Ethiopian Opal vs. Australian Opal

Have you always wondered about the difference between ethiopian opal vs australian opal? Since both come from the same formation, it is common to think that they would be almost identical in reflective properties. But that is not true. But before we deal with it in detail, let us know briefly about opals. Opal is a top-rated precious stone, and it is an opaque mineral with a soft, soapy, or waxy feel. 

What is an Opal?

Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, one of the most famous locations for this gemstone. It is prevalent and has a unique appearance, as it contains many colors. Every Opal is a natural gemstone with its unique beauty, so it’s no surprise that opals have been prized throughout history. 

The most common Opal exhibits a mosaic pattern consisting of small interstitial spaces filled with countless extremely tiny silica spheres. So which one to buy, Ethiopian Opal vs. Australian Opal? 

Ethiopian Opal vs. Australian Opal: What are the distinct properties?

ethiopian opal vs australian opal

Australian opals:

Australian opals are one of Australia’s most extensive and valuable gemstones mined. Recognized as the national gemstone, they are also considered a symbol of good luck and healing, which is why they have been treasured for centuries.

The most significant difference between those two types of opals is their price. Although there are some scarce types of Australian opals as expensive as Ethiopian ones, like boulder opals, blue-white black fire, or crystalline, they are rare and tough to find. Some of the characteristics of Australian opals are mentioned below:

  • It has a special play-of-color that cannot be found in any other gemstone. The body color can range from white to black and everything in between.
  •  It can have iridescence like a rainbow or a combination of blue and green colors. It can also have a metallic sheen, depending on how light reflects off it.

  • There are varieties and variations of the Australian Opal. Varieties of this valuable gemstone are:
  • The precious opals’ bright green and blue hues are due to iron impurities. 
  • The boulder opals form when the cracks in rocks are filled with iron oxide, so they look black. 
  • The black Opal is a precious stone with a relatively dark background color and a strong play of colors.

Ethiopian Opal:

Ethiopian Opal, also known as ” Ethiopian opal ” is a variety of Opal mined in Ethiopia. It is found either in small, transparent spheres or teardrop-shaped stones with an appearance similar to a raindrop or oil bubble.

Ethiopian Opal is a mineral that is mined in the country of Ethiopia. It is a very precious stone that has been used for many centuries as decoration, jewelry, and in religious practices. Some of the characteristics of this new kid on the block of gemstones are:

  • Ethiopian Opal grows in large volcanic deposits found high up in the hills. 
  • One of the essential characteristics of this Opal is the stunning play of color that adds elements to the stone. 
  • The majority of the opals are Hydrophane which means they absorb water.
  • Some Ethiopia Opals include Precious Opal, Fire opal(“Welo” opal ), Hydrophane opals, etc.

Ethiopian Opal vs. Australian Opal: Which one is affordable? 

So the central question that comes to one’s mind is why the Ethiopian Opal is way more affordable than the Australian Open. The primary reason behind this is that both countries have their process of mining opals which have their share of difficulties. 

When it comes to ethnicity, the miners have to climb the rough terrains of The Ethiopian Hills, whereas, in the Australian Open, the miners have to dig deep in the earth’s surface to get the Opal. Australian Opal has a massive source of opals and is expensive compared to Ethiopian opals because the latter is way easier to work with and facet.

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Ethiopian Opal vs. Australian Opal: What are the significant differences?

We already know that both stones have different properties from different countries. When we talk about some of the significant differences between Ethiopian Opal vs Australian Opal, then are here are some that come to one’s mind: 

  • In terms of the color of the stones, both provide stunning colors with their specific element, so they are not similar.
  • The significant difference between the stones is that Australian Opal is way more expensive than Ethiopian Opal. 
  • Australian Opal has been known as a prestigious stone for a long time in the Gemstone market, whereas Ethiopian Opal is the new kid in the world of Opal. 
  • Australian Opal stones contain water naturally, and it doesn’t alter their appearance whereas, Ethiopian opals are Hydrophane.

So now you are wondering whether you should buy Australian Opal or the Ethiopian Opal and which one is better than the answer is that it depends on you and your choice. Both the stones are precious and have their property, so choose the one that lures you in!

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