How rare is ethiopian opal?

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Madaline Gottlieb asked a question: How rare is ethiopian opal?
Asked By: Madaline Gottlieb
Date created: Mon, Mar 15, 2021 11:18 AM
Date updated: Wed, Jun 29, 2022 8:07 AM

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Ethiopian Opals Are Rare

Ethiopia, on the other hand, has only a fraction of Australia's supply. And while these gemstones are rarer than Australian opals, they are surprisingly less expensive.

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It boils down to simple economics: when items are abundant, their value lowers. With easier access comes more purchases, and that would make the Ethiopian opals far less rare than they are today. Who knows what will happen in the future, but for now, Ethiopian opals are certainly the rarest in the world.

Ethiopia, on the other hand, has only a fraction of Australia's supply. And while these gemstones are rarer than Australian opals, they are surprisingly less expensive. Scratching your head yet? Many people wonder: why are Ethiopian opals cheaper? Well, although Ethiopian opals are rarer than Australian, there is still an ample supply available.

Unfortunately, this is the case with Ethiopian opals. Despite the prevalence and ample supply of stunning natural opals from Ethiopia, the market is riddled with fakes. Is Ethiopian Opal Natural? Absolutely! And it just so happens to be a stunning gemstone. Ethiopian opals were first discovered in the northern Shewa province in 1994.

Color And Brightness In Ethiopian Welo Opal. This refers to the fire within the opal. The translucent internal fire of these Ethiopian opals have properties that make the fire look 3D. This 3 dimensional colour aspect is rare in most opals. It looks like fire has been captured within the opal.

During that time as much as 95% of the worldwide opal production has been mined in Australia. Today, Ethiopia is on its way to becoming the second heavyweight in the opal market. A small discovery in 1994 put Ethiopia on the worldwide opal map. This was followed by important discoveries in 2008 and 2013.

He estimates that the piece weighs between 4,000 to 5,000 carats and, at up to his estimated value of $3,000 per carat, he sees millions coming his way. But the auction house he consigns it to values the piece at much less -- $150,000 to $225,000.

The real difference lies in the hydrophane quality. Australian opals are considered the most high-quality opals in the world, and they’ve got a reputation to prove it! Slowly, and without any major brand interference or marketing, Ethiopian opal has grown to become the second-largest supplier of opal in the world.

It changes the color and transparency of the stone which makes these opals quite unstable. Ethiopian opals can have issues of durability because of the hydrophane property of the stones. Cracking and crazing can occur when the stone absorbs water, lowering its durability. A hydrophane Ethiopian opal can lose the water it has gained if allowed to dry. This can take a few weeks, but once the water is lost, the opal will regain its original color and transparency.

It is said that pure Opal is colorless, but it is very rare to find, generally Opal is found with some amount of impurities in it, which makes it look even more beautiful. The hardness of this magnificent stone on Moh’s scale ranges flanked by 5.5 to 6.5, which, on the whole, depends on the structure of Ethiopian Opal.

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