Boulder Opal vs Doublet Opal

Boulder Opal vs Doublet OpalMany terminologies add to the confusion of what opal is. Here at Opal Auctions, we do not only sell top-notch products, but we also educate people on opal and its variety. With a multitude of things to learn, understanding the difference between a boulder opal and doublet opal is a good start.  The confusion can come from the fact that ironstone, which is found in natural Boulder Opal is often used as a backing piece to Opal Doublets. Are you ready? Keep reading for more information.


As the second most valuable type of opal, a boulder opal has thin veins. The stones are cut so that the natural ironstone remains as a backing to the opal veins. It is a dark brown stone that makes the opal naturally vivid and dark. This complements your complexion, gives you a fashion statement, and brings up your stylish OOTD.

Boulder Opal vs Doublet Opal

Boulder opal is commonly called a natural doublet. It’s because the ironstone is left behind the opal when cutting for a piece of jewelry. There are no adhesives and other potent chemicals. The ironstone surrounds this type naturally. 

Boulder opal is cut in many irregular shapes. This is because of the natural veins in the ironstone. Unlike the other types of Opal, it is never oval-shaped unless the ironstone is left surrounding the former.

Boulder opal is quite small. The natural veins in the stone are super thin. It is easily distinguished. Its layer of solid brown ironstone is recognizable. As the name indicates, a boulder opal is typically mined from large ironstone boulders. When it comes to the veins, they form in fissures and cracks, displaying any color beautifully and aesthetically.

Yes, the ironstone layer may look the same as the doublets. But the formation is significant natural and unique. Because of the dark backing, boulder opal has a dark and rich tone. But there are some that come in a different appearance.

The dark body tone results in a vibrant and catchy color that can be compared to black opals. The ironstone can be visible on the surface, leading to a motley appearance. This also reduces the value of a piece of jewelry. Instead of a surface that displays ironstone spots, a clean faced one is more valuable and desirable. It’s worth the cost, enhancing your beauty and confidence.

Boulder Opal vs Doublet Opal

Value: A Clean Faced Gemstone is a Luxury

Valuing this type of opal per carat is not accepted in the business. It’s because of the ironstone. However, a superb boulder opal price may be around USD $3,000 every carat. It’s pricey already, but the shine and beauty make it one of the best gems to keep in mind. On the other hand, a clean faced stone is more valuable and expensive than spotted options.


Boulder opals are only found in Queensland, Australia. Primary opal fields include Winton and Quilpie to name a few. However, other countries take an active part in the production.  


Now that you know about boulder opal let’s learn some interesting facts about doublet opal. Take a close look:

As the name indicates, doublet opal is a thin layer of opal attached to a backing. This is usually a common ironstone or black opal. It is created from opal that’s thin to create a product of solid stone. Compared to boulder one, it is more inexpensive. While you can buy a gorgeous piece, you can save some cash and avoid the costs of a solid opal. A doublet opal is also known for incredible patterns and brightness that’s why it has been gaining in popularity all over the world.

Boulder Opal vs Doublet Opal

Whether you’re looking for a unique pattern or vivid brightness, you have come to the right place. Doublet opal is your best shot. Although its price does not cost an arm or a leg, it can reach meet your expectations. Jewelry with doublet opal does not only complete your OOTD, but it also enhances your appeal. You’d look more attractive and presentable. But your smile and confidence play a crucial role.

What is a Doublet Opal?

As with boulder opal, the doublet one is easy to understand. Imagine you take a thin piece of the gemstone and glue it to a thick backing. This is what a doublet opal means. While other stones are hard to recognize, doublet opal is not like that. But for a newbie, it would seem difficult.

The good news is that there are ways to detect the stone from other varieties. You should turn it on the side and look at the stone or backing. That’s it! Just like doublet opal, a triplet is made by gluing the stone on a backing. But for thin opal, a clear cap is necessary. It comes from Quartz of plastic and other sturdy materials.

What is the back of a Doublet Opal Made Of?

Doublet opal is set onto ironstone backing. This is available in brown color. While some consider it a disadvantage, it enhances the thin slice of the stone and increases the color. A slice of doublet opal is thicker compared to opal triplet. When searching for aesthetically appealing and thicker piece, this one has got you covered. But with the number of trustworthy providers, Opal Auctions is dependable and experienced. Our products are well-crafted and of the highest quality.

Boulder Opal vs Doublet Opal

Aside from the ironstone, there are other materials used in the backing. These can include the black opal potch and plastic. Ironstone is the most common because it can be found easily. It’s a natural stone that’s available in abundance.

Doublet Opal Uses

There are various gemstones used for pieces of jewelry. The one that has a special place in the market is the doublet opal. You can see it in earrings, rings, pendants, and other options. Just like the other stones, its color is easy to match.

Originally, matching opals is hard. But things have changed with doublet opal. Since its inception, it has been popular in the industry as a matching set. What many users love about it are its function and appeal. It’s long-lasting and stunning.

When doublet opal is used in jewelry, you will find a Bessel set. Not only that, the metal can be either rounded up or over the stone. This has unique effects such as:

  • It hides the join between the stone and the backing. The join between the opal and backing can be an eyesore. Worry no more. It is not noticeable. A Bessel set covers it.  
  • It protects the join. A Bessel set does not just hide the join. It goes beyond that. It protects the join, making a piece of jewelry long-lasting and sturdy. Because of that, it can remain fancy and unique despite the test of time.
  • It gives a perfect illusion of a large and solid Opal. When you’re on a budget, a doublet opal is ideal. Although it’s not as pricy as the other solutions, it can perform just like the natural and solid stone. Perhaps, users and collectors may encounter some trouble determining it from others.

Where Do Doublet Opal Come From?

Originally, doublet opal was produced in Lightning Ridge, Australia. Manufacturers used opal crystal and a black opal potch. But everything changed. Now, other countries provide doublet opal. The production is shared around the globe. Ironstone is then utilized for the backing.

How to Take Good Care of Your Doublet Opal?

Doublet opal piece of jewelry is beautifully durable. But it may change its color and durability over time. It requires proper care and cautious maintenance. However, ultrasonic cleaners and other strong chemicals are not ideal. These can put your investment in danger.

Don’t waste your time buying potent cleaners for your doublet opal rings or necklace. A simple wipe with a clean cloth and soapy water is enough. Apply enough pressure and remove accessories to avoid scratches and other damages.

When things get worse, seek help from a professional. Some companies provide reliable maintenance. Don’t be skeptical about the price because the fees are affordable.

Are you looking for pieces of jewelry with boulder opal, doublet opal, and other precious gemstones? You have come to the right place. We offer a variety of choices for you. So, what are you waiting for a fancy and stylish collection?



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