Opal Doublet vs. Opal Triplet : Differences and Uses 2024

Opal Doublet vs. Opal Triplet

If you're in the market for opals, opal doublet vs. opal triple, you've likely encountered these terms. Both opal doublets and triplets offer unique beauty and appeal, but the main difference between opal doublets and opal triplets is doublets have two: opal and a back layer for color pop. Triplets add a transparent top layer for extra protection and, sometimes, even more vibrant colors. Also, doublets range from $0.90 to $230 per carat, while triplets are even more affordable at $1 to $170 per carat. 

There are many differences between opal doublet and opal triplet; understanding their differences can help you make an informed choice. In this guide, we'll delve into the specifics of opal doublets and triplets, exploring their uses, advantages, and potential drawbacks. 

Whether you're a seasoned gem enthusiast or a curious newcomer, this comprehensive overview will equip you with the knowledge to choose the perfect opal for your collection or jewelry piece.

What is an Opal Doublet?

What is an Opal Doublet?

Composition and Structure

An opal doublet is a composite stone crafted by bonding a thin layer of precious opal to a black backing, usually made of ironstone, basalt, or black potch. This combination not only enhances the opal’s vibrant colors but also makes it more affordable compared to solid opal stones. The backing creates a dark background that amplifies the play of colors in the opal, making the stone appear more vivid and striking.

Uses of Opal Doublets

Opal doublets are highly popular in the jewelry industry due to their affordability and striking appearance. 

They are commonly used in:

  • Rings: Their durability and vibrant colors make them ideal for ring designs.
  • Earrings: Lightweight and beautiful, perfect for various earring styles.
  • Pendants: The enhanced color vibrancy makes opal doublets a favorite for pendant designs.
  • Bracelets and Brooches: Their robustness allows them to be used in high-wear jewelry items.

Due to their durability and cost-effectiveness, opal doublets are an excellent choice for intricate jewelry designs, allowing for elaborate settings that showcase the stone’s beauty.

What is an Opal Triplet?

What is an Opal Triplet?

Composition and Structure

An opal triplet is composed of three layers: a thin slice of precious opal sandwiched between a black backing and a clear cap, usually made of quartz or glass. The black backing, similar to that in doublets, enhances the opal's colors, while the clear cap protects the delicate opal layer and magnifies its brilliance. This protective cap not only safeguards the opal from damage but also gives the stone a high-gloss finish, making the colors appear more intense and lively.

Uses of Opal Triplets

Opal triplets are particularly valued for their enhanced durability and vibrant appearance. They are frequently used in:

  • Jewelry Making: Ideal for various types of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, and earrings, due to their enhanced durability.
  • High-Traffic Jewelry Items: Their robust construction makes them suitable for items that are subject to frequent wear and tear, such as rings and bracelets.
  • Ornamental Pieces: The clear cap and vivid colors make opal triplets a popular choice for decorative jewelry and statement pieces.

The added layer of protection provided by the clear cap makes opal triplets a practical choice for everyday jewelry, ensuring longevity and maintaining the opal’s brilliance over time.

Differences Between Opal Doublets and Triplets

Differences Between Opal Doublets and Triplets

Visual Appearance

When comparing opal doublets and opal triplets, one of the most noticeable differences is their visual appearance.

  • Opal Doublets: These often have a more natural look because they consist of only two layer - the precious opal and the backing. The thin layer of opal bonded to the backing showcases the opal's natural play of color, which can appear more organic and less enhanced.
  • Opal Triplets: Triplets, on the other hand, have a distinct, high-gloss finish due to the clear quartz or glass cap placed on top of the opal layer. This cap not only protects the opal but also magnifies its colors, giving it a brighter and more pronounced appearance. This can sometimes make triplets look less natural compared to doublets but more vibrant.

Durability and Maintenance

Durability and maintenance are crucial factors when choosing between opal doublets and triplets.

