The name opal is believed to be derived from the Sanskrit word upala.
Ethiopian Opal is mainly composed of Silica and Water. Generally white to translucent body color (sometimes yellowish to brown), it is characterized by its multiple play of colors.
It is a hydrophane stone which means it absorbs liquids which it comes in contact with. You must take care and be careful with the use of chemicals such as soap, perfume, lotion etc. It could change its color permanently if repeated and multiple contacts with chemicals occurs.
When immersed in water the opal can become completely translucent again and regain its initial appearance after soaking and drying for several days.
It is also preferable to avoid thermal shocks in order to avoid any cracking, like prolonged exposure to the sun or to a heat or cold source.