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What is a Gemstone Doublet and Triplet?

Firstly I am going to address the question as to what is a gemstone doublet and secondly, I am going to speak about the reasons why you would want to purchase a doublet and lastly when you shouldn’t purchase a gemstone doublet!

A doublet is a gemstone composed of two different layers of gemstones, one more valuable than the other usually the top being the more valuable the bottom the less valuable.  This wouldn’t happen in nature so it’s a man made fabrication where a glue of some type is added to each layer to form a composite or a “gemstone sandwich”.

By adding a third layer on top, a Triplet is created. Clear Quartz crystal or White Topaz is often used as the top layer in doublets or triplets. It may be used to protect the middle layer or just to enhance the overall look of the stone. Other materials, such as glass, can also be used in triplets. A clear top layer of a natural gemstone provides shine and durability while the bottom and middle layers create interesting visual effects.

There have always been doublets the usual suspects being Opals.  However, recently there has been a trend towards using other types of stones i.e. Pink Opal and Rock Quartz in this instance the Pink Opal will be on the bottom to show through the faceted Rock Quartz top layer, or Mother of Pearl on the bottom and White Topaz or Rock Quartz on the top.  This enhances the look of the Mother of Pearl and also enhances the price!

I have several different types of doublets in my shop, in differing colours and shapes.  I will always tell you which type of stones are being used on both the bottom and the top so you are fully aware of what you are purchasing!

Lastly there are of course in any industry people that would like to deceive you and the jewellery industry is no different!  It is sometimes hard to tell a good fabricated doublet because they can only be detected by an educated, expert eye, although usually you should be able to see at the edges each different layer of stone.  A 2 carat sapphire doublet may contain less than 1 carat of natural sapphire, it would certainly be fraudulent to sell a doublet as a fully natural sapphire.  A sapphire doublet may also be produced simply with the intention of saving cost. As long as the stone is disclosed as a doublet at the time of sale, there is nothing wrong with this.  It is always a good idea to ask at the time of purchase what is the combination of stones used, it will save disappointment later!

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