Opal Vs Moonstone: Clarity, Colour, Brilliance & Durability


Moonstone and Opal are poles apart in the realm of gemstone jewelry.

Where on the one hand, both these gemstones are adorably exquisite and leave one unturned in leveraging the beauty and adding an exclusive charm to the attire of the wearer, on the other side both have certain major differences in their astrological conceptions and attributes.

No doubt that as far as ornamental value and appearance are concerned, both moonstone jewelry, as well as opal jewelry, gives nerve-wracking competition to each other.

So, if your budget allows you to add both of these fantastic pieces of gemstone jewelryto your collection, then you have got the real gems in your hand!

However, for most jewelrylovers, it might get quite heavy on their pocket to go for both that glittering and alluring moonstone ring and that shimmering pair of opal earrings.

To assist you in picking up the most suitable gemstone jewelryfor yourself, we have got for you a detailed guide to help you to compare opal jewelry and moonstone jewelry.

  1. Opal jewelry and Moonstone Jewelry: Basic Difference and Background

Opal can be defined as a hydrated amorphous form of silica which is classified as a mineraloid. It has one of the largest water content amongst all the gemstones to be found on earth, which ranges between 3% to 20%.

The earliest documentation of opals can be extracted from the opal artefacts, that was discovered in East Africa.

In the era of 250 BC, ancient Romans and Greeks used to prize opals as highly precious and magical stones that have been bestowed with miraculous powers to spread positivity and fight against formidable diseases.  

Referred to as the “Cupid Stone” by the Romans, Opal was adored to stimulate passion and love. Since a very old time, it has been adored as a symbol of hope, purity and truth.

It is believed to be the “October Birthstone”.

 Moonstone or hectolitre is a sodium potassium aluminium silicate that belongs to the feldspar group. This feldspar is a mineral mined from the Earth’s crust.

The story behind the existence of moonstones goes back several thousand years ago when ancient Romans and Greeks associated moonstones with lunar deities and the sacred moon god.

They used to believe that moonstones were formed when the divine beams of moonlight were solidified.

Since then, moonstone jewelry is considered to be a driving force that spread peace, calmness and love-driven energy that eradicates darkness from life, just like the moon god.

The Mystical Moonstone is believed to be the “June Birthstone”.

  1. How Opal Differs from Moonstone in Colour shades

Colour grading is one such external attribute in which opals and gemstones have no common grounds.

On one, opal comes in myriad shades of colours that range across black, fire-red, blue, white or crystal, etc., moonstone is usually clear or white, with subtle shades of colours that can range from completely colourless to greyish-brown, pink and yellow.

The Quality of the moonstone is determined by multiple factors like clarity, cut, and inconsistencies in patterns of the matrix (the host rock), besides its colour grading.

However, in the case of opals, their quality is prised against their colour shades.

Some most commonly available opals based on their body colour available in the market are:

  • Black Opals: The rarest and the most precious opals. Their brilliance and beauty are compared to precious gemstones like diamonds and emeralds. A bit high on cost; $10,000 per caret.
  • Blue Opals: These are formed out of the microscopic hydrated silica spheres, with their colour shade ranging from blue hue to green. 
  • Fire Opals: These opals can range from reddish to yellowish. Red opals of these kinds are known as Cherry Opals.
  • Light Opals: These opals are as clear as crystals and can range from being completely colourless to having a greyish tone. When their surface is extremely milky, they are referred to as white opals.
  1. How does the Clarity Factor Differ Across Opal and Moonstone?

Both the moonstone and the opal can vary from being completely transparent to opaque.

In the case of moonstone, a highly-transparent piece free of inclusions is considered to be the most valuable and fabulous. 

Inclusions of particles can hinder the flow of light through the crystal-clear surface of your exquisite moonstone jewelry. 

This somewhere can compromise upon the sheen and elegance that it could have lent otherwise.

Translucent moonstones are also available in the market, with a surface that depicts a milky shade of blue hue with the appearance of inner light.

Be cautious if you come across an opaque moonstone. Chances are it could be a hoax. However, to ensure its authenticity, just carefully observe its pattern. They should be uneven and inconsistent. 

Nevertheless, the best practice is to go leave opaque moonstone jewelryand look for exclusively transparent ones, as they assure the best worth for money.

In the case of opals, the significance of the clarity level is usually determined by the type of opal in consideration.

For instance, if you are looking to try on a crystal-clear white opal, then you should go for a transparent one. As its “see-through” property will go perfectly with its crystal-like milky and smooth surface.

On the other hand, those darkish pieces of black opals or boulders, that could range from being completely jet black to dark grey will go marvellous with an opaque surface.

  1. The Brilliance Factor

That one factor of brilliance that serves as the “major benchmark of ethereal beauty” for both opal jewelry and moonstone jewelry is their natural colour phenomena.

Opal’s Exquisite Play-of-Colours, and moonstone shimmering Adularescence.

The light entering the opal will flow through the space between the silica spheres, resulting in a play of colours. The light must bend as it moves through the space, and as a result, the light is divided into the colours of the spectrum.

*Pro tip: Highly Transparent opals that display all 7 colours across the spectrum are quite rare to find.

In moonstone, the exsolution lamellae, which serve as scattering centres and provide a bluish hue/lustre, are what induce the adularescence.

     Wrapping Up…

So, that’s all about the major differences between two of the finest gemstones in the market.

Now, having gathered enough information about opal and moonstone, you are well-prepared to get some new stock for your shimmering jewelrycollection.

And to let you glow yourself with sparking gemstone jewelry, we at, Rananjay Exports have got for you 100% Authentic and top-notch quality gemstones at the best deals.

Happy Shopping!

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