Opal vs. Diamond: What Are the Differences Between Opal and Diamond Crystals?

  1. What is Opal Crystal?
  2. Opal Crystal Properties 
  3. What is Diamond Crystal?
  4. Diamond Crystal Properties 
  5. 5 Similarities between Opal and Diamond
  6. 7 Differences Between Opal and Diamond
  7. Opal and Diamond Crystal in Everyday Life
  8. Opal vs. Diamond Revealed by Expert
  9. Final Verdict: Opal vs. Diamond

Did you know that Opals are great substitutes for Diamonds? While they share a few similarities, the stones are anything but alike. Diamonds are nearly 3 billion years old, while Opals are only around 100 million. 

What are the differences between Opal and Diamond crystals? Do they share any traits? 

The main differences between Opal and Diamond are their hardness, optical effects, price, composition, and durability. They share similarities, like diverse varieties, rarity, and precious stones status with historical and spiritual significance.

Join us as we delve into a fascinating comparison of the characteristics that set Opals and Diamonds apart and those that unify them.

What is Opal Crystal?

A white opal crystal on a white background

Opal is an amorphous hydrated silica or mineraloid occurring in basalt, volcanic ash, and sandstone. The brilliant play of color in Precious Opals appears from the interference and diffraction of light through its silica structure. 

Did you know that the word “opal” is derived from the Latin word “opalus,” which means “a precious jewel” or “gemstone?” Many more Opal varieties are categorized based on their color, pattern, brilliance, refraction, and benefits.

Historically, Opals have been associated with vitality, passion, drive, wisdom, enlightenment, luck, and healing. 

Ancient Romans associated them with Aphrodite, the Roman Goddess of Love, while the Aboriginal Australians linked it to the creator. 

During the Middle Ages, Opals transitioned from being considered lucky stones to being one of the best crystals for vision and sixth sense. 

Today, it’s the stone of luck, transformation, and magic. 

Opal Crystal Properties 

Do you know where the metaphysical powers of Precious Opals come from? Let’s take a quick look at its physical and spiritual traits. 

A custom graphic table for Opal Crystal Properties

What is Diamond Crystal?

A diamond on a white background

Diamond is a crystallized polymorph of carbon that forms in the Earth’s mantle under immense heat and pressure. It’s typically clear but may show many other colors.

The name Diamond comes from the old French word “Diamant” from the Ancient Greek/Latin word “Adamas,” meaning “unbreakable.”  

Did you know the earliest Diamonds came from India? These gems were called “vajra” or “heera,” signifying a “thunderbolt.” 

In Ancient India, Vajra stones were believed to bring luck, love, power, protection, purity, and psychic gifts

Greeks believed Diamonds were born out of the tears of Gods and fallen stars. Earlier, talismans, amulets, and jewelry were worn for protection and love. Romans linked them to the Gods of beauty, passion, and eternal love. 

In the Middle Ages, Diamonds were worn to indicate royalty, wealth, and power. They were adorned on scepters, crowns, thrones, brooches, watches, and totems. 

Over the last century, it has evolved into the “Girl’s Best Friend” and the “Forever Stone,” symbolizing marital bliss, love, passion, and invincibility.

Diamond Crystal Properties 

Specific planets, elements, chakras, signs, and colors power the metaphysical benefits of Diamonds. Here’s a quick look at the healing properties and benefits of Diamonds.

A custom graphic table for Diamond Crystal Properties

5 Similarities between Opal and Diamond

Now that you know everything about Opals and Diamonds, it’s time to compare their features. 

Let’s start with their similarities. 

Both Exhibit Numerous Colors.

Opals and Diamonds come in a wide array of colors, increasing their aesthetics, appeal, and rarity.

Common and Precious Opals are the two main types of Opals, but they have many more varieties. These Opal varieties are Black, Blue, Bandfire, Boulder, Claro, Levin, Lechosos, Painter Boulder, Red Flash, Yowah Nut, White, etc.

Diamonds are named by their color, such as pink, yellow, red, amber, orange, purple, champagne, cognac, green, blue, and gray. They may also be named by their patterns, such as Phantoms, Polki, Golden Eye, Crinkled Stone, and Salt and Pepper.

