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Ethiopian Opals - a hint of Information


#1

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


#2

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…

Dee