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 Post subject: Low grade opal or trash?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:32 am 
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I was supposed to buy a blue greenish Ethiopian opal, but received an opal in a completely different color. I think, it might be a low grade opal since it does not experience a fixed lizard pattern of counterfeits, but I do not know if plastic or glass fakes could be already so evolved that they reflect light very efficiently. I think, I was probably sent a different product on the purpose, but it is also possible that the seller messed up. In any case, this is not really what I "wanted", but I would like to know if what I was sent is any kind of stone to begin with.

I have linked two videos. They are sometimes a little out of focus, but the camera focuses again. I mainly suspect the stone since I am not convinced that the ring is 100% sterling, but I have to say that the stone experiences some qualities that are not at least typical for the worst counterfeit opals I have seen.

In the room light the stone does not look very transparent and it experiences some reddish and bluish shades as well in addition to the shades seen on the video. In the dim light the stone looks more transparent and has radically "brighter colors". It is not clear on the video, but it glows reddish.

Day light in a room:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/10VjKc7 ... sp=sharing

Fluorescent dim:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o3ZmJa ... sp=sharing

Yeah, I know the videos are not really good, but best what I could come up with.


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 Post subject: Re: Low grade opal or trash?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:35 pm 
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The opal looks fine to me.
Decent Commercial quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Low grade opal or trash?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:31 pm 
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Yup, that looks like a classic natural Ethiopian opal. Be careful with any opal in a ring. Some will absorb oils/hand creams, no opal likes thermal shock (like going from hot to cold water) and their relatively low hardness means they'll scratch easily if you aren't careful. But they look so darn good in a ring that there will always be a market for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Low grade opal or trash?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:08 pm 
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Okay, it is good to hear that it is an Ethiopian opal. I had tried to purchase a specific "Ethiopian opal" or whatever opal it was supposed to be and it was much more blue in the pictures. This has some blue too, but only a very little so it is not probably the same stone. This one has only a little blue. Anyway, it is OK I guess since the price was relatively low and I cannot really obtain any kind of authentic opal from the internal market of my own country in the same price since opals are not imported in large quantities and most of the imported ones are sold in extremely expensive prices. I do not think I ever saw a genuine opal in real life. Even imported "genuine" opals are maximum doublets or triplets. I think, I am always a little suspicious about opals since I have got used to the idea that seeing a counterfeit one is more common than finding a genuine one.


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 Post subject: Re: Low grade opal or trash?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:56 pm 
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What is this country of yours where only fake opals can be found ? :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Low grade opal or trash?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:50 pm 
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Isi wrote:
What is this country of yours where only fake opals can be found ? :shock:


I live currently in Finland. We have some small businesses importing opals, but they do import mainly considerably higher grade opals costing above 800 euros a piece or mainly deal Australian opal doublets or triplets. They also have some cheaper options, but they are very pricey compared to what I paid for this ring. Some independent jewelers and high end jewelers may also work with opals. Randomly opals are also found especially from stores selling Antique jewels. Finnish mainstream jewelry chains, which sell gold and silver jewelry mainly sell quite low quality bulk. So if they advertise an opal ring you can be 99% sure that it is going to be a synthetic/lab created opal. I would say that genuine opal stone jewelry is not really very "mainstream".

However, the amount of money I spent on this ring from a Finnish perspective is very low. This is a commercial quality opal that is very generic, but it was basically "free" since the sum would not really buy here any kind of silver ring with any sort of semi-precious stone or gemstone. Purchasing a similar ring would be tremendously more expensive in here since the stone is a "genuine opal" even though this kind of Ethiopian opals are generally more affordable than Australian opals.

Also variety within our market is very limited unless you go for the "expensive options". I have not purchased from this specific supplier earlier, but I generally buy silver jewelry for myself from several different suppliers around the world. Many of the suppliers are also manufacturers. You can really forget about the idea of coming across Matrix Opals, Mexican fire opals, charoite or semi-precious jewelry stones like seraphinite. I believe that seraphinite is a trade name for a particular form of clinochlore. These stones are not generally available within the Finnish market. For example decent quality seraphinite or even something so basic as rhodochrosite is not necessarily widely available and if some silver jewelry will be sold within the Finnish market the selection will be generally grossly overpriced or limited compared to options overseas outside of EU/EEA, elsewhere in the EU or within the US.

I generally buy only stones, which I can recognize since I am able to tell apart some stones from fake ones.

I own a lot of silver jewelry with different types of stones. If I would have to shop within the Finnish market I would own a much smaller amount of less attractive pieces of jewelry since purchasing different styles and designs simply would not be affordable.


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