The Brown Opal, otherwise known as Ethiopian Chocolate Opal, is aptly named for its predominantly dark brown color.
In the 90s, a new opal mineral was discovered in Ethiopia, specifically in the Mezezo region within the Menze Gishe District at Yita Ridge. The discovery put Ethiopia on the map as the sole source of the wonderful stone. Chocolate Opal may not be found anywhere else, which makes it a valuable contribution to the gem industry.
Identifying Brown Opal
Chocolate Opal is originally an opal, although it possesses a rather unusual characteristic compared to its traditional counterparts.
The first thing you’ll notice is how there’s a dominant shade of brown in tones that range from light to dark. Ethiopian Opal with darker brown hues is considered more valuable as these pieces put on a more intense play.
Brown Opal puts on quite a show and is a feast for the visual senses. High-end specimens display a superbly intense and vivid ‘play of color’, and can illuminate nearly all colors, even indigo, and turquoise.
The stone can range from opaque to somewhat translucent, with semi-transparent Chocolate Opals being the rarest. The luster is waxy, but this characteristic draws the viewer’s attention more to the colors on display rather than detract from them.
It’s not uncommon for a Brown Opal to have visible fractures, crazing, and cracks. The stone can break easily and is thus confined to a carrying gem or having a stationary spot in the house. There are smoked Chocolate Opal varieties for enhanced colors, as well as plastic, resin, and polymer impregnations that aim to preserve its state and stability.
Brown Opal Origin and Gemstone Sources
Unlike traditional opal, Chocolate Ethiopian Opal is formed by volcanic ash layers and in nodule clusters.
Although the stone possesses fiery colors, they are deposited in areas that are low in temperature. Its sole origin is in Ethiopia, particularly in Yita Ridge. However, there are only a few square miles to harvest and collect the mineral, which makes supply extremely limited.
Popular sources of other opal varieties include Australia (a top producer that supplies more than 90 percent), and other countries such as the United States, Turkey, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Guatemala, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Hungary.
Healing Properties and Benefits
Brown Opal offers several distinctive health benefits and healing properties for the wearer. The remarkable stone has physical healing, emotional healing, and spiritual healing characteristics that are wide-ranging yet supremely useful when worn for a long time.
The precious stone transmutes negativity from both the wearer’s environment and within, as well as increasing their psychic abilities so they can better communicate with other people. Brown Opal gives out a sense of security and can lift the person out of a state of depression.
Brown Opal tends to be a versatile physical healer, depending on the wearer’s weaknesses. The stone can improve eye health, as well as make the user’s skin, nails, and hair more lustrous.
For women, wearing or keeping this rare gem close can help alleviate pain associated with childbirth, as well as ease cramps and menstrual discomfort. The individual’s ability to excrete toxins and poison will become more apparent the longer they keep this special opal with them.
Lastly, bringing in a Brown Opal is believed to help improve heart and lung function, as well as the liver. All in all, it’s a truly versatile piece and a stone worthy of a spot in your home.
Peering into the depths of the Brown Opal is said to bring about a sense of calmness, so much so that the stone can act as a potent sedative. One of the best healing properties of this stone is its powerful effect on the wearer’s state of emotion, leading him or her to the path of the true self.
Aside from the calming effect, it’s a focus stone and brings clarity, confidence, and positivity. Over time, other emotional characteristics such as faith, loyalty, and purity are amplified to a degree.
Wearing Brown Opal can make dispelling negative emotions and energy that much easier. The individual will experience a gradual shift in contentment and happiness as time goes on, and he or she will become more loving, faithful, and accepting in the process.
Lastly, the remarkable stone offers uplifted emotions and provides a mirror for the wearer to view. In retrospect, that person will learn to appreciate their physical and emotional attributes and ultimately become a better person.
Brown Opal is a wonderful spiritual proponent, able to open the mind and bring with it new hopes and wishes. The wearer will have his or her mystical and psychic latent abilities opened through the stone.
Cosmic awareness will expand, and the individual’s insight and intuition will be improved. It’s worth noting that Brown Opal plays a huge role in eliciting lucid dreams, leading the wearer down the path to discovering the self sooner.
The stone acts as a guide down spiritual healing and is associated with Hermes and the planet Mercury. It attracts angelic energies as well as spirits of the water. Over time, the wearer will understand and shy away from materialism while strengthening his or her spiritual beliefs.
Brown Opal and Chakra
Brown Opal is similar to brown gemstones in terms of affecting specific chakra properties, namely the root chakra, the sacral chakra, and the solar plexus chakra.
The root chakra is mainly responsible for your sense of worldly stability. When the flow of root chakra energy is disrupted you’ll often feel out of tune with the rest of society and a bit confused. Bringing the Brown Opal opens your root chakra and allows the Earth’s energy to enter your auric field.
Once the root chakra is freed up, the energy from the stone travels to the sacral chakra. It’s the central point of confidence and desire, as well as where your passions and creative energy reside. Fear can clog the channel and decrease your self-esteem.
Lastly, the Brown Opal can elicit a positive reaction to the solar plexus chakra, which is where the central power resides. Indecisiveness can be fixed by unclogging the energy using the stone. Once it’s open, the Brown Opal reveals the authentic self, opens the energy path, and allows you to be the best version you can be.
Brown Opal Gemstone and Jewelry Care and Cleaning
Brown Opal owners should take special care when maintaining this rare stone. It’s delicate because it can break easily and form cracks.
The high water content makes it feel like a plant at times- you’ll need to make sure it doesn’t dry out, or else the stone will crack and fissure. To compound the problem, this type of opal is sensitive to extreme temperature changes and can exhibit damage if exposed to such environments.
It’s worth noting that dust can contain quartz, and wiping your Brown Opal with ordinary cloth can result in irreparable scratches. That said, it’s recommended that you use only a soft cloth that’s clean and free of minute debris. Before wiping, it’s best to run your gemstone under room temperature water to dislodge dust.
Do not use cleaning solutions or bleach as it can lead to discoloration. In the same manner, it’s not advisable to use an ultrasonic cleaner since the fine vibrations can cause unwanted fissures and crack. Remember that Brown Opal can’t withstand vigorous activities, so remove or put the stone in a safe and secure place before doing chores or exercising.
Once damaged, it will be very difficult, if not impossible to get your Brown Opal back to its original state. Unfortunately, there is no known repair process and you may be better off replacing it.
To keep your precious gemstone safe, you should store it in a sealed bag along with a damp cotton ball or small cloth to ‘hydrate’ the opal. Remember to check the moisture level every now and then and to top off the cloth or cotton with clean water as necessary. Make sure that the plastic bag that contains the stone is sealed and safe from harm.