How do you tell if an opal is ethiopian or australian?

Elbert Shields asked a question: How do you tell if an opal is ethiopian or australian?
Asked By: Elbert Shields
Date created: Tue, Jul 20, 2021 12:55 AM
Date updated: Mon, Jul 18, 2022 4:47 PM


Top best answers to the question «How do you tell if an opal is ethiopian or australian»

Ethiopian Welo opal comes primarily in white and crystal varieties, both with strong play of color. In fact, the play of color (meaning the flashes of blue, green, and other colors that dance across an opal's surface) is stronger on average than what is seen in Australian white opals.


Those who are looking for an answer to the question «How do you tell if an opal is ethiopian or australian?» often ask the following questions:

❔ Can a hydrophane ethiopian opal lose its transparency?

Many of the opals mined in Ethiopia, especially from the Welo deposits, are hydrophane opals. "Hydrophane" is a name used for a porous opal that has the ability to absorb water. A change in color or transparency often accompanies the water absorption. These opals typically have a lower specific gravity than other types of opal because of their porosity. Some of these opals can absorb enough ...

❔ How much is ethiopian opal worth per carat?

The price per carat of Ethiopian opal ranges from 10-250 per carat based on the intensity, variety and patterns of color.

❔ Is a crystal clear ethiopian welo opal valuable?

What I have seen at sites & at the gem shows is wholesale crystal (clear, or sometimes know as "jelly") is about $20-40 per carat for color & about $10. per for those with weaker & directional colors. Prices go up for darker base

❔ What are the natural colors of ethiopian opal?

  • This untreated Ethiopian opal rough specimen is completely natural - just as it was found in the earth. It is flawless transparent opal with extra fine color-play showing beautiful flashes of green, red, orange and blue natural colors. These colors change as the light moves or as the piece is turned.

❔ What happened to my ethiopian fire opal color?

First, I'll make two educated guesses; Ethiopian fire opal usually refers to Shewa Ethiopian Opal, a very poor quality opal mined about 125 miles from the location of the Welo Ethiopian Opal mines. Shewa Opal is normally opaque and brown. Since you say your piece is transparent, I suspect you bought a piece of Welo Ethiopian Opal.

❔ What is a ethiopian welo opal?

  • "Welo opal" is named after the Wollo Province of northern Ethiopia. Ethiopian opal: Striking play-of-color in a cabochon of Ethiopian opal. Domains of bright color in a translucent to transparent opal is commonly seen in Welo opal. Australia has been the dominant force in the opal market for over 100 years.

❔ What is an ethiopian opal ring?

  • At La More Design, our opal rings are made with natural, solid opals from the Wollo province of Ethiopia! "Specific gravity" is the term used to express the relative density of a gemstone. A 1-carat stone with higher specific gravity will appear smaller than a 1-carat stone with lower specific gravity.

❔ What makes ethiopian welo hydrophane opal more durable?

  • A hydrophane opal will rapidly absorb the water, the faster it absorbs the higher the more porous the opal. Most all of the Ethiopian Wello opal is of the type, hydrophane but of widely varying degrees of porosity. Hydrophane opal from sources other than Welo, Ethiopia have had issues of cracking from moisture absorbtion. More Durable...

❔ What the difference between australian and ethiopian opal?

Whereas Australian opal is mined from deep beneath the ground, Ethiopian opal grows in large volcanic deposits high up in the hills… The most notable variance of Ethiopian opal is that it is hydrophane, which means that when the opal is immersed into water, its colors, transparency, light and even size alters.

9 other answers

Many Australian black opals have hidden colour spectrum patterns deep within the opal so a blue opal can have hidden translucent colour bars with violet or purple hues that cannot be directly seen by the naked eye. Ethiopian opals have vivid translucent colour bars and patterns that are strikingly bright and are visible with the naked eye.

Water content: Ethiopian opal is hydrophane, whereas Australian opal naturally contains water and water does not alter its appearance Play of Color: Both exhibit a beautiful play of color, depending on the specific stone

Another critical difference is that Ethiopian opals are hydrophane; when immersed in water, they absorb it, change color and increase in weight. If you had any hesitation, these variables prove that Ethiopian opal is natural. So, if we know it’s a natural gemstone, what’s with all the fakes floating around?

Ethiopian Opals are mostly Hydrophane and do have a waxy different feel compared to other Opals. This can confuse new opal buyers. It is fine if the Opal feels like this. Look closely at the pattern in the Opal.

Check the country of origin. Most real opals are mined in Australia, which is the opal capital of the world. Russia and Hong Kong make high quality fake opals that some shady jewelers try to pass off as the real thing. If your opal does not come from Australia then you should seriously suspect its validity.

Small play-of-color flashes of orange and green predominate in a pinfire pattern, with spots of a more muted blue over a grayish bodycolor. Individual opals can vary widely in appearance and quality. As diverse as snowflakes or fingerprints, each gem can differ noticeably.

Ethiopian opal. With thanks to Hatton Garden-based gemstone supplier, Marcus McCallum FGA, for taking these striking photos of Ethiopian and Australian opals. Read more facts in The Opal Story by Andrew and Damien Cody, available in the Gem-A library. . Gem-A members can log in to read the full article Gems&Jewellery Spring 2017 / Volume 26 / No. 1

Side View of the Opal: When you look at the side of the opal check to see if it has distinct visible ‘layers’. Opal doublets are a slice of Opal attahced to a black backing while a triplet has this backing but also a third layer which is a clear, domed layer on top of the opal. The Back of the Opal: Next check the back of the Opal.

Let Justin teach you how to spot a synthetic opal with 3 simple tips so next time you are not sure if your opal is real you will have the tools to find out y...

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We've handpicked 6 related questions for you, similar to «How do you tell if an opal is ethiopian or australian?» so you can surely find the answer!

Where can i buy ethiopian welo opal online?
  • You can see a huge selection of Ethiopian Welo Opal here at Hi, I'm Steve Moriarty from Moriarty's Gem Art in Crown Point, Indiana. We represent ourselves online as Today, I'd like to discuss with you a new source of opals from Welo, Ethiopia.
Which is better ethiopian or australian opal?

Ethiopian Welo opal comes primarily in white and crystal varieties, both with strong play of color. In fact, the play of color (meaning the flashes of blue, green, and other colors that dance across an opal's surface) is stronger on average than what is seen in Australian white opals.

Why are ethiopian opal used in smoke treatment?

If you suspect your opal has undergone treatment, you should test it to see if it’s a hydrophane. To do this, look at your gem through a loupe in transmitted light. (A flashlight shining through the stone will do just fine). Next, place a drop of water on the stone’s surface. A non-porous opal will appear the same after the drop evaporates, but a hydrophane opal will absorb the drop. If you can see the outline…

Why did my ethiopian opal turned yellow?

Hydrophane opals have the ability to absorb water or liquids, similar to a sponge, resulting in a change of color that may turn the opal translucent yellow or brown and the play-of-color to disappear temporarily.

Why does ethiopian opal turned yellow?

Sometimes Ethiopian opals can turn yellow or brown and lose their fire. This would probably happen because the stone has been allowed to absorb water, which temporarily affects its color and fire. Once the stone is dewatered, it should return to its normal state.

Why is ethiopian opal so cheap?

It might seem a tad bit odd, but Ethiopian opals are cheap because they don't control the market. Sure, they are a bit rarer than Australian, but they have to compete with opal royalty. The only way Ethiopian opal sellers can turn a profit is if they offer their gems at a lower price point.