The opalite gemstone is an artificial crystal that imitates the traditional opal, composed mainly of glass and resin, or sometimes metal. There’s also a natural opalite variety made of silica and water, like the semi-precious gemstone opal. Only this one’s a common version that doesn’t showcase play of color.
Hold up — artificial? Is opalite real opal if it’s man-made? Technically no, but opalite is its own gemstone and has a lot to offer!
To start, it mimics opal so nicely that you might not be able to tell them apart. For someone on a budget, the precious opal might be too expensive. Opalite is an affordable alternative.
Plus, opalite’s unique composition (resin and glass) offers healing properties you may not have considered. Opalite usually has a creamy blue color similar to sky-blue or robin egg blue. However, it also comes in other colors, most of which display an opalescence under sunlight, some even exceeding the shine of the original October birthstone.
Here at Gem Rock Auctions, we aim to provide you with every possible gemstone your heart desires. And in our experience, there’s been a growing demand for artificial gemstones like opalite — and why not? Their craftsmanship is something to celebrate just as much as Nature’s natural treasures.
Today we’re going to cover everything you need to know about this curious opal doppelganger, including the opalite gemstone meaning, properties, history, and more!
Opalite is neither a precious nor semi-precious gemstone, despite its uncanny similarities to the precious opal. Who gets to relish the opalite zodiac benefits? Libras will enjoy the more readily available and affordable opalite crystal as their zodiac stone.
As a zodiac stone for one of the most romantic signs, is opalite a love stone? There’s certainly a reason why the stone sometimes comes carved into little blue hearts!
It wouldn’t hurt to have opalite nearby during a date, but more on the stone’s majestic healing powers later.
You could also call the opalite crystal the “ice-cream stone,” after its smooth, buttery body with soft colors you might see at a gelato bar.
Let’s explore some of the characteristics that give opalite its name and nicknames.
When it comes to opalite vs. opal hardness, is opalite stronger because of its glass-resin composition? No, the two stones aren't too different in hardness. Both hover around the 5.5-6 rankings on the Mohs mineral hardness scale.
You'll usually find opalite in milky shades of blue, lavender, soft pink, and sometimes green and yellow. Sounds like moonstone, right? The two might have a creamy-colored similarity, but moonstone is a feldspar stone with a slightly higher Mohs ranking.
The list below contains some more narrow specifications about the man-made opalite gemstone:
Color: Colorless, white, blue, pink, purple
Crystal structure: Amorphous (not crystalline)
Luster: Pearly, vitreous
Transparency: Translucent to transparent
Refractive index: 1.50-1.52
Image: natural opalite
Is opalite man-made? Not always. Natural opalite is a variety of common opal, an opal type that's abundant throughout the world. Common opals don't show play-of-color, unlike precious opals.
It's not common for natural opalite to be faceted, but some specimens have a pearly luster and creamy color that works well for gemstone jewelry.
On the market, natural opalite is advertised as "common opal."
Man-made opalite is the main character of today's article. It often comes in blue and purple light tones, and is made from dolomite, glass resin, and/or metal. You might wonder, how rare is opalite if it's man-made? Not rare at all. The idea is to make the aesthetic opal more accessible by creating an affordable, man-made alternative to imitate the natural gem.
On the market, man-made opalite is often advertised as simply "opalite," without an explicit indication that it's man-made.
Natural opalite has been around for millions of years, but man-made opalite is much younger.
The first synthetic opal was created in 1972 by French chemist Pierre Gilson. An extensive study on the precious opal’s internal structure informed his creation. People loved it so much that Gilson’s gemstone commanded its own market demand, giving rise to its newer name “opalite.”
Opalite’s meaning is one of youthful wonder and playfulness, as the stone is said to encourage curiosity and lightheartedness. This could be an extension of opal’s spiritual meaning of purity,combining the playfulness and innocence of child-like wonder.
What else can we gather from the opalite spiritual meaning? Lightheartedness could remind us to live in the moment. But, it also demonstrates opalite’s ability to soothe a heavy heart, helping us overcome life’s most difficult events and encouraging us to embrace new beginnings.
Image credit: iStockphoto / jillyafah.
Okay, we know what you’re thinking — How can an artificial stone pose any healing properties if it doesn’t come from Mother Earth? What is opalite crystal good for if it’s just an imitation healing stone? Well, you’ll be happy to hear that opalite offers many similar healing properties to the opal, and then some!
Remember, opalite’s materials aren’t completely artificial, despite the stone being man-made. Resin comes from plants, and glass comes from sand. Plus, the two materials have spiritual significance and purported healing properties that date back to ancient times!
Do you struggle with insomnia or vivid nightmares? It might be all that blue light from your cell phone and computer screen. Switch out your tech’s blue light with opalite’s sky-blue shades instead! The stone’s known to reduce stress before bed, helping you get a good night’s rest full of sweet dreams.
Maybe it’s not the nightmares interrupting your beauty sleep. Anyone with asthma knows that it’s the grumpiest disease when met with dust mites and dryness, which you tend to notice most when you’re trying to sleep! Opalite stone soothes your asthma, encouraging your natural breath to flow nice and easy.
Finally, opalite is known to increase your energy levels. It’s the perfect helping hand after a long day at work or period of depression, which brings us to our next section!
