How to Buy Opals
I am so glad you are considering buying an opal. Although the internet allows us great freedom in finding unique opal jewelry and stones from anywhere, shopping for opals over the internet is a little different than shopping at the store. There are some important things to keep in mind when buying online.
- DETERMINE THE SIZE
At the store you intuitively notice the size of the opal first, its shape, colors, intensity of colors, and finally its brightness. On the internet, however, these things can become a bit distorted. Some online shoppers may be using a big desktop monitor, while others may be using their smart phones to navigate the site. In the online pictures, opals may appear much larger than the stone or piece actually is. Although the stone and design may be beautiful, the size it appears to be on the screen is not the actual size.
- MEASURING IN MILLIMETERS vs INCHES
Gem stones are measured in millimeters (mm). Most rulers have millimeters marked on the opposite side, so get out your ruler and mark out the size listed in the description. You can also use this conversion chart: 1 inch = 25 mm. 1/2 inch = 12.5 mm, 1/4 inch = 6.25 mm, or about the size of a standard pencil eraser looking from the top. For jewelry there is sometimes a size given in inches of the entire piece to assist in determining the size of the whole piece.
- DETERMINE THE CARAT WEIGHT (especially when buying loose stone)
- CONSIDER THE CUT AND QUALITY OF THE STONE, and also the gold or silver workmanship in jewelry.
- ASSESS THE INTENSITY OF COLOR
I hope this was helpful and that you find the opal, or opals, you are looking for - or maybe it will be the one that finds you!
May you always be enchanted with God's creation, and may He bless you in return.
The Opal Man