Experimenting with Doublets and Triplets

22 September 2020 by Johno

Categories: Australian Opal | Opal Cutting | Opal Treatments

Experimenting with Opal Doublets and Triplets

With plenty of time on my hand during the Corona Virus lock-down I decided to experiment with the making of opal doublets and triplets.

Traditionally doublets are made with a potch backing and triplets with a potch backing and a clear glass, plastic or quartz top. I thought I would try a few variations.

First experiment -Using green glass backing on doublets.

I had some dark green glass left over from stained glass windows and decided to use this for a backing. I hoped the dark green colour would accentuate the green and blues in the crystal opal I was using for the top. I smoothed the glass surface using 800 grit silicon carbide and glued the flat crystal opal surface to it using araldite. I then cabbed the top. The result was quite good.See first photo:

The greens and blues in the opal did seem a bit stronger so I was happy with the result.

Second experiment - Using green glass backing on opal triplets

I used the same process on the triplets and a clear glass capping. The results were also good as seen in the following two photos.

The greens in the opal did seem brighter and the general effect was quite good.

Third experiment - Using Yellow glass as a cpping for doublets
In this experiment I used  yellow glass for the capping. This changed the appearance of the opal giving it a distinct yellow hue. Unfortunately it made the doublet a bit dull but still it looked interesting especially in bright sunlight.

Fourth Experiment - Using topaz as the capping on a doublet

In this case I used a piece of very clear topaz, flattened the base and glued it to a piece of thin flat Coober Pedy opal. I then cabbed the topaz. The topaz was higher at one end than the other and I kept it that way to see what it would look like. The topaz was also quite thick but that was good as it changed the magnification effect due to the high doming.

I loved the effect. The colours seemed to swirl around the inside of the topaz and they were magnified a lot.

I had a lot of fun with these experiments and thought I would share them with you.


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