Dyed-in-the-Wool Opals?

When these purple opals were sent to the GIA laboratory in Carlsbad, the lab scientists immediately suspected that they had been dyed. Purple opals exist but are not known to display play-of-color like these specimens do. The lab scientists soaked these opals in acetone. After 54 hours, the acetone turned a light purple. After numerous other tests, the scientists concluded that these 'purple opals' are dyed hydrophane opals from Wollo, Ethiopia. Hydrophane opals are porous opals that readily absorb water. Their liquid-loving nature means that they can easily change color by being soaked in dye.

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