A Doublet is a Natural Australian Crystal Opal that has been hand cut from rough Opal in the Australian Opal Cutters Sydney workshop. Once the Crystal Opal has been cut it is added to a piece of Black Opal or Boulder Opal “potch” (Black Opal or Boulder Opal Ironstone without any colour). The dark deep base tone of the Boulder or Black Opal acts like a “thundercloud behind a rainbow” increasing the refractive index and allowing the colours to “fire up”. vimeo.com/165648044
This is the perfect gift as it an Opal an investment and the only gemstone where you can "hold a rainbow in your hand" literally! Placing a backing on a piece of Crystal Opal allows us to set Opals that would often be too fragile to allow setting. Remember that Opal often forms in microscopic fissures inside the cracks and crevices of the silica rich soil.
These Doublet Opals are hand-cut and assembled from the "rough" material by industry experts who know how to find the colour and carefully add the Opal "potch" (Opal without colour). This is an age-old tradition and is a cutting process that has not changed in 100 years. The technology behind the gluing has however changed dramatically. With modern epoxy (silica) based bonding agents our Doublets are now guaranteed for life against delamination. In the 1960’s with inferior gluing a Doublet could risk the layers separating after prolonged exposure to water. Not today! Modern silica based glues have the same coefficient of expansion as the silica in the Opal and in the Opal “potch” base. This means that when the Opal is warmed and cooled the layers all expand and contract (on a molecular level) at the same rate. This means that they will not work apart over time and are guaranteed for life!
Each Opal Doublet you will see on this site is completely natural and had not been treated or enhanced in any way, shape or form (unless specifically noted in the description).
Opal is Australia's National Gemstone and is the only gem in the world where you can hold a rainbow in your hand (literally)
Rainbow colour appear in may places and materials. Through faceting a diamond we are able to split light into the colours of the spectrum. Through different checmicals, or treatments we can make certain gems show rainbow colours...but did you know that there is only one place on earth where rainbows actually form and can be held? This is in Opal.
Opal Doublets are absolutely unique as tiny microscopic water molecules actually bond and merge with silica to form a gemstone (Opal) this process is so mysterious that scientists still cannot tell us why it happens. The result is that microscopic rainbows actually form inside the gem. They are "trapped" or held there in suspension, and will not evaporate (like a rainbow in the sky does).
This is a "miracle from the ground" so now you can "Hold a Rainbow"!
Genuine Natural Australian Gem Doublet Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica SiO2·nH2O consisting of spheres of silicon dioxide molecules arranged in regular, closely packed planes backed by Boulder Opal ironstone (found in remote areas in Queensland Australia). Guaranteed free of dyes and artificial colour.
Our designers have been designing for decades and have had the enormous privilege of designing jewellery for the Royal family: vimeo.com/133728006
Graeme Blaiklock: vimeo.com/153458195
Introducing Australian Opal Cutters
In 1967, Grandfather Jack Musgrave Blaiklock, a New Zealander, a wholesale jewellery trader and a visionary, moved to Australia, with his son Graeme Blaiklock. Graeme fell in love with the Jewellery industry and traded successfully for many years.
In 1982, Graeme started his own Opal company Australian Opal Cutters in Sydney Australia. He was inspired by a local limousine driver whose guests "complained that they could get better prices back home". From these humble beginnings grew the word-of-mouth phenomenon that is "Australian Opal Cutters".
Today Australian Opal Cutters has grown to be the world’s leading producer of skillfully cut and polished Opals and Opal jewellery.
35+ years later the company, still family-owned and run by Jason (3rd generation family member), and has a global reach with exclusive cruise liners, a presence in over 38 countries and an online store.
Australian Opal Cutters comprises two major businesses, one cutting and polishing loose opals and the other creating hand-crafted jewellery products.
Graeme has been actively involved in all areas of the gem and jewellery trades for decades including manufacturing, retailing, trade shows and wholesaling. He brings a depth of knowledge to the industry, but, more importantly, a deep love for the industry and the customers who are the lifeblood of any business!
A high demand for quality pearls resulted in the founding of Australian Pearl Divers as a branch of Australian Opal Cutters in the mid 1990's.
Australian Pearl Divers are "aggregators" which means that Graeme seeks to find the finest quality pearls at the most competitive prices. Once these pearl 'parcels' have been purchased they will be absorbed into the collection and presented for sale. Graeme regularly checks his pearls in a very sophisticated gem testing machine known as a "Spectrometer". This machine is able to determine not only the type of pearl, but tell if a pearl has been dyed or not. This is a most valuable tool, as a pearl should be natural in it's origin as well as its color and a spectrometer is the only way to test this. Australian Pearl Divers is most likely the closest any customer will every get to "diving for pearls" themselves!
The Lucky Gem from the Lucky Country
By the way, if you have ever heard the myth that Opals are unlucky, we just thought you should know that it is alleged that this was invented by the Diamond industry, as Opals were once the engagement ring of choice. For more information see "The Diamond Invention".
Opal is Australia’s National Gemstone, with the Black Opal featuring as the State Emblem of NSW. Opal is known as the “Queen of Gems”.
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