Ebola Black Opal Crisis
In my opinion ,the black opal industry is heading to crises like Ebola if action is not taken now.
Hundreds if not thousands Ethiopian opals are now sold as black opals each month and many unsuspecting buyers think they own a natural black opal.
Last week I had a buyer on my site ask why ebay black opals are so cheap. I found a $5.99 “museum grade opal” and I noted hundreds incorrect misleading auctions.
Recently a lightning Ridge opal cutter visited GCOGC on the Gold Coast and showed a 17ct Lightning Ridge opal for $20K,
Owner knew they were smoked Ethiopian opal but the seller insisted he just came from ridge, not after lengthy discussion did he admit to buying on eBay from a Thai seller as natural black opal.
Also at the Hong Kong trade show Ethiopian opals displayed in volume as natural black opal
Even Google plus has Ethiopian black opal images
I bought this subject up at Australian Opal association meeting that eBay and other online markets are flooded with inaccurate or fraudulent descriptions. Here are some examples:
Ethiopian opal listed as:
- Lighting ridge black opal
- Australian black opal
- Erita black opal natural
- Black opal natural
- Kalimaya Black opal
At the meeting it was decided to approach these sellers and inform these sellers about incorrect description
It was noted that eBay sellers have been approached before and most come back with the same response
“Sorry Sir I have been in the gemstone industry for 20 years and buy from good friend and he informs me they are natural black opals”.
Comment was noted that best way is to inform sellers that the local authorities will be informed about their fraudulent activities.
In my opinion most sellers do have product knowledge but are purely Scum as profits must be astronomical for these unethical sellers
There is a market for Ethiopian opal but low grade unethical sellers are doing harm to all in the opal industry.
If buyers lose confidence in black opal we will all suffer
I made list of sellers selling inaccurate descriptions on eBay on first week October
This list changes frequently and closed listings are difficult to find on eBay so scum sellers get away scamming buyers, and their feedback is excellent as they con uninformed buyers.
Everyone in the opal industry should attack scum sellers on line.
It should be step by step approach.
Attack scum sellers online using black opal for Ethiopian opal.
Attack sellers at trade shows selling Ethiopian opals as natural black opals.
The opal association will take action, but will be slow and everyone should inform these unethical sellers that their names will be spread all over the internet and local authorities will be informed of their fraudulent activities