Australian Opal vs Ethiopian Opal: Difference & Benefits

Posted on April 19th, 2023 03:14 PM
Australian Opal vs Ethiopian Opal

The craze for gemstones is rising astronomically with each passing moment. There was a time when people were barely aware of the classification of gemstones. With the advent of Internet technology, extensive mining of gemstones, and globalization, people are more than educated about gemstones and their inclination towards the domain of gemstones is rising by leaps and bounds.

When we talk about opals, two mammoth and the most fabled types of opals always pop up in mind: Australian opal and Ethiopian opal. Gemstone lovers are literally fond of these two types of opal because of their unique physical properties, enchanting color and glitter, and heaps of healing and astrological benefits. This post is perhaps the most detailed comparison between Australian opals and Ethiopian opals on the web which states the difference between these two giant gemstones on the basis of origin, physical properties, color, benefits, and value.

Australian Opal vs Ethiopian Opal:


When it comes to opals, Australian opal is one of the renowned and sought-after types of opal, and for many good reasons. Australia has continuously been the world's Numero Uno source of opals for over a century and is home to some of the finest opal deposits on Earth. The major chunk of Australia's opal comes from the state of South Australia, with other significant deposits found in New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. Australian opals are known for their brilliant vibrant colors and unique patterns on the surface level, which are the result of the way the opal formed in the country's ancient underground aquifers.

On the other hand, the Ethiopian opal is quite a fresh discovery in the entrancing world of opals. It was first found in the Wollo Province of Ethiopia in 1994. Since then, Ethiopian opals have become an indispensable part of the gemstone world and Ethiopia has become an integral source of top-notch quality opals in the market. Ethiopian opals are primarily formed in volcanic rock which is why they are also known as "volcanic opals." They are typically lighter in color than Australian opals, with a greater range of colors and patterns. Ethiopian opals have a more opaque appearance than Australian opals, which means that they don't have the same level of transparency and clarity.

Physical Properties

You would be stunned to know that both Australian opal and Ethiopian opal are majorly composed of silica minerals which gives them their unique physical properties. By prominent gemologists, Opals are classified as amorphous, meaning that they do not have a crystalline structure like most other gemstones. Instead, opals have a non-repeating pattern of atoms that create their distinct and alluring appearance.

One of the most important physical properties of opals is their hardness. Opals are relatively less durable compared to other precious and semi-precious gemstones like ruby, emerald, or amethyst. They have a hardness rating of 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale. This means that they are more susceptible to scratches and chips than harder gemstones like diamonds and sapphires.

ethiopian opal Ring

Read More:- Pink Opal Healing Properties


Opals are widely popular and savored by fashionistas for their stunning array of colors, and eye-pleasing gleam which ranges from vivid reds, oranges, and yellows to deep blues, greens, and violets. The color of an opal is determined by the size and arrangement of the silica spheres within an opal, the redder it will appear, while smaller spheres produce green and blue colors.

Australian opals are known for their deep and vivacious colors which are the result of the unique geological conditions under which they were formed. The most valuable Australian opals are those that display a full spectrum of colors, also known as "rainbow opals." These opals are characterized by their vibrant flashes of color that seem to dance across the surface of the gemstone.

australian opal ring

Ethiopian opals, on the other hand, are known for their lighter, more pastel-like colors. Though Ethiopian opals have a wider range of colors than Australian opals and can display hues of yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple, they are less lustrous than Australian opals. Some Ethiopian opals also exhibit a unique phenomenon known as "play of color," which is similar to the rainbow effect seen in Australian opals.


Opals are said to have a variety of benefits, both physical and metaphysical. Here are some of the most common benefits associated with Australian and Ethiopian opals:

Australian Opals

Emotional Healing: Australian opals are believed to help release negative emotions such as anger, fear, and jealousy. They are also said to help promote emotional stability and balance.

Physical Healing: Australian opals are believed to help with physical healing, particularly with issues related to the eyes, skin, and immune system.

Spiritual Growth: Australian opals are believed to help with spiritual growth and inner transformation. They are said to enhance intuition and psychic abilities and to promote a deeper connection with one's higher self.

Ethiopian Opals:

Creativity and Inspiration: Ethiopian opals are believed to enhance creativity and inspiration, making them a popular choice for artists, writers, and musicians.

Emotional Healing: Like Australian opals, Ethiopian opals are believed to help release negative emotions and promote emotional balance.

Spiritual Growth: Ethiopian opals are also associated with spiritual growth and inner transformation, helping to connect the wearer with their higher self and deepen their spiritual practice.

Read More:- Opal Stone Benefits


When it comes to value, there are an array of factors that can affect the price of both Australian and Ethiopian opals. In this pointer, we have jotted down some of the key factors to consider when evaluating the value of Australian opals and Ethiopian opals.

Australian Opals

Rarity: Australian opals are considered to be some of the rarest and the most valuable opals in the world. This is due to the unique geological conditions that allowed them to form as well as the limited amount of natural opal that is mined each year. 

Color: The color of an Australian opal can have a significant impact on its value. Rainbow opals, which display a full spectrum of colors, are among the most valuable type of Australian opals. Whereas, Australian opals with low luster and minuscule color variations are considered to be of dire quality.

Size and Shape: Last but not the least, the size, as well as the shape of Australian opal, can also affect its value to a great extent. Larger opals are typically more valuable than smaller ones. Moreover, Australian opals with unusual or interesting shapes are also quite sought by gemstone collectors and opal jewelry enthusiasts.

australian opal ring

Ethiopian Opals:

Play of Color: The most valuable Ethiopian opals are those that exhibit vivacious and uniform color. This refers to the way that the opal reflects light and creates a rainbow-like effect.

Size and Shape: Like Australian opals, the size, and shape of an Ethiopian opal can fluctuate its value by leaps and bounds. The larger the size, the more valuable an Ethiopian opal is. Similarly, the more unique Ethiopian opals in size are, the more coveted they are in the International market.

Transparency: Ethiopian opals are generally more opaque than Australian opals which means that their extent of transparency can affect their value to a great extent. The more transparent Ethiopian opals are, the more desirable and valuable they are supposed to be.

ethiopian opal ring

In a nutshell, both Australian and Ethiopian opals are drop-dead stunning gemstones with a plethora of unique benefits and value. While Australian opals are generally considered to be more rare and more valuable, Ethiopian opals are known for their vibrant play of color and ability to inspire creativity. Ultimately, the choice between these two types of opals comes down to personal preference and individual needs.



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