Description : Metallo-dielectric photonic crystals (MDPCs) are characterized by a large difference between the dielectric constants of the constituents. Owing to their high DC conductivity a broad omnidirectional band gap is formed at low frequencies. At the same time there exist numerous propagating electromagnetic modes at frequencies above a cutoff. This gives a possibility of creating a "transparent" metal: a crystal transparent in the visible spectral range and simultaneously having high DC conductivity. Since the cutoff wavelength linearly scales with the crystal periodicity, in order to make an MDPC with propagating modes in the visible range the crystal periodicity has to be around a quarter micrometer. Fabrication of such a crystal is a challenging task. One of the feasible choices is natural or artificial opals, structures made of silica balls arranged into a close packed fcc lattice. The ball diameters could vary from 200 nm to several microns, allowing the desired optical features to be in the visible spectral range.