Both are Rare. 

Most of us know Diamonds are rare, but did you know that certain types of Opals are also extremely rare? 

They’re both precious gemstones valued for their rarity in the World of Gems.

Diamonds form through intense pressure and heat over millions of years, while Opals are a unique and uncommon occurrence originating from silica and water. High-quality specimens of both gemstones are scarce, resulting in their hefty prices.

Both are Ruled by Venus. 

In Astrology, Venus is the planet of beauty, passion, love, harmony, and prosperity. 

Opal’s metaphysical benefits of emotional balance, passion, and love come from Venus’s metaphysical benefits. Conversely, Diamonds attract balance, luck, and purity.

Both crystals are linked to the same zodiac signs, Taurus and Libra. Wearing either brings stability, prosperity, and wellness. 

Both are Historically Significant.

These gemstones have held high podiums of respect, power, and value throughout the history of Diamonds and Opals. The brilliance and play of color in these stones were coveted and regarded as magical.

Both these precious gemstones are found around the globe and in the cosmos. 

Did you know Opals are found on Mars and some planets are made entirely of Diamonds?

Both are Used in Jewelry.

Opals and Diamonds are cut with various features to enhance their use in jewelry, like tiaras, crowns, rings, pendants, bracelets, and other jewelry. 

Did you know Opals rose to fame during the Victorian Era? Their mainstream acceptance comes from Queen Victoria’s love for Opals, stemming from her engagement ring. 

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana also wore Precious Opals, immortalizing them as a symbol of fidelity, trust, and marital bliss. Diamonds were regarded highly among rulers and royalty for ages. 

Diamonds became the world’s favorite engagement ring stone after the discovery of South African mines by De Beers in the late 19th century and the marketing that followed. 

In contemporary jewelry, Opals often feature in designer, custom-made, bespoke, and artisanal pieces. At the same time, Diamonds dominate the wedding jewelry scene. 

Fun Fact: The Diamond craze that persisted for the next 150 years revealed ethical dilemmas, such as Blood Diamonds, pushing the jewelry industry toward using lab-grown Diamonds.

Both are High-Vibration Crystals.

Multicolored crystals and those that awaken the higher chakras are often called high-vibration crystals because they can purify, manifest, and charge energies. 

Opals and Diamonds possess high vibrational energies, great for tapping into spiritual development, psychic gifts, channeling, balance, awareness, and purity. 

7 Differences Between Opal and Diamond

Opals and Diamonds share certain similarities, but their differences are significant.

Here’s a closer look at the differences in Opal vs. Diamond:

Varying Compositions and Structures

Do you remember the formation of the Opals and Diamonds we discussed? 

Opals are amorphous mineraloids with silica spheres in an irregular lattice instead of a defined structure. On the flip side, Diamonds are pure carbon with a highly optimized three-dimensional cubic structure.

Opals contain water that brings out their captivating play of color when light reflects, refracts, and diffracts through the silica spheres inside them. 

Different Optical Properties. 

We previously discussed the play of color in Opals. This unique phenomenon is called opalescence. The stone may exhibit a spectrum of colors, shades, and designs when viewed from various angles. 

The interaction of light within Diamonds leads to a sparkling brilliance, primarily due to their well-arranged carbon structures. In contrast, Diamonds possess a refractive index approximately twice that of Opals, leading to their brilliant radiance.

Varying Hardness Scores

Due to their varying internal structure, the hardness score of Diamonds and Opals vary by a huge margin. 

Opal varieties range between 5.5 to 6.5 on the 10-pointer Mohs Scale with Diamond at the top. Hence, Opals are half as durable or strong as Diamonds. 

While Diamonds are safe in water, heat, and extreme temperatures, Opals may crack, chip, discolor, break, or get scratched under the same conditions.

Differing Costs

It’s no news that Diamonds boast cut-throat prices. But some Opals may leave behind Diamonds regarding rarity and price-per-cart. 

Did you know Black Opal crystals may cost up to millions of dollars? On the other hand, rare Diamonds make cost tens of hundreds of millions. 

