Hoe verzorg je Ethiopisch Opaal?

How do you care for Ethiopian Opal?

Ethiopian Opal is a beautiful and special gemstone. The stone is different in every viewing angle and you will find several colors in it. It is a beloved gemstone with us and we know better than anyone that you have to be careful with this stone. Although Opal is precious and very beautiful, it is important that you know how to care for the Ethiopian Opal. In this blog I will first tell you what the stone actually is, so that you also understand why the care is important. Then I will explain how you can maintain the stone and what you can do when the color game is completely gone.

What is Ethiopian Opal

All (semi) precious stones are beautiful work of mother nature and so each stone has its own story. So is Ethiopian Opal. Opal is formed from a solution of silicon dioxide and water. As water flows through the earth, it picks up silica from sand and carries this silica-rich solution into cracks and cavities in the earth's bed caused by natural flaws or decomposing fossils. When the water evaporates, it leaves a silica deposit. This cycle repeats over very long periods of time and eventually opal is formed.

Visualize the inside of an opal, like a bag of marbles. The marbles are the silica spheres. Smaller spheres are formed more often and tend to break the purple/blue/green colors. Larger bulbs are rarer and tend to show off the yellow/orange/pink and red colors.

Different types of opal

There are different types of opal and the main ones are Ethiopian Opal and Australian Opal. It is a fact that the color play of Australian Opal disappears less quickly than Ethiopian Opal, but that this stone is (often) a lot more expensive than the Ethiopian variant. This has to do with the fact that Australian Opal contains less water + is usually non-hydrophane in nature and is therefore less sensitive to temporarily losing the play of colours.

Australian Opal is often found with a white base color with no iridescence, also called white opal. And the base color of Ethiopian Opal is fire opal.

Preserved Opal

Because Ethiopian Opal contains a lot of water, it is important never to shower, swim or do other similar things with this jewelry. You may now think that you better choose Australian Opal, because it is easier, but with the right attention, Ethiopian Opal is a beautiful stone to wear and also more affordable than Australian Opal! Summarized in a row:

  • Avoid contact with water
  • Avoid contact with chemicals
  • Maintain the jewelry with a dry and soft polishing cloth
  • Avoid strong sunlight

Has your Ethiopian Opal lost its play of colours? Finally, I'm going to explain how you can magically get it back!

Opal is discolored

Being hydrophane by nature, Ethiopian Opal absorbs moisture and temporarily loses its iridescence. The cause is often found in moisture. To get the color game back, you can do the following:

  1. Make sure the Ethiopian Opal is in a dry place and let it settle there for a while. Do this for 1 to 2 weeks.
  2. If you still do not see a difference, place the Ethiopian Opal under a yellow lamp for a while. Of course, don't put the stone directly on the lamp, because then the stone can burn. You should see a difference after one night, if not, try a little longer.
  3. Give it time and the color play will return in most cases. Isn't this so? Feel free to contact us.

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