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What do you think about this black opal?

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
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May 1, 2009
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3,159
I’ve been reading older threads on this but have to admit that I’m still unsure so asking opal lovers here if this is a nice opal?
E17D3A30-42E1-44ED-BA34-9F4595B0A84A.jpeg 8CFD0205-F2C8-4382-A3E4-9C83221E904F.jpeg B281966B-4E5A-49E6-8AAF-A7F969182A13.jpeg 17C33265-F4D5-485C-B6E7-2EB5037CCAA4.jpeg EDC85794-FF89-4DBF-8EC3-4843885EBC8C.jpeg 087190C3-580C-4203-9C75-010EEA3C1612.jpeg 143BCEFE-A703-4794-B93D-CCD218C93A00.jpeg

It’s about 2.3ct and the opal is stated as approximately 15.5mm in height X approximately 10.1mm in width.

Came across this as I was browsing opals while still mulling over a peruvian blue opal that I’ve posted on another thread and was intrigued as typically any opals I’ve seen with some red in them are priced in the higher range. This can’t be posted in the $1250 thread but comes quite close so I’m fairly interested tbh.

So what do you think? Good buy or total mess (like am I missing that it’s a doublet?)? :oops2:
 

mellowyellowgirl

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Hehe no useful opinions but I love that you posted the ring pic cuz I just bought a jade cab with similar proportions (17 by 12) so I was excited to see this shape in a ring
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Make sure it’s not a doublet, but that’s a good price IMO. It does appear to have some dead areas face on, but it might be nicer in person. I like all the red in it.
 

icy_jade

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Are you asking because you’re considering purchasing it?
Umm can I be honest to say that I’m forever resisting new purchases? Which is why I post about new stuff all the time. It’s terrible. I feel like I need to join gemoholic anonymous or something.

But yes. Thinking... along with a few others I’m more certain about and could be caving in on soon. Tried not to and didn’t want to create a new thread to ask about this opal but I kept thinking about it. So ok be thick skinned and maybe I will learn new info about opals even if end up not buying.

It’s late here and I’m rambling...

Another opal I saw and feel like I’m gonna cave on soon if it doesn’t sell by the time I decide:

7DD4AB1B-7B93-4328-A5C2-ADFE59FC458F.jpeg

I really love water opals...
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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I had to google what a "water opal" is I was thinking to myself all opals have water what the hell is that, but then I googled it and it said Jelly opals, Mexican opals etc and I went aaaah :whistle:

Can you tell I'm an Aussie I'm used to seeing black opals, crystal opals etc.... which makes me kind of biased provided your first opal is a solid black opal that is a lot better quality of opal than the second one.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
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May 1, 2009
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3,159
Make sure it’s not a doublet, but that’s a good price IMO. It does appear to have some dead areas face on, but it might be nicer in person. I like all the red in it.
Dead areas means it won’t have the nice flashes right? I thought I saw that in the pics but wasn’t sure. So maybe that’s why the price is good?

The others I’ve seen/liked irl are easily much more $$$. Especially those with lovely domes. Still remember a stunning one I saw at the local show recently. Omg so nice but also omg when I saw the price tag. Then I carefully put it back. So stunned I forgot to take a pic lol.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
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May 1, 2009
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Hehe no useful opinions but I love that you posted the ring pic cuz I just bought a jade cab with similar proportions (17 by 12) so I was excited to see this shape in a ring
Is that the green cab with YG or another one?
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
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I had to google what a "water opal" is I was thinking to myself all opals have water what the hell is that, but then I googled it and it said Jelly opals, Mexican opals etc and I went aaaah :whistle:

Can you tell I'm an Aussie I'm used to seeing black opals, crystal opals etc....
Oh hahaha cos I like the clear Mexican opals and not the orangey fire ones as much... and then the Asian sites I browse gets translated to water opal. What is the correct terminology? Jelly means it’s not so clear? Water means is clearer? That’s what I remember reading before.

