Solid Opal vs Doublet Opal (Pros & Cons)

If you are in the market for a new Opal to add to your collection of jewels, maybe an opal pendant is that new something to bring a splash of color into your world. An opal is a mesmerizing gemstone consisting of hydrated silica, known for its many bright colors and patterns against a dark or pale background. A lovely new piece for you that goes with any outfit. Now that we are on the same page, let’s discuss the pro’s and con’s of a natural solid opal vs doublet opal and get that new gem into your life.

Opal Doublets

A Doublet opal has two layers, the top layer being the natural opal and the bottom layer being black glass, a dark colored potch (colorless opal), hard plastic or even brown ironstone. Both of these are then glued together seamlessly to form a Doublet Opal. A Doublet opal, unlike a Solid opal, can get worn down much quicker or begin to have a rather graying or fog-like appearance if water happens to penetrate through layers. Keeping it dry is a great way to avoid any unwanted damage. I might add that once or twice in the shower will not cause damage unless it becomes a constant recurring habit. If it becomes a problem you may even start to notice condensation in between the two layers. I recommend trying your best to avoid water penetration.

Solid Opal vs Doublet Opal


  • Much cheaper than a solid Opal
  • Great color and patterns
  • Easier to find matching pairs


  • Glue between the two layers can deteriorate
  • Water may penetrate the Opal and cause some discoloring

Solid Opal

Although, a doublet can be much more reasonably priced and is a great alternative to a Solid opal, a solid opal can withstand water and will not fade or gray. This is due to it being a solid stone with no added layers. A Solid opal can be a mirror image of a doublet but cost ten times as much. a Solid Opal is rare and much more valuable. The benefits of getting a natural opal are endless and definitely worth it if you are planning on passing it down for generations to come.

Solid Opal vs Doublet Opal


  • Natural stone completely created by nature
  • More durable than a Opal doublet


  • Much more expensive than an equivalent looking Opal doublet

How To Tell The Difference

Knowing if your stone is a solid or a doublet all can be told by a sideview of the stone. If the stone is encased and the sides are hidden even an expert can find it hard to tell you for sure. The top of both stones are natural opal.

Both are an excellent choice and it all comes down to how you care for and protect your jewelry that will expand your stones lifetime. If you have the extra money to spend and you plan on making it a family heirloom, then go big and get a natural solid opal and rock it! If you are interested in a doublet, there is no shame, it is just as beautiful, but with a more reasonable price. Take extra care of your doublet and I am sure it can also last a lifetime. One last Pro before I go, did I mention it looks great with anything?




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