Emotions are like the weather — although they pass, stormy periods feel like they last forever. Opalite helps you weather the storm with a sense of lightheartedness that reminds you why you’re here: to look at the world with playful, curious eyes and enjoy every minute!
Opalite gemstones are known to lift spirits and offer peace during times of depression, grief, or heartbreak.
Have you ever gotten into an argument with your partner that felt like the end of your relationship? Emotions run high during times of passion, but having opalite nearby can tone things down, offering you and your partner reassurance that everything will be okay.
Pro tip: Carry an opalite crystal and fire opal together during tumultuous times in relationships. The opalite will help you find tranquility and understanding, while the fire opal will help you reawaken the passion you have for one another in the bedroom!
Let's take a look at some of opalite's benefits for the chakras!
Your chakras hum with powerful energies that regulate your emotional health. They fall in line along the middle of the body, with the crown chakra at the top down to the root chakra at the base of your spine.
Opalite’s chakra activation depends on its color.
For example, light blue opalite links to our blue throat chakra. A blocked throat chakra might make you unsure of your true self and too afraid to express yourself for fear of what others would think. Carry some blue opalite around to help you overcome your concern with others’ opinions and to let your authentic self shine through your newly found loud voice.
Purple opalite is known to open your crown chakra, which helps you quiet the world’s noise to listen to your connection with a higher consciousness. Fitting, considering opalite’s symbolism of purity!
By Albion Fire and Ice - https://albionfireandice.co.uk/10-20mm-tumble-polished-opalite/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52057330
Gemstone properties dictate how valuable a gemstone is on the market. For opalite, color, clarity, and cut all affect its value.
Most opalite is creamy white, blue, or another pastel color. Milky-blue, man-made opals are popular, though they don’t showcase play-of-color like precious opals. As a common opal, natural opalite doesn't have play-of-color, either.
Traditional opals come in a black variety that’s extremely beautiful, rare, and expensive. The same doesn’t go for our man-made gem, though. You might see some striking red-black opalite, but their price is comparable to other opalite varieties.
Opalite value doesn’t change based on the cut. You won’t usually see faceted cuts for opalite because its lack of cleavage makes cabochon or tumbled cuts more practical. Instead, you can carry a handful of small, tumbled gems in a velvet pouch for good luck. Smooth, rounded cabochon cuts are also the norm for opalite, as the smoothness compliments its whipped, soft tones.
Inclusions are materials, often in different colors, that appear inside a gemstone. In most cases, they reduce the stone’s value, as gem collectors prefer a clean body. But opalite has one advantage — since it’s man-made, there’s usually more control on whether inclusions appear on the rock.
That’s true most of the time – the only inclusion-like feature of some opalite is glass bubbles, which impede on clarity and lower value. The majority of opalite doesn’t have inclusions, highlighted well by their translucent to transparent clarity.
The base for your average opalite stone is glass, with some metal. Gem-makers like to use glass with dolomite in its composition to better imitate the volcanic environment of traditional opal formation. The glass is melted with raw materials like resin, then cooled and solidified.
Natural opalite has a similar formation as other opals. Water mixes with tiny silica spheres in rock crevices or cracks, then solidifies into opalite as the water evaporates.
By optick - https://www.flickr.com/photos/optick/112909824/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10653821
You might think that opalite is dramatically less expensive than traditional opal because it isn’t as “genuine.” You’d be right, as it is much more affordable. But is opalite a real crystal on the gemstone market? Absolutely! Buyers get the benefits of all of opalite’s properties, colors, and bargains.
You won’t usually find opalite gemstones sold by weight. Most of the time, they’re tumbled rough stones or cabochon cuts sold per-piece, between $1-$3. Of course, buying a heavy velvet pouch filled with opalite could cost you between $30-$90, depending on how many stones you purchase.
Opalite rings and necklaces demonstrate more craftsmanship and labor, resulting in a higher price (typically between $2-$25).
Once you make your purchase, you’re ready to rock. But not so fast! You’ll need to store and clean it properly, and learn how to cleanse opalite to keep its metaphysical glow pulsating with healing!
Opalite has a similar Mohs ranking to the traditional opal, making it quite delicate. It’s best to store your natural or man-made opalite away from other gemstones to avoid damaging the delicate, buttery hue with an ugly scratch.
If you notice your milky stone starts to turn cloudy, simply wash it with warm water and a soft brush, such as a toothbrush. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners, as they may impact opalite’s unique color.
On the metaphysical plane, opalite carries a lot of healing energy and works hard to keep your spiritual health in check. But everyone needs to rest and recharge, including opalite!
The best way to cleanse these little stones is by leaving them out in sunlight for an hour or so. The sun’s rays will rid opalite of any negativity it’s absorbed, keeping its healing energy refreshed and rejuvenated.
The Egyptian pyramids, Athenian Acropolis, and Eiffel Tower are all man-made wonders. So, don’t worry so much about opalite’s synthetic aspect — is there fake opalite? Not in our eyes.
Many prefer the bluish tones of man-made opalite to the natural opalite, anyway. Peacock your heavenly opalite necklace with pride, knowing that man-made creations are still divine.
Ready to step into the future with the man-made miracle of opalite? Gem Rock Auctions is your destination for quality, unique opalite gemstones.
Shop for opalite gemstones today!
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