7 June 2017
The October birthstone is one of the most lustrous and radiant of gems – an ever-changing depth of fiery iridescence – ever refracting, ever reflecting, always giving wonder and delight.
It is Opal. And it just might possibly be the perfect gift!
Ethiopian opals are one of the most amazing stones on the market. The plays of colours often go through the whole piece of rough, which make it an easier to produce a nice form with remarkable patterns as well as plays of colour that can be seen anywhere else in the natural world. This type of Opal has proved itself to be just as stable as any of the premium Australian opals but at lower prices.
During the time of the ancient Roman and Greeks Ethiopian opal was often perceived as a Promethean cut stone that had stole fire from the gods and give it to mankind. As are primand that the gods bestowed opal with a reaction to heat that would make the high-water content silica gel to dry out and break up, referred to as “crazing” by gem dealers.
Overall, Ethiopian opals are the new frontier and they have a beauty all of its own.
How To Identify Fake Ethiopian Opal
The popularity of Ethiopian Opals has exploded in the last few years.
- Ethiopian Opals are mostly Hydrophane and do have waxy different feel compared to other Opals. It is fine if the Opal feels like this.
- Look closely at the pattern in the Ethiopian Opal. Fake or synthetic Ethiopian Opal will usually be ‘too perfect’ and look man made. A natural opal will have less systematic patterns. They will also sometimes have a difference of colour or brightness across the Opal.
- Look for what gemologists call ‘Columnar’ structure or ‘snake skin’ pattern. This is the sign of a fake Ethiopian Opal.
- Look at the shape of the Ethiopian Opal; even a polished natural Opal will not be perfectly round or oval. Many times fake Ethiopian Opal will be perfectly round in shape.
Ethiopian Opals are valued for their bright flashes of colour. Ethiopian Opals are knobby-formed rather than seam-formed and have characteristically brown or dark-nodule patch. Ethiopian opals with their vivid sunburnt green and collectors prize red flashes and patterns. Ethiopian Opals have only begun to be mined recently. However, anthropologists report that around 4,000 years BC, early man used opals to make tools, which means that Africa mined opals even before Australia.
How to care for opals
This is what the GIA in American said about Opal “The hydrostatic SG of the opals ranged from 1.80 to 2.10. This broad range is in part due to the high porosity of some samples, as revealed by a significant weight increase after immersion in water (up to 8%).
The ancient Greeks upheld the opal as a sign of purity and hope. The ancient Romans believed opals kept the wearer safe from harm and called opals cupid paederos, child as beautiful as love.
The October child has been blessed with one of the most beautiful birthstones on this earth, many say the most beautiful. For thousands of years opals have been regarded as a source of imparting inner beauty and faithfulness to the wearer. For centuries royal families have included opals in crowns and necklaces as a talisman for protection, calling them the “Queen of Gems”.
An Heirloom For Life
Opals fit perfectly into all the phases of life – birth, setting forth, romance and giving, learning and loving, aging gracefully and contentment.
An opal birthstone is the perfect gift for the birth of a child – a treasure that grows in value and wonder as the child grows through to the years of grace.
The romance of opals is legendary. Cleopatra is said to have worn opals to attract Mark Anthony, Queen Victoria was a passionate collector, opals were set in the crowns and necklaces of rulers who believed in their protective powers, and Aborigines believe in the spiritual value of opals, believing they represent a sign or presence of an ancestor.
But it is not only in the halls of the famous that opals are found. They hold a precious place in the everyday gifts exchanged by loved ones.
One of the highest qualities of opals is their timeless beauty. Because of this, an opal necklace, an opal bracelet or other piece of opal jewelry is frequently treasured and handed down as a family heirloom.
Other opal information
- Opals are unique.
- Opals are extremely rare because of its play of colours.
- Opals’ colours can come in flashes of red, green, purples, sunset orange, yellows, pinks, blues and some even golden.
- The variety of amazing color play in the opal stone makes it interesting, mesmerizing and absolutely unique.
- The play of colors in the Opal are often referred to as “pin fire”, harlequin, rolling mackerel, ribbon mackerel, broad flash, peacock harlequin, floral harlequin, flag harlequin, broad flash, Chinese writing, mintabie harlequin, miontabie harlequin broad flash and broad pattern.
- Opals’ formation had been determined to have been made up of small uniform spheres of hard transparent silica that fits in a three dimensional order like on top of a “batch” of silica solution.
- The light rays go through the spheres that are transparent that when directly hit, it bends and deflects at different angular form and therefore produces a rainbow of color effect.
- Opals are now getting very popular with investors buying rare and exquisite gemstones that have a massive play of colors.
- Ethiopian Opals are brighter, more colourful and more translucent that Australian Opals