Why don’t you sell Ethiopian Opal?
The Ethiopian Opal comes out of the ground looking like a brown beer bottle and requires substantial treatment to get it to show colour. The chemical treatment is effective but is not permanent. We have been contacted by numerous customers who have suffered the shock of this treatment being reversed. This is a problem that the world bank suggests goes right back to a failure in policies set by the Ethiopian government. The customer is often not told about this....and this is the problem.
The future of Synthetics
Man-made, lab created, treated and cheated gems are a massive problem. These are everywhere! The biggest problem is that the tests to check are sophisticated and expensive. This is the biggest problem. Traders will always want to make a ‘quick buck’ and the trend for ‘throwaway’ jewellery increases we will only “Sell you what we tell you”.
Synthetic Opal is a global problem. The great threat is that it is often presented as "Australian Opal" and there are no tests to actually determine the difference between Ethiopian Opal that is treated and the untreated material.
documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/386891474020338559/An-analysis-of-the-commercial-potential-of-Ethiopia-s-coloured-gemstone-industry. This is causing a huge problem and affecting the White Opal industry. abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/04/28/3202485.htm
If it is a "Treated Opal" it should SAY SO! and should define the type of treatment and process (if known) and Composite Opals should always disclose the "Type" of composite, i.e. doublet, triplet, mosaic or chip opal. Any indication of the origin of opal, by the use of geographical location, should not be used unless it is qualified as an indication of the type of locality only as recommended by the International Confederation of Jewellery, Silverware, Diamonds, Pearls and Stones (CIBJO) e.g. Lightning Ridge type black opal. It would be considered misleading and deceptive to call (say) a Triplet a "Lightning Ridge Black Opal".
The classification reports for the following types of Opal should include the following (and should be disclosed on every type of Opal):
The definition or statement that it is actually a "Natural Opal" and define the:
* Type of opal
* Variety of opal, as black opal, dark opal or light opal with a body tone value classification from N1 (black) to N9 (white) based on the Scale of Body Tone
* Transparency as opaque, translucent or transparent. Make note if it is crystal opal
* Weight and dimensions