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I am hoping that you can answer me a question on whether or not the Orange Ethiopian Opals that are being sold on Ebay are real. I know that it is hard to tell without seeing the opal but they have good pictures and measurements. It's just that I have looked up opals on several sites and none look like what they are selling on Ebay. I don't want to buy something that is not real. Perhaps you can give me an answer without being put into a compromising situation. I have been looking at the ones specifically being sold by Wholesale gems on Ebay. Again, although they look pretty they do not look like the other opals on the web and so I am thinking that they may not really be Eythiopian Orange opals. I have bought stones before on Ebay and have been sold glass. Thank you for any help you can give me.

Answer
Australian Boulder Opal
Australian Boulder Opa  
Hello Jo Anne,
Thank you for your question ...
Ive seen many Ethiopian Opals on EBAY , they appear to in abundance at present .
Although the colour looks terrific .Ethiopian Opals are Hyrophane  ( that means they soak up water )
This is not good .This type of Opal is not stable and by simply  putting one in a glass of red wine the stone will turn red .... This means its porous and can lose its colour in time and often does .Sometimes they smoke the stones to make them look black , all kinds of tricks .Its quite a different creation process than Opal from Australia . While Australian Opal is more expensive , you will still have it in 10 -20 years time . I doubt if a Ethiopain Opal will still look good  after 2 years ! There are no guarantees what type of opal you get from dealers off EBAY , but make sure that you participate in refundable goods . If your making jewellery I would shy away from Ethiopian  and Buy Australian Boulder Opal it is very strong, colourful ,absolutely  unique and able to make unusual shapes  and is not so expensive.  Coloured glass on Ebay....? wow ! ..Its not really a good place to buy stones , often the sizes are deceptive and certainly colour and texture is very hard to determine. Although its convenient, you will be burnt somewhere along the line.
If your stuck on Orange colour  ...I would try a Mexican Opal before an Ethi ...from a reputable Opal dealer or gemstore...try Fire mountain  or even RioGrande  they carry stones of all types . Orange base colour is famous in Mexican Opal , but be careful there too as it is also of Volcanic Origin as is ethio...only Australian is formed in slow a non violent way {over millions of years }, making it more stable . I hope that helps ..best regards  Rod   
attached a split piece of Australian Boulder Opal...pretty !  

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Rod Keady

Expertise

all info pertaining to australian opals and opal fields is ok. online valuations is difficult but not entirely impossible. Photographs of stones should clearly show weight in carats and scale in mm. naturally photographs of opals are the hardest thing to take as a slight shift in direction displays a new colour or plane

Experience

Born into a pioneering opal family , now 48 yrs old , visited every opal field in australia, seen some of the finest stones ever produced . Sold high quality gems to japanese collectors and europeans and Americans
Have an incredible photogallery of opals ...try me !

Publications
The Directory of Australian Opal Dealers AGIOA Basel Gem Fair
Iwaki Dinosaur Fair Ibaragi Prefecture Japan
International Jewelry Tokyo .
Hong Kong Jewellery Show , Bankok Jewellery Show, Hiroshima Exhibition of Fine Gems, Tokyo International Jewellery Fair . various gem and jewellery WEBSITES

Education/Credentials
Sydney Grammar School graduate

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