Hydrophane Opal

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 Hydrophane Opal

The most common opal species from the Wello area of Ethiopia

Hydrophane Opal

It absorbs large amounts of water and dries large amounts of water. After prolonged immersion in water, the opal's colour spectrum changes, almost all colours disappear. It will become completely transparent, sometimes milky, and the colours will be less visible, but there is no need to panic. Immediately after the opal dries, all the colours will return to their original state.

Non Hydrophane Opal

It has similar properties to Australian precious opals. They absorb much less water and their colour remains almost unchanged after immersion in water.


It is definitely a good idea to avoid very high temperatures, freezing and soaking in various oils.

Interesting fact

Opals were mined in Europe more than a thousand years ago. In Australia they have been mined for over 165 years, but in Ethiopia for just over 20 years and only 10 years ago did they appear on the market in large quantities. Louis Leakey (August 7, 1903 - October 1, 1972), a well-known anthropologist, discovered the first known opal remains in a cave located in Kenya. The estimated age of the remains is estimated to be 4,000 years BC and it is likely that they originated in Ethiopia. Interestingly, the oldest known opal may have come from Ethiopia and is now believed to be a newly discovered opal site.

Another interesting fact is that it sticks to the fingers and is thus distinguishable from fake opals. Today, these opals are also being treated with what is known as "Smoked Opal". When the opal is significantly darkened and the colours are much more pronounced. Any alterations should be stated by a good dealer at the time of sale.