Opal, with it’s wide array of of translucent colors, is thought by many to be one of the most beautiful gemstones found on earth. Many people get confused when they look at jewelry and see such similar terms such as opal and opalite. The question of opal vs opalite is a question which is often asked. The truth is that opal is a natural gemstone while opalite is a man-made variant. Although they are both beautiful, it’s important to denote the differences because opal is an inherently more expensive material.
Opalite, a man-made variant of opal is not found anywhere in nature. Since these stones are artificially made they can be made flawless, with minimal or no inclusions. This can be a benefit in some applications. The term opalite is also sometimes used to refer to Tiffany Stone or Bertrandite.
There are also some other gemstones with similar names. For example green opalite (also known as opalite cat’s eye) is a natural gemstone and is not typically man-made. These gemstones are found throughout the world in places such as the USA, Australia, Brazil, Iceland, Peru, UK, and so forth. The reason this stone is sometimes referred to as opalite cat’s eye is because when it is cut into a cabochon it begins to show an effect quite similar to a cat’s eye.