Back to IGS | FAQ | Contact

Ethiopian Crystal Opal not called 'Crystal Opal'?

I just had a cranky Australian tell me that ‘Ethiopian opals can never be crystal opals, only Australian Crystal Opals should be referred to as Crystal Opals’

I’ve never heard this before, anyone else want to chime in on this?

1 Like

Your cranky Australian is incorrect. " If the opal body is transparent or translucent instead of opaque, the gem is called “crystal opal”." - direct quote from IGS opal specialist mini course- “8 Opal types explained”
:purple_heart:Brandy

4 Likes

Some Aussies can be rather cranky about opals, and they are often wrong especially when it comes to Ethiopian opals. I cut Andamooka opals in the outback of Australia from 1970-74 so I can speak from experience. The term “crystal opal” has nothing to do with origin, and everything to do with the characteristics of the material regardless of what hole in the ground it came out of. Some Aussies have a bad habit of baselessly trash talking Ethiopian opals as they are trying to protect their market. My article “Ethiopian Opals:Facts, Fears and Fairytales” published in The Australian Gemmologist addresses some of these issues:

6 Likes

Thanks, that’s kind of what I figured but thought it was a good idea to get a second opinion on it.

1 Like