Ethiopian Opal

  The Ethiopian Welo Opal was only discovered in 2008. It differs from the Australian Opal (AO) in many ways. It is found in nodules, where as Australian Opal is found in very thin layers, though both are found in seams as opposed to pockets or scattered in strata. The most sought after and highest quality of AO is "black". So far there have been no confirmed black opals from Ethiopia, but the quality of the fire of Welo opal matches if not exceeds the best AO has to offer. There have been reports of faked black opal from Ethiopia that have been either heat treated or dyed.

We have seen an number of Ethiopian opals and have worked on a few of them. While one can't deny they are a colourful stone, there is a question mark over  the stability and durability of some of these stones. Also there is a problem identifying whether or not the stones are treated. Until further information about this stone is forthcoming from a dependable source, we are advising our customers that this is a "problem" stone. and should be used with caution.



Location - Australia, Brazil, USA, Sri Lanka, Mexico

Group - Silica  R.I. - 1.45  Hardness -  5-6.5


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