beginning faceting practice. A progression of relatively inexpensive gem species can teach important skills.
Opal jewelry is lovely, but aren’t these gems prone to scratching and breaking? Learn the best ways to wear these colorful but delicate stones.
Australian opals account for 95% of the world’s supply. Learn about Australia’s geological history, the start of its opal trade, and its sources.