What is the difference between a synthetic opal, a lab created opal and a natural opal? What is the best?

I am looking into opal jewelry, but I am a little confused. I have been trying to read about the differences and its a little fuzzy and all the sites say something different jewelry stores are also no help so far. A have a few different questions about them. 1.) Is a lab created opal and synthetic opal the same... show more I am looking into opal jewelry, but I am a little confused. I have been trying to read about the differences and its a little fuzzy and all the sites say something different jewelry stores are also no help so far. A have a few different questions about them.

1.) Is a lab created opal and synthetic opal the same thing? If not what is the difference?

2.) Is a lab created opal a true opal just grown in a man made environment? Or is it not a real stone? Same question for synthetic opals.

3.) How do they make lab created/synthetic opals?

4.) What is the best one to buy if you are going to invest money into something? I want something nice not fake or cheap.

5.) What is your favorite kind opal? Type, color and shape? Looking at rings in particular.

Thank you for reading and if you can answer any of these questions I would really appreciate it. Please star!
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