Ethiopian opal is beautiful but very different to Australian opal.
Today, I show you how Ethiopian opal can be treated to look like glass or even turned black!
Quick and important disclaimer: the opal in this video is hydrophane opal, most of which comes out of Ethiopia, not sedimentary opal, which is what Australian opal is.
I get questioned daily on whether an opal is real or fake, worth the money or a waste of time and I get it! Buying a gem online can be confusing; there are so many marketplaces, listings, types, and prices.
Ethiopian opal is a beautiful gemstone, often used as a cost-effective way to make opal jewelry.
That being said, it’s important to me that you know the differences between Ethiopian opal and Australian opal before you buy.
What happens when you put an Ethiopian opal in water?
Let’s imagine you’re browsing for an opal ring online when you stumble across a gorgeous white opal speckled with flecks of your favorite colors. You look at the price and, wow! You’ve found yourself a deal! After waiting weeks for it to arrive, you get home one Friday afternoon to find it perched on your doorstep. You excitedly rip apart the packaging to see your glorious opal ring inside; putting it on your finger immediately to marvel at its beauty.
A few hours later, while washing the dishes, you glance down at your new ring and fill with dread. Your opal has turned clear as glass, and almost all color seems to have washed away. What happened?!
Ethiopian opal is renowned for being volatile under different circumstances, such as being soaked in water. This time-lapse shows you precisely what happens when hydrophane opals get wet.
Can you smoke an Ethiopian opal?
Let’s wrap it up, and see!
Smoke treating an opal (impregnating the opal with smoke by smouldering, that is) is a tricky way to get an opal to take up a darker body tone.
How to smoke treat an opal? Well, my idea was to wrap it up in paper and light it on fire.
I’ve never tried it before, so let me know if you know of a better way!
The results were a little different than I expected but show you how you easy it is to change an Ethiopian opals appearance.
My key takeaway for you is that hydrophane opal is beautiful but it is not as stable as sedimentary opal.
I like to make sure customers are educated on the many ways when buying online.
I hope you find this useful; let me know your Ethiopian opal experiences in the comments!