Opal miners have always struggled to get prices for Opal that is commensurate to the true rarity. A simple way to make sure that miners are able to pay for diesel fuel, buckets and engine oil is to take top beautiful priceless gemstones and cut them into smaller pieces, into fine “layers.” These layers are then placed on sections of solid Opal so that the colour literally leaps off the piece of jewellery! This is what we call the “thundercloud effect,” the effect that occurs when a dark thundercloud passes behind a rainbow, causing the colours to intensify brilliantly!
Because we have placed our layer of Crystal Opal on a Black Opal or Boulder Opal Base we simply call this a “Doublet.” And, because Opal is so fascinating and complex, we will sometimes place a magnifying cap on top of the upper layer. The addition of this “magnifying lens” creates what we know as a “Triplet.” The lens is also extremely durable and resilient, able to withstand [literally] being hit with a hammer! This feature is what makes Triplets a very popular choice for everyday wear.
Our Doublets and Triplets are guaranteed for life against delamination. The only way to make quality Opal Doublets that won’t delaminate is to use a material with the same “co-efficient of expansion”. If someone puts plastic on the back of the Opal (and sadly some unscrupulous people in the 1960’s and 1970’s used to do that), the two different materials will delaminate and fall apart. When delaminating occurs, moisture can also come between the layers and affect the colour of the Opal. We offer a lifetime guarantee against delaminating, and we have never had a customer return a doublet or a triplet; we currently utilise a NASA-developed silica-based bonding process which allows for durability and strength. Once all of the layers are bonded together with a silica-based process, the coefficient-of-expansion remains constant allowing the layers to expand and contract at the same rate. This coefficient means that the layers do not ‘work apart’ over time!
So a Triplet looks incredible and it is about 1/30th the price of a Black Opal. For instance, if we take a Triplet it might be $100 in price, White Opal with the same colour would be $400, Crystal Opal $800, and Boulder Opal $1,600. A Black Opal of the same weight and colour would be $3,000, about 30 times more expensive than an Opal Triplet with the same size and colour.