Why are ethiopian opal used in smoke treatment?

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Nedra Graham asked a question: Why are ethiopian opal used in smoke treatment?
Asked By: Nedra Graham
Date created: Sat, Jun 5, 2021 9:33 PM
Date updated: Fri, Jul 1, 2022 11:50 PM

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Top best answers to the question «Why are ethiopian opal used in smoke treatment»

  • Color enhancements can increase the marketability and price of the opal if not obvious or disclosed. For this reason, if a buyer wants natural-color opal, testing to confirm that the color is not caused by dye is important. Ethiopian opal with smoke treatment: The dark body color of this cabochon of Welo opal has been produced by smoke treatment.

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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…

We have seen violet colors from dying, and, although black opals occur naturally in Ethiopia, many are enhanced black color with smoke treatments. The color can and often is enhanced by enameling the back of the opal, which enhances the color of the Ethiopian opals that are highly transparent. This treatment is easily removed and has its benefits.

Ethiopian Opal Treatments Many Ethiopian opals are sold in their natural state, and some are treated. Their porosity makes them good candidates for dye, smoke, and sugar/acid treatments. All of these treatments, when disclosed, reduce the price of the opal to much less than natural opal with the same appearance.

This "old" technique (or similar approaches, all of which are still used today) affects only the surface and is easy to detect simply by applying a little saliva to the surface of the stone: if the fiery play of color is visibly reduced when wet but then returns to its more fiery character when dry, you know it is "smoked." When the Ethiopian material was cut open, however, it was discovered that the darkening effect penetrated the entire stone, and so normal, routine testing techniques used ...

New findings have shown that most, if not all, of the “black” Ethiopian opal now seen in the market is not what it appears to be! It is either treated by innovative new “smoking” techniques to obtain it’s black-opal appearance, or the material is not stable (that is to say, it will crack and break fairly easily, and quickly)!

Using Opticon, the process could be combined with other treatments, such as dyeing or sugar-acid treatment, to improve the durability and transparency of opal. Acknowledgement: The authors thank Jeffery Bergman of Primagem, Bangkok for providing and performing treatment on the Ethiopian hydrophane opal samples examined in this Lab Note.

Buy Smoked Ethiopian Opal Stones. Smoked Ethiopian Opal Stones direct from the mines of Africa. Smoked opal is the common terminology for these opals when they are actually more than just smoked but are now considered treated. In the early 1990’s a new type of Opal surfaced in Mezezo Ethiopia Africa and it is stunning.

Ethiopia is a major source for treated black opal. The treatment used on Ethiopian opal is an old smoking method which allows carbon to deeply penetrate the opal and enhance its color. There have been recently reported enhancements involving a combination of heat and sugar; stones are soaked in a sugar solution and then dipped in sulfuric acid.

Ethiopian opals come in a variety of colors and shapes. Ethiopian opals are generally larger (yet less expensive) than Australian. Ethiopian opals are considered rarer. Finally, Ethiopian opals also tend to be more durable and stable than other opals. These opals tend to resist damage or breakage more easily.

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