Press Release: The Gemstone Industry & Laboratory Conference (GILC) formed an Opal Committee task force at their general meeting in Tucson this past February. Its purpose was to find useable nomenclature that could be applied to the newer hydrophane opals currently on the market. The GILC has determined that disclosure regarding this variety of opal coming from the Wollo district of Ethiopia be as follows:
Type 1 Precious Opal – Hydrophane
Special Care Required: Hydrophane generally indicates a material that is absorbent when immersed in liquid.
Keep away from cleaning agents, perfumes, oils and any liquids as they can be absorbed and may alter color and/or appearance.
Avoid sudden and extreme temperature changes. Avoid steam and ultrasonic cleaners; clean with a soft cloth.
We feel this is a concise and workable suggestion for the industry. Further, the GILC has made request that the gemological community raise the awareness and more clearly define the parameters of hydrophane tolerances. We suggest laboratories give this consideration for research.
For more than two decades, GILC has been a platform for industry stakeholders to address and discuss important issues related to nomenclature, consumer confidence, terminology as well as the better involvement of Certification and research laboratories. GILC is an invitation-only event.