Ethiopian Opal

Ethiopian Opal is a newcomer on the opal market. It emerged in 2008 and gained popularity fast, thanks to a couple of factors: very competitive price, red-rich colour spectrum (red was traditionally rarest colour for Australian stones) and amazing patterns, unique to this deposit. Almost all Ethiopian opals are of hydrophane variety, characterised by ability to absorb a lot of water (up to 10% of weight). That can make them temporarily transparent, like crystal opals. Some stones can have their play of colour diminished while in that state, others will show their colours stronger. While dry, those opals usually belong to white and crystal variety with a small number having a dark base. Number of tests conducted by the GIA have shown that these new opals have very good toughness as none of the test samples broke after being dropped on the concrete floor from 1.5m. All things considered, this new type of opal certainly has some nice qualities and has already gained its fan base.

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