Hydrophane

Big Photo

Ethiopia
1.50 carats
© Kosnar Gem Co.

Hydrophane (Greek: hydro - water; phane - cause to appear) is a variety of opal that appears dull and turbid until immersed in water, it emits streams of bubbles, often accompanied by appropriate noises. It slowly becomes translucent and in some cases, totally transparent with play-of-colour. Some examples show the opposite effect: precious opal loses play-of-colour when immersed in water. They are very rare and are called "Reverse Hydrophane".

Hydrophane Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 

Hydrophane Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Hydrophane gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:1.10 cts
Heaviest:3.63 cts
Average:1.87 cts
Total photos:5
Do you have a larger Hydrophane? Why not upload a photo?
1.10ct to 1.35ct1.35ct to 1.61ct1.61ct to 1.86ct1.86ct to 2.11ct2.11ct to 2.37ct2.37ct to 2.62ct2.62ct to 2.87ct2.87ct to 3.12ct3.12ct to 3.38ct3.38ct to 3.63ct
General Information
A variety or type of:Common Opal, which is a variety of Opal
Chemical Formula
SiO
 
2
· nH
 
2
O
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Hydrophane Treatments
Oils and parafins were used to delay the fading of play-of-colour in wet hydrophane. - Opal, Lithographie, 2007, p. 57
Physical Properties of Hydrophane
Mohs Hardness5.5 to 6.5
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Specific Gravity1.98 to 2.50
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
TenacityBrittle
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Cleavage QualityNone
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
FractureConchoidal,Splintery
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Optical Properties of Hydrophane
Refractive Index1.37 to 1.52
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
BirefringenceNone
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
PleochroismAbsent
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Colour
Colour (General)All colours, play-of-colour
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
TransparencyTransparent,Translucent,Opaque
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Crystallography of Hydrophane
Crystal SystemAmorphous
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
HabitKidney- or grape-shaped aggregates
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Further Information
Mineral information:Hydrophane information at mindat.org
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