|Dimensions (mm)||20 x 13 x 7mm|
|Weight (carats)||10.8 carats|
Stunning solid natural untreated welo crystal opal showing good display of solid opal thickness
Opal size 20 X 13 X 7 mm
Opal offered as exact as per images
In the early 1990s a new type of opal surfaced in Mezezo Ethiopia Africa which was called Chocolate opal because of the chocolate colour inside the nodule. These opals are found in a round nodular form with in a 3 meter thick layer of welded volcanic ash. Only about 1% of these nodules contain colour. The colours are very striking with red being common and blue quite rare which is the opposite to Australian opals. It has some magnificent patterns and brilliant colours and is called Ethiopian fire opal.
Then a new discovered Ethiopian opal was found in Gondar which was at first called desert opal but it is from a plateau in the highlands. The main field which is creating a lot of excitement now is from a field called Welo.
This is found in a plateau 2500 to 3299 meters. Only the locals are allowed to mine this field and the government has even supplied basic tools. They work the horizontal level of these steep mountains and unfortunately there have been fatalities due to the rock top collapsing. This field produces a variety of crystals, brown base and even black material. A very small percentage is called gum opal as if you wet your hand the opal sticks to it like gum!
Opals from this field are known as Ethiopian opal from welo.
A large majority of this material is hydrophane as if it is soaked in water the base colour can become clear increasing the play of colour or it can sometimes vanish. When dry this material is very bright. If it gets wet it may take a few weeks to dry out but don’t hurry the process. This is why some cutters cut it dry to prevent this. Some of the black stones would rate a N1 on the body tone chart and are quite spectacular.
Good Ethiopian opals have diverse play of colours from Neon reds, oranges, green, blue, white, yellow, brown and contra luz fire. The are even colours that are not present in Australian opals like turquoise and indigos. Ethiopian fire opals are popular as they have striking pattern formations which make each opal so unique
Ethiopian Opals, from North Africa, have only begun to be mined recently. However, anthropologists report that around 4,000 years BC, early man used opals to make tools, which means that Africa mined opals before Australia.
Most Ethiopian Opals are Nobby-formed and have characteristically brown potch with bright red to green flashes of colour. These opals are not considered as stable as Australian opals because they may craze and have inclusions, but they are valued for their bright colours. Gondar is a new field only worked in the last few years and is more of a crystal formation than brown or dark-nodule Ethiopian Opals.
The Opal Sheriff program allows our members to request an audit on any auction, which is completed by an independent Gemologist who assesses the accuracy of the item description and pictures.
|Starts||21st Mar 2011 12:31am PDT|
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