This Sterling-created lab-grown opal cabochon offers a multicolor presentation that's a beautiful and affordable alternative to genuine opal in a wide variety of jewelry designs. This material is created from very uniform nanoparticles of silica dioxide and water—the same makeup as naturally formed stones. The play of color in each stone is produced by light refraction, just as in genuine opal; no dyes whatsoever are used. In the Sterling-created opal, resin is used to bond the particles together and harden the stone; these stones have the same Mohs hardness as genuine opal. Use single stones in earrings, rings or pendants, or take advantage of the price point to create a complex, multi-stone design. Opal is one of the birthstones for October.
Sterling Opal, owned by Sterling Foutz and Mary Hecht, employs a unique particle process (invented by the same J Zachery who developed the "J Zachery process" for turquoise) in creating these incredible lab-grown gemstones. This particle process was developed by innovator Jim Zachery over the course of many years and provides a repeatable, affordable method for producing silica nano- and micro-spheres in commercial quantities—these are the building blocks necessary to create lab-grown opal.
• This stone is NOT suitable for firing in place in silver PMC.