Opal vs Opalite: What is the Difference?

Most of us are already aware that Opals are one of the most beautiful gemstones in the world, and that they’re famous for their color play. In this article let us compare Opal vs Opalite and understand all the differences.

opal and opalite

Opal vs Opalite

What Is Opal?

what is opal

Opal is the birthstone for October and is one of the world’s most popular gemstones. A good precious opal may flash every hue of the rainbow with color intensity and quality that rivals diamond fire. The best opals are valued per carat at levels comparable to diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.

Many different forms of opal can be found in deposits all around the world. Here are three opal kinds that may surprise you if you’re just learning about them: Fire Opal is noted for its vibrant red, orange, and yellow colors, which are reminiscent of fire. Boulder Opal is a type of opal that has a host rock linked to it. It may turn out to be quite lovely! The color, pattern, and elegance of Common Opal are anything but ordinary. Who gave it such a well-known moniker?

Opal is a hydrous silicon dioxide with a chemical composition of SiO2.nH2O in terms of mineralogy. It’s amorphous, meaning it doesn’t have a crystalline structure or a specific chemical composition (it contains a variable amount of water, as shown by the “n” in its chemical composition). As a result, opal is classified as a “mineraloid” rather than a “mineral.”

Suggested Reading: Opal: Meaning, Healing Properties, Benefits and Uses

What is Opalite?

Opalite is a name that has two meanings:

1. As a synonym for opal (common) (natural opal that does not exhibit play-of-color).

2. As a marketing phrase for a variety of man-made materials that resemble opals but are made of plastic or glass.

Opalite-two meanings

Are you also confused about the differences between Opal, Opalite, and natural Opalite? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. . The first thing you should know about Opal is that it is a natural gemstone that is generated from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. Water rushes down the soil and seeps into crevasses in the rock, resulting in the formation of this beautiful gemstone.

The silica gradually dries up and hardens into beautiful Opal when the water evaporates. It’s essential to know that Opals generally offer a vibrant display of color as well as unique patterns that you’ll like.

As early as 1945, Opalite was defined as common opal in geology and gemology glossaries. This is before the term “Opalite” was used as a marketing phrase for a fake opal. It’s a natural common Opal that doesn’t have any play of color. (The term “Opalite” was initially used as a marketing name for man-made materials in the 1980s.)

The common Opal can be found in a variety of places around the world. The majority of it is a white to yellow to a brown substance that isn’t normally thought of as a gem. Some natural common opal specimens, on the other hand, have a lovely color, accept a bright polish, and can be cut into highly desirable gems.

The use of common opal as a gem material does not necessitate color play.

Some transparent common opal specimens have color and clarity that make them suitable for cutting into faceted gems.

The Man-Made Gem Opalite

Man-Made Gem Opalite

Opalite, on the other hand, is a man-made glass that bears no resemblance to natural glass at all. It’s just Opalite, which is a beautiful type of glass. Opalite is a brand name for man-made Opal-like stones. Furthermore, Opalite lacks fire and color play, and it comes in a range of hues and inclusions. It’s also worth noting that the term Opalite can apply to both Tiffany Stone and Bertrandite. Most people also use the word Opalite to refer to low-grade Opals with inclusions. Although Opalite is immaculate, it cannot be compared to the beauty of the gemstone Opal.

Suggested Reading: Tiffany Stone Meaning, Healing Properties, Benefits and Uses

Some play-of-color Opalites are convincing opal imitators that are difficult to tell apart from true opal with the naked eye or with a microscope. Their high resin concentration, on the other hand, alters the material’s other qualities. They usually have a lower specific gravity, a lesser hardness, and a different refractive index than natural opal.

The distinction between ordinary opal, imitation opal, and synthetic opal can be determined by an experienced gemologist or a gem identification laboratory (a man-made material that has the same chemical composition and physical properties as natural opal). It’s a good idea to send Opal to a respected gem identification laboratory if you’re spending a lot of money on it and want to make sure it’s a natural opal rather than a man-made item.

There are two types of gemstones in the intriguing realm of gemstones: organics and minerals. However, there are smaller subcategories within these two major categories. Mineraloids, for example, is mineral-like specimens that lack a crystal structure. Is opal a mineral or a mineraloid, you might wonder?


Although the two are very similar, there is a significant difference in their chemical composition. The first has a crystalline structure, while the second does not.