Good quality opals are not so common here so I seldom get to see them except during the local shows.
 

qubitasaurus

Brilliant_Rock
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Dec 18, 2014
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957
Which types craze? I have no paitience for taking off rings every time I wash my hands.

Maybe you enjoy the hunting for something? In which case it actually makes better sense to do a bit more extensive survey or a project that involves collecting a suite of stones for a band or matching something to create a more ellaborate piece (could even start small with something like a toi et moi) -- it'll be more of a challenge and may be more satisfying =)2.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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The first one is a good price for what it is provided it's a solid opal if it's a doublet or a triplet forget about it.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Umm can I be honest to say that I’m forever resisting new purchases? Which is why I post about new stuff all the time. It’s terrible. I feel like I need to join gemoholic anonymous or something.

But yes. Thinking... along with a few others I’m more certain about and could be caving in on soon. Tried not to and didn’t want to create a new thread to ask about this opal but I kept thinking about it. So ok be thick skinned and maybe I will learn new info about opals even if end up not buying.

It’s late here and I’m rambling...

Another opal I saw and feel like I’m gonna cave on soon if it doesn’t sell by the time I decide:

7DD4AB1B-7B93-4328-A5C2-ADFE59FC458F.jpeg

I really love water opals...
You have to be careful with some transparent opals like this because they can have no colorplay in certain lighting, and they always look better against a dark background.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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I've seen a popular IG seller and others stating you have to baby opals and you have to take them off when you wash your hands etc. Why? Are you washing your hands in acid? Opals are formed in water, they are cut in water, when you store and sell tiny pieces of opal with potch in those little jars like my in laws do when they sell them to kids and tourists, they store them in small containers with water also in them.

Things like bumping your hands hard up against something, and sudden drastic temperature changes are more likely to make them craze and we are talking severe here because again most Aussie opals come from hot climates.

Opals that can easily be damaged with water are doublets and triplets, and it's because if they are not sealed well at the sides when they are put together water can get in under the layers.

Some boulder opals you have to baby because they crack and crumble more easily because of the material they are in. This is great link for opal care;

http://www.opalsdownunder.com.au/learn-about-opals/introductory/how-care-opals
 
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icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
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May 1, 2009
Messages
3,159
Which types craze? I have no paitience for taking off rings every time I wash my hands.

Maybe you enjoy the hunting for something? In which case it actually makes better sense to do a bit more extensive survey or a project that involves collecting a suite of stones for a band or matching something to create a more ellaborate piece (could even start small with something like a toi et moi) -- it'll be more of a challenge and may be more satisfying =)2.
I really enjoy the shopping and buying but I’m all for instant gratification lol. Which is why I actually like readymade settings over custom projects.

From what I’ve read the welo/Ethiopian ones are unstable and will craze, doublets and triplets should not touch water. Other types seem to be fairly stable.

I don’t like to take off my rings too.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
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3,159
You have to be careful with some transparent opals like this because they can have no colorplay in certain lighting, and they always look better against a dark background.
Based on my limited experience with one opal:
- beautiful in the bathroom
- still nice in the office
- really really bleh in daylight
But omg it is so stunning under artificial light. It’s been described as ‘holographic’ by two different colleagues.
4FA2EFA9-9456-4269-B607-E3CC11250E10.jpeg

So I’m ok with clear so long the beautiful colors appear in office lighting which is where I spend most of my day anyway.

DDC579C3-8060-4D7F-93A2-DB73FCF9A9DA.jpeg

Just maybe this is more jelly than water so still able to resist for now.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
3,159
I've seen a popular IG seller and others stating you have to baby opals and you have to take them off when you wash your hands etc. Why? Are you washing your hands in acid? Opals are formed in water, they are cut in water, when you store and sell tiny pieces of opal with potch in those little jars like my in laws do when they sell them to kids and tourists, they store them in small containers with water also in them.

Things like bumping your hands hard up against something, and sudden drastic temperature changes are more likely to make them craze and we are talking severe here because again most Aussie opals come from hot climates.

