Cloudy opal?

Ask anything about getting started with opals and gemstones here

Moderators: PinkDiamond, John

User avatar
Posts: 2462
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:06 pm
Location: Denio, NV USA

Cloudy opal?

Postby SwordfishMining » Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:46 pm

Opal is NOT the same from every mine. NEVER OIL AN OPAL THAT HAS NOT ALREADY CRAZED granted a lot of sellers of Australian material recommended it in the past.
That is not the worlds opal, just the most opal in the worlds stores. E opal is a hydrophane opal that resembles a sponge more often than not like SOME American & Mexican opal which will absorb water or oil and generally become more transparent with the play of color changing. Dimmer, not as bright, as a rule.
To redry the stones to restore the brighter play of color; On the recommendation of a seller of Ethiopian gems on Opal Auctions when I was there & a member of the Opalholics Anonymous Forum Welcome to! (viewforum.php?f=13) (Full of ALL opal Info we find), put my wet & now clear rough dried on a cookie sheet in an oven at 150 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour or so. NOT A STONE CRACKED ON ME OUT OF POUNDS rough, but i wont promise every single stone is the same as my parcel. It all went back to the original bright look before being wetted.
I live in a desert at altitude, our opal will crack as you hold it, if it is unstable after you mine it, without being put in water. OR if it does not crack & dried, its not going to craze later after the cutter/seller made a gemstone any more than some other opal. I’ve been watching this for decades now and follow the $$$. We do not have a resource to exploit by volume in Nevada being located inside a Wildlife Refuge.
Oh & repeated washing with a solvent like acetone can remove pollutants if contamination is the problem but DONT let the solvent dry the opal. Make sure you wash the solvent back out with repeated rinsings of clean water. Then it should dry, cleaned, and the original look. NO promises this works on Australian “sedimentary” opals to restore those dead stones, but that is where oiling cracked opals originated and was advised to stave off possible crazing. The hydrophane opals have accelerated NOT slowed drying under those conditions.
Opal is alive with its mandatory variable water content, so anything might happen to any individual stone, but if the stone was dead before you tried my proven method, nothing was lost. You'll notice many disappointed investors try to sell off crazed gemstones if you look close at the pictures. Perfection is what makes these more common stones worth the high prices.
Matrix opals are a whole different story as they vary around the world too in what they are just like doublets and triplets are not solid opals. Most Australian matrix is with a skin deep treatment that Louisiana, Honduran, Guatemalan, Mexican & others cant use as they are not the same “sponge”.

This was a Quora answer.

Return to “Beginners Area”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest