Iridescent vs. Opalescent

By Jaxson

  • Iridescent

    Iridescence (also known as goniochromism) is the phenomenon of certain surfaces that appear to gradually change colour as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes. Examples of iridescence include soap bubbles, butterfly wings and seashells, as well as certain minerals. It is often created by structural coloration (microstructures that interfere with light).

    Pearlescence is a related effect where some or all of the reflected light is white, where iridescent effects produce only other colours. The term pearlescent is used to describe certain paint finishes, usually in the automotive industry, which actually produce iridescent effects.

  • Iridescent (adjective)

    Producing a display of lustrous, rainbow-like colors; prismatic.

  • Iridescent (adjective)

    Brilliant, lustrous, or colorful.

  • Opalescent (adjective)

    Exhibiting a milky iridescence like that of an opal.

  • Opalescent (adjective)

    showing many small points of shifting colour against a pale or dark ground

    “an opalescent sky”

Oxford Dictionary

Leave a Comment