Opals that can easily be damaged with water are doublets and triplets, and it's because if they are not sealed well at the sides when they are put together water can get in under the layers.

Some boulder opals you have to baby because they crack and crumble more easily because of the material they are in. This is great link for opal care;

http://www.opalsdownunder.com.au/learn-about-opals/introductory/how-care-opals
Thanks! That’s the site I just visited to check about doublets and triplets. Really great diagrams.

Singapore is forever hot... so I think quite safe that way? But welo opals will really craze. I’ve seen a real life example which is why I’ve hesitated on setting a welo opal with beautiful (imo) shape and color play and turned to Mexican opals instead.
 

mellowyellowgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Your opal is gorgeous Icy! Any photos of it looking blah in daylight?

It's so pretty in those pics and so colourful
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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Do Ethiopian ie "Welo" opals craze? According to this link it says not, I have a tiny number of opals from non Aussie origins but I've never had any issues with them, most of the opals I like and have dealt with are Aussie ones and I've never had an issue with those either;

https://www.moregems.com/pages/what-is-ethiopian-opal

I've seen a lot of Antique Aussie opals advertised for sale that have crazing in them.
 
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icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
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May 1, 2009
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3,159
Do Ethiopian ie "Welo" opals craze? According to this link it says not, I have a tiny number of opals from non Aussie origins but I've never had any issues with them, most of the opals I like are Aussie ones and I've never had an issue with those either;

https://www.moregems.com/pages/what-is-ethiopian-opal

I've seen a lot of Antique Aussie opals advertised for sale that have crazing in them.

Mexican opals are identified as ones that craze more easily in this article;

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-does-water-do-opals-david-weinberg
This is from an older thread:
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/is-this-what-youd-call-a-crazed-opal.174812/

The article you linked says Mezezo deposit and not Mexico? From what I’ve read about Mexico opals, they are relatively stable as well.

Re: Ethiopian opals, the problem is I do live in a rainforest zone so the bolded part concerns me... :P2I’ve read about this in other articles as well.
However, the color stability of Ethiopian opals is not a critical problem since the stones can always be dried out and in a week or two. When the water has been removed, they will return to their original color and weight. These opals generally look best in dry climates and may become transparent or dull with brownish areas as they absorb moisture. If you live in a dry or desert like climate these opals will always look great, but if you reside in a rain forest, your Ethiopian opals will look completely different.
 

Acinom

Ideal_Rock
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May 15, 2013
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Like it!
Beautiful colour play and a good price. Make sure there is a good return policy as opals are hard to photograph and are so much different in real life.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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I stand corrected. I guess those are the ones you should avoid, those and some Antique Aussie ones that also have crazing, there are a lot of those listed on places like Etsy, Ebay and IG.
 

GliderPoss

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I think the first one is probably a doublet or triplet, and I'm not a fan of the setting personally so depends on whether you are factoring that into the price.

Just be careful with Mexican/Ethiopian opals as I think they often photograph very differently than they appear in real life!
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
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May 1, 2009
Messages
3,159
I think the first one is probably a doublet or triplet, and I'm not a fan of the setting personally so depends on whether you are factoring that into the price.

Just be careful with Mexican/Ethiopian opals as I think they often photograph very differently than they appear in real life!
How do you tell if it’s a doublet? I was looking for a line but couldn’t see... or is it the black back? :confused:
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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23,065
Based on my limited experience with one opal:
- beautiful in the bathroom
- still nice in the office
- really really bleh in daylight
But omg it is so stunning under artificial light. It’s been described as ‘holographic’ by two different colleagues.
4FA2EFA9-9456-4269-B607-E3CC11250E10.jpeg

So I’m ok with clear so long the beautiful colors appear in office lighting which is where I spend most of my day anyway.

DDC579C3-8060-4D7F-93A2-DB73FCF9A9DA.jpeg

Just maybe this is more jelly than water so still able to resist for now.
Your stone is much nicer than the one you’re contemplating.
 

