Ethiopian Opals are valued for their bright flashes of colour. Ethiopian Opals are nobby-formed rather than seam-formed and have characteristically brown or dark-nodule potch. Ethiopian opals with their vivid sunburnt green and red flashes and patterns are prized by collectors.
Gondar, Wello a new field only worked in the last few years, is more of a crystal formation than the original Ethopian opals. These too are valued for their bright colours.
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.
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 hasproved 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 areprimand that the gods bestowed opal with a reaction to heat that would make thehigh-water content silica gel to dry out and break up, referred to as “crazing” by gem dealers.
These stones have attracted some stone enthusiasts who have made it a foundation of their business. Until late last year, all Ethiopian opal was available along the Yita Ridge, an opal fields, 150 miles northeast of Addis Ababa. There is a good reason for this it not only produces the prettiest colours in the marketplace but it is also the best value. In the beginning this actually put Australian opal dealers out of the market and into Ethiopia where they can purchase opal for less than what it costs to mine it in Australia.
The well-known Australian fields of Lightning Ridge, Andamooka, and Coober Pedy were all established between 1900 and 1928. It was not until 1990 when Ethiopian opal was discovered and commercial production begun in 2008.
Ethiopian opal is becoming more popular as alternatives such aswell-enhanced grade triplet and doublet opals are becoming more complicated to obtain. Approximately, 30% of the doublet material now originates from Brazil and is combined with the Australian material.
In addition this opal occurs in broad-flash and hydrophane varieties which is often significant for Brazilian and Australian buyers who appreciate the colour. Overall, Ethiopian opals are the new frontier and they have a beauty all of its own.
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