Opal is distinguished by its play of color, a captivating optical appearance in which vibrant colors flare through the stone. Opal is undeniably one of the most interesting stones on the planet, but is it a mineral?

Can You See The Difference Between A Mineral and Mineraloid?

It’s not always obvious if a gemstone is a mineral or a mineraloid to the naked eye. Fortunately, the majority of the common deviations are well-known and accepted by gemmologists. But what about precious stones? Is it possible to discern the difference just by glancing at them?

These samples will need to be tested at a lab. Fortunately, there are two recognized classification systems for gems: minerals and mineraloids.

But what if you aren’t a geologist or a scientist? Minerals and mineraloids can be distinguished by a few distinguishing characteristics.

  • Minerals have a distinct crystal structure with luster, cleavage, magnetism, and hardness, among other characteristics.
  • Mineraloid identification operates in the reverse direction. If a specimen lacks a crystalline structure and the other characteristics described above, it is most likely a mineraloid.

So, why is opal a mineraloid? 

Is Opal A Mineral Or Mineraloid?

Opal mineraloid

We’ve already established that opal is a mineraloid, but why is that? What chemical characteristics in the atomic structure of the gemstone distinguish it as a mineraloid?

Opal is classified as a genuine mineral by the Dana system; however, it lacks a crystalline structure. What’s the deal with the muddle? Under an electron microscope, pure opal has silica spheres that appear to be grouped in an orderly pattern. A bright hue scintillates across the opal when light penetrates the stone and is diffracted by the spheres. The precisely aligned silica spheres within the opal’s chemical structure generate this appearance, which is known as the play of color.

Most typical opals, on the other hand, have disorganized silica spheres, which produce crazing in the internal structure. The spheres, which were formerly perfectly aligned, are now unpredictable and disorganized.

Opals are classified as mineraloids as a result of this process since their original silica composition is disrupted. Of course, the lack of a crystalline structure is the major reason opals are mineraloids.

Opal: A Striking Mineraloid

Because of their mismatched, non-crystalline chemical structure, mineraloids make spectacular jewels. Opals are opaque and non-vitreous, unlike most transparent stones such as diamonds or sapphires.

Mineraloid opal is a remarkable specimen made from silica spheres and the ideal combination of silicon dioxide and water. Opal is formed in the earth’s crust by geothermal baths that have bubbled up and dried over millions of years. It’s like wearing a piece of ancient history when you wear an opal mineraloid!

Is there a ring or pendant in your family that has an opal? Opal is a ‘gemstone,’ or a mineral that is prized for its beauty. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, jade, opals, and amethysts are some of the most common gemstones used in jewelry. The color of gems is usually due to the presence of particular metals in the mineral (for example purple amethyst is quartz containing tiny amounts of iron).

Opals, on the other hand, are unusual in that they have a rainbow-like display due to their inherent microstructure, which diffracts white light into all of the spectrum’s colors.

Suggested Reading: Can Opal go in the Water

Opal vs Opalite: The Differences

Is there a difference between Opal and Opalite?

Opalite is just a fancy name for a type of glass. Opalite is a brand name for man-made Opal-like stones. Most people also use the term Opalite to refer to low-grade Opals with inclusions. Although Opalite is immaculate, it cannot be compared to the beauty of the gemstone Opal.

Is Opalite a genuine gem?

Opalite is a type of glass that has been created by humans. It is NOT a gemstone, such as an opal, moonstone, or quartz, but rather an extremely lovely glass known as Opalite. It’s also utilized to promote impure common opal variations of various colors. Opalite is also known as Bertrandite or Tiffany Stone.

Is it true that opalite has healing properties?

Opalite is also known as opalized fluorite or tiffany stone. Although it is a man-made stone, it possesses a wide range of healing powers. Its energy is delicate but dynamic, making it suitable for many sorts of healing and meditation. Opalite is thought to help and overcome tiredness, as well as purify the blood and kidneys.

Who is allowed to wear white Opal?

Opals are recommended for anyone born under the zodiac signs Taurus and Libra. Anyone having the Mahadasha or Antardasha of Venus (Shukra) in their horoscope should do so. Infertility, sexual problems, Libido, and impotency can all benefit from the use of opal.

What does a White Opal represent?

White Opal can also help with unsteady luck flow. Negative energy would be transformed into positive energy. White Opal has symbolism and attributes of attracting good fortune or opportunities. Since ancient times, it has been regarded as a gemstone endowed with divine protection from gods and angels.