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Opal Is Your
Gem Because...

You love fireworks

You have a colorful personality

You are born in October

You’re an optimist

Your anniversary is in October

Your child’s birthday is in June

It’s your 14th Anniversary

You love it!

Chatham Lab-Grown

Opal forms slowly through sedimentation, which makes it the most difficult gem that we grow at Chatham. The process is a form of colloidal chemistry rather than the high heat and pressure we use to grow other gem varieties. It takes two years for opal to form in the lab, the longest growth period of any gem.

The result is opal that is stable and consistent, with brilliant play-of-color across the whole surface, allowing us to cut precise standard calibrated square, round and oval cabochon shapes.

Although opal is a relatively delicate gem, our lifetime guarantee means you can wear a Chatham lab-grown opal ring without worry. To see the quality and beauty of Chatham lab-grown opals, visit a Chatham retailer.



Chatham lab-grown opals are only available as loose gems through Chatham retailers.

Find a retailer near you.


About Opals

A beautiful opal is always one of a kind, like a work of art with its unique pattern of flashing and shifting colors inside. Its name comes from the ancient Greek opallios, which means “color change.”

Many cultures have given opal supernatural powers. Bedouin legends say it falls from the heavens in flashes of lightning. The ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy. In 1829, the popular novel Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott featured a cursed opal. For almost a century, some people believed it was unlucky for anyone not born in October to wear opal.

A symbol of hope, opal contains fireworks and nebulas. Fine black opal has this play-of-color against a dark background, which makes it more desirable and valuable.

Opal's play-of-color is created by internal diffraction: tiny silica spheres in grids break up the light into spectral colors. The size of the spheres determines the colors it shows.

Because opal contains water from ancient seas, it can be subject to cracking or “crazing,” especially when exposed to extreme heat and dryness. Opal is softer than many other gems and should be stored carefully to avoid being scratched by other jewelry.


Lab-Grown Opals Lingo

Opals that are grown in a laboratory that have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined opals are called:

  • – Lab-Grown Opals
  • – Created Opals
  • – Man Made Opals
  • – Synthetic Opals
  • – Cultured Opals

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