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Ethopian Opal, Soaking In Water 

Ethopian Opal Loses Color When Soaked In Water. Why? 

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It has been a few decades now that opals have been mined in Ethopia. We will refer to these opals as Ethopian opals though, some gem traders call them African opals. It is said that opals mined in Africa were used to make tools - this was many thousand years before opal mining began in Australia.

We have compiled this report for an important reason. Our support experts have received quite a few desperate emails in recent months. Jewelry lovers soaked their opal rings in water for a few hours, they were shocked to see that the opal became colorless after that. Another young lady from France, had a gorgeous opal necklace gifted to her by her husband. She soaked the opal necklace in water overnight, and literally cried when the stones lost their color - all she could see were the tiny color flashes. The base opal color which was a yellowish brown had disappeared. Just to clarify the situation, none of these buyers had purchased their opal gems or opal gem stone jewelry from us. In any case, we wanted to help provide explanations and advice to them - a satisfied gem and jewelry lover is a tremendous asset to the industry.

There was a common element in all these opal related emails. The buyers did not care or think of asking the origin of the opal gemstones from the jewelry shops where they were purchased. The finally did a check after we requested for more information, the answer was the same - these were Ethopian opal gemstones. These gorgeous looking opals are in some ways different from Australian opals. Ethopian opals are hydrophane opals, don't worry about the confusing word, we will explain the term in simple terms. In the case of hydrophane opal gems, the stones can lose their base color if soaked in water. If the opals originally had little or no color play, they will end up looking almost transparent and lifeless. On the other hand if the opals did have color play and flashes before they were soaked in water, you will end up seeing color flashes on a colorless background. What is important is that you do not worry or panic. Allow the Ethopian opals to slowly dry out, the original color will then reappear on the gems. It is important not to try to hasten the drying process, no blowers, heaters or hair dryers are recommended.

So are jewelers and gemstone sellers aware of the fact that Ethopian opal gems lose color when soaked in water. The answer is not an easy one, if all the gem provider did was to buy and sell the gems - he might not be aware of this interesting phenomenon. On the other hand, gem providers who know Ethopian opals right from the rough to the final cut stage, are likely to be aware of this. An interesting thing about Ethopian opal gemstones is the rapidly increasing price. There was a time when Ethopian opal gemstones cost very much less than Australian opals. This trend is changing and opals from Ethopia today command premium prices for top quality stones.


We do hope that the above report on Ethopian opals has been interesting and useful. Most gem and jewelry buyers do not care to explain facts to buyers. They are either too busy trying to make a sale or worry that complete disclosure could discourage buyers. The fact is that the buyer is spending money and has a right to know all details. It is also true that a better understanding of the gem and jewel will allow the buyer to take better care and get longer satisfaction from owning the gemstone or jewelry. Directstones provides opals and other gems in all shapes and sizes. Every gem is handpicked and custom cut, and we do not stipulate any minimum order requirements in terms of quantity or value. You can even request for one single gem to be custom cut to your requirements. This online gem resource is managed by Kaisilver, the world's leading online custom jewelry provider. You can therefore order just the gemstone or request, for a complete jewel to be custom made according to your design or ours. All jewellery is custom made in gold or sterling silver with gems and design of your choice. We prefer to provide information to buyers and let them make their own decisions based on facts. If you need any information or would like to clarify any doubts related to gems or jewelry, email us at sales@kaisilver.com We will be glad to help and you will never be under any obligation to make a purchase.


Related Resources: African Opal Rough    Opal Gems    White Opal Gemstones   Opal Rings   Claddagh Opal Rings 


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