  • Opal Doublets: While doublets are quite durable due to the protective backing, they are still prone to scratching, especially if the opal layer is exposed to rough handling or abrasive materials. Additionally, because they are composed of two bonded layers, prolonged exposure to water can cause the layers to separate, leading to potential damage.
  • Opal Triplets: Triplets offer better protection because of the hard, clear cap that covers the opal layer. This cap makes them more resistant to scratches and impacts, which is why they are often used in high-traffic jewelry items like rings and bracelets. However, the clear cap requires careful maintenance to avoid clouding or cracking. It's essential to keep triplets away from harsh chemicals and extreme temperature changes that could damage the cap.

Pros and Cons of Opal Doublets


  • Affordability: Opal doublets are significantly more affordable than solid opals, making them an attractive option for those looking to enjoy the beauty of opals without a hefty price tag.
  • Enhanced Color Vibrancy: The black backing of opal doublets enhances the color vibrancy of the opal, making it appear more vivid and striking.


  • Moisture Damage: Opal doublets are prone to moisture damage. If water gets between the layers, it can cause the opal to become cloudy or the layers to separate.
  • Care Requirements: They may require more careful handling and maintenance to keep their appearance pristine. Avoiding prolonged exposure to water and using gentle cleaning methods are essential.

Pros and Cons of Opal Triplets


  • Durability: Opal triplets are highly durable due to the protective clear cap, making them ideal for everyday wear and high-traffic jewelry items.
  • Enhanced Color and Magnification: The clear cap not only protects the opal but also magnifies its colors, resulting in a more brilliant and eye-catching appearance.


  • Less Natural Appearance: The clear cap can sometimes make triplets appear less natural compared to doublets, as the high-gloss finish may not appeal to everyone.
  • Higher Cost: Opal triplets are generally more expensive than doublets due to the additional layer and enhanced durability, which might be a consideration for budget-conscious buyers.

FAQs About Opal Doublets and Triplets

Are Opal Doublets and Triplets Real Opals?

Yes, both opal doublets and triplets contain genuine opal, but they are composite stones. An opal doublet consists of a thin slice of precious opal bonded to a black backing, while an opal triplet includes an additional clear cap on top. This means that while the opal is real, these stones are created by combining layers to enhance durability and appearance. The backing and cap improve the visual appeal and strength of the opal, making these options more affordable and practical for everyday wear.

How Do I Care for My Opal Doublet or Triplet?

Proper care is essential to maintain the beauty and longevity of opal doublets and triplets. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid Exposure to Water and Chemicals: Both doublets and triplets can be damaged by water and harsh chemicals. Water can seep between the layers and cause them to separate, while chemicals can damage the opal and the adhesive used in the composite.
  • Cleaning: Clean your opal jewelry with a soft, damp cloth. Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners or chemical solutions. A gentle wipe is usually sufficient to maintain their luster.
  • Storage: Store your opal jewelry in a dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Use a soft pouch or a lined jewelry box to protect them from scratches and impacts.

Which is Better: Opal Doublet or Triplet?

Choosing between an opal doublet and an opal triplet depends on your personal needs and preferences:

  • Opal Doublets: If you prefer a more natural look and don’t mind taking a bit of extra care to avoid moisture, an opal doublet might be the right choice for you. They are often more affordable and still offer beautiful color displays.
  • Opal Triplets: If durability and enhanced color are your priorities, an opal triplet is a better option. The protective cap provides extra security against scratches and impacts, making triplets ideal for high-traffic jewelry pieces. However, they might be slightly more expensive and can appear less natural due to the glossy finish of the cap.

Final Considerations

In the end, the decision between opal triplets and opal doublets comes down to understanding the differences, their uses, and how to care for them. Both types contain genuine opal and offer unique advantages that can enhance the beauty of your jewelry collection. Opal doublets provide a natural look and affordability, while opal triplets offer enhanced durability and color vibrancy. By considering your personal preferences and how you plan to use the opal, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs. Remember to care for your opal jewelry properly to ensure it remains beautiful and lasts for years to come.


Are you a fan of opals or have you had a challenging experience with them? Share your story with us-we'd love to hear all about it!



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published