Ethiopian Opals - a hint of Information

Hi Dee - I am Blaize, out of Durban, South Africa. The
unpronouncable Russian stone I cannot help you with, but perhaps I
can shed some light on Ethiopian opals. Several associates of mine
(gem-dealer colleagues) have been bringing Ethiopian opals into South
Africa for a number of years (5 or 6) now, including an amazing,
transparent type of Fire-opal (true orange body with good colour
flash of red, yellow, orange, green and specks of blue), white to
ivory yellow five-colour flash hydrophane opal (a relatively rare,
extremely porous stone that become transparent when hydrated), a
whiteish jelly opal, and by far the most common of all, common brown
opal. Ethiopian opals have picked up a bit of a bad reputation for
crazing and cracking, although the better/more reputable local
dealers here are now aware of this and have generally exposed their
material to the elements for a considerable amount of time prior to
releasing them into the market. The brown opal rough is obtainable
from about $1/gram upwards, hydrophane white opals cabbed trade
between $30/ct and $200/ct (depends on the dealer!) and the fire
opals are considerably higher - I recently sold a large one of near
20ct’s @ $450/ct - and that was a steal for the collector - everyone
who looked at it wanted to suck on it as it looked just like a big,
boiled sweet - a bit disturbing actually! There are also apparently
some true black opals that come out of Ehiopia, although I have not
seen any great stones personally. Any more info need, just
ask…Best, Blaize

Thank you, Blaise, for your helpful on Ethiopian opals.
Your detailed description of the various types and their market value
has reassured me that I have gotten a very nice specimen at a fair
price. Now to render it wearable…