Although lower-quality Diamonds may be cheaper than top-quality Opals, most Diamonds still carry a higher price tag.

Is Opal more expensive than Diamond? No, Opals aren’t more expensive than Diamonds. Roughly, Opals retail for $10 to $100 per carat, and high-quality ones fetch $500 to $5000 per carat. 

At the same time, commercial Diamonds cost $1000 to $5,000 per carat, with high-quality ones ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 per carat. 

Varying Cleaning Rules 

Have you heard Opals are extremely sensitive to temperature changes? Some may even crack when cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners. Avoid abrasive scrubs and chemical cleaners, too.

Conversely, ultrasonic cleaners and other mechanical cleaning methods are safe for cleaning Diamonds.

For cleaning Opals, gently wipe them with a damp cloth or wash them with lukewarm water once a month.

Different Metaphysical Traits 

The Water and Air Elements rule Opals, bringing many metaphysical benefits to the wearers of this stone. Some are wisdom, manifestation, harmony, peace, balance, intuition, intelligence, clarity, growth, luck, and expression.

Diamonds are linked to Elements like Fire, Earth, Water, and Air. They’re responsible for bringing energies of purification, energy, psychic gifts, premonition, manifestation, passion, abundance, and stability. 

Although Opals and Diamonds share Venus as their ruling planet, they attract different benefits into your life. 

Varying Lusters

Opals have a glassy or vitreous, shiny, or glass-like luster. In contrast, Diamonds have an adamantine luster, making light dance and dazzle brilliantly when entering the stone. 

Did you know the term Adamantine was exclusively used to describe the luster of Diamonds? Although, many Opals feature exceptional iridescence and fiery appearance, captivating the eye. 

Different Transparency

The final crucial difference between Opals and Diamonds is transparency, or the amount of light they let through. 

Opals may be transparent, translucent, or opaque, allowing varying degrees of light inside based on their traits. Diamonds, however, are transparent or near-transparent, which lets maximum light in. 

The opacity of Opals captures the eye and creates an illusion of depth, while the transparent nature of Diamonds magnifies the reflection, refraction, and diffraction of the light passing through. 

Opal and Diamond Crystal in Everyday Life

Opals and Diamonds share many traits, so they have been used to make jewelry for eons. Be it Diamond or Opal, natural stones are also unique, like our DNA. Mystics believe Opals bring out hope, and Diamond builds strength.

Both precious gemstones have their distinct and unique uses, too. For instance, Opals are famous for their use in skincare, feng shui, and talismans. At the same time, Diamonds work well for meditation, special days, and weddings. 

Remember, both can be used for engagement rings, special occasions, or energy rituals.

Opal vs. Diamond Revealed by Expert

A custom graphic for opal vs diamond

From geologists to collectors, many exquisite varieties of Opals and Diamonds are sought after now more than ever. To me, both stones are unique in their abilities.

One of the most exceptional Opals is the Virgin Rainbow, discovered in 1946. It’s uncut, about the size of a softball, and priced at 1 million USD. Other famous Opals are the Andamooka Opal, Olympic Australis, and the Fire of Australia. 

Rare and costly Diamonds are usually available at geological museums for public viewing. The world’s most famous Diamond is the Pink Star Diamond, costing $71.2 million. 

Some other famous ones are Hope Diamond, Koh-i-Noor, Cullinan Diamond, Dresden Diamond, and Blue Moon Diamond.

Final Verdict: Opal vs. Diamond

The most important step when choosing between Opal and Diamond is to follow your intuition, conviction, love, value, and metaphysical need. 

I hope this article helped you learn the physical and metaphysical allure, similarities, and differences of Opal and Diamond crystals based on their luster, hardness, costs, transparency, optical properties, rarity, and historical significance. 

If you’re looking for a unique stone with a play of color that stuns the eye, Opal is the way to go. However, if you’re after durability, elegance, or heritage value, Diamonds are a fantastic choice. 

Here’s a quick look at their traits before you go:

A custom graphic table for the differences of Diamond and Opal

In the end, Opals, despite their differences, are a good substitute for Diamond because they share many metaphysical traits.

So, which is your favorite stone?

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