ForteKitty

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 7, 2004
Messages
4,451
I've seen a popular IG seller and others stating you have to baby opals and you have to take them off when you wash your hands etc. Why? Are you washing your hands in acid? Opals are formed in water, they are cut in water, when you store and sell tiny pieces of opal with potch in those little jars like my in laws do when they sell them to kids and tourists, they store them in small containers with water also in them.

http://www.opalsdownunder.com.au/learn-about-opals/introductory/how-care-opals
I saw that too and laughed, since I store my opals next to a cup of water and soak little cotton balls to place on top of their boxes. Occasionally I give them a good soak. Opals love water!
 

ForteKitty

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
4,451
I stand corrected. I guess those are the ones you should avoid, those and some Antique Aussie ones that also have crazing, there are a lot of those listed on places like Etsy, Ebay and IG.
Isn't crazing caused by excessive drying though? They're cracks. Antique Australian opals were mined much longer than Welo and Mexican opals, so they've been drying out for 100+ years. Some opals will absorb water but that doesn't cause crazing, it only temporarily changes the colors.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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Isn't crazing caused by excessive drying though? They're cracks. Antique Australian opals were mined much longer than Welo and Mexican opals, so they've been drying out for 100+ years. Some opals will absorb water but that doesn't cause crazing, it only temporarily changes the colors.
Depends on lots of things to be honest I mostly only deal with Aussie opals because the in laws sell them so I don't see a lot of the other types of opal. Yes, to the drying but what causes the drying? Temperature changes over a long period of time and dramatic temperature changes over a short period of time and things like humidity would be my answer.

I've seen 100+ year old Aussie opals in Antique pieces in excellent condition and some that were crazed, so what impacts the ones that craze versus the ones that do not - several things like the base of potch they are in, how they have been treated over time (my husbands now dead very old grandmother had an opal ring she wore nearly every day, it was both heavily worn and lightly crazed) they aren't stones that take every day wear if you work a lot with your hands. And by that, I mean I come from a family of people that wash up dishes, wash cars and so on all by hand so rings that are not taken off are exposed to what most of us would consider pretty tough sorts of treatment, things diamonds can withstand, but conditions in which most gemstones would wear over a long period of time.

And the final thing is temperature changes, climate and weather. The best example I can think of is my father in law has these amazing Mudstone/Sandstone huge round natural stone balls like marbles (some so big you can sit on them) he found locally, I love these things they have them sitting outside in their garden and around their shop, not for sale on display. I like them so much I've asked him for a couple of them.

Where these fabulous rocks come from has a fairly cold climate and what Americans would consider a hot climate, where I live, is a hot tropical climate 12+ hours North of them. I've gotten 3 of these rock balls or huge marbles whatever you would like to call them and each one has basically just exploded or cracked and then fallen apart over a few months (I think 9 months was about the longest I managed to keep one before it cracked). Is it hotter where I live than where they live? Not exactly, but it IS way way more humid. The only thing I can think is that the humidity changes have cracked and dried out these stones, because the ones that live where my in laws live in their natural environment are fine, they don't dry out (despite severe weather conditions) and they don't crack and fall apart like they do where I live.

So if these huge round rocks can do that, just imagine how opals can react with water inside them. I keep seeing all these vendors on IG saying oh you shouldn't wash your hands with opals on - doublets and triples no you shouldn't, solid untreated opals are fine provided you are not putting your hands in scolding hot water or water with ice. So don't wash the dishes in boiling hot water wearing your opals. If you go on holidays to somewhere tropical don't take your opals. If you live in a part of the US with lots of snow and ice don't then suddenly expose your ring to anything really hot.

I've sent opals all around the world when they go as shipping cargo on planes I'd guess they are exposed to extremes of temperature in the cargo hold and they arrive in perfect condition, so my theory is that it's a combination of things like humidity or an excessively dry climate and/or rapid changes in temperature or mistreatment over a long period of time or a combination of all of those things that have the most severe impact.

Smoked or treated opal, that's a whole different story.
 
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