Item Information

Dimensions (mm) 15.2 x 10.9 x 5.3mm
Weight (carats) 5.4 carats



This natural untreated stone that is from the Welo area of Ethiopia.This is a well polished high dome stone suitable for a ring or pendant.This stone has a interesting history.In 2009 a italian company came to the Lightning Ridge opal show with app 100 kilos of Ethiopian rough.The quality was amazing and they sold out.This was when the field in Welo was first producing a large amount of material.Nearly every opal cutter in the town bought some to try it out.I saw this stone along with several other stones which one of the towns better cutters had finished a few weeks after the show.After these couple of years i was able to purchase them and i am now offering them on this site.This stone is a N4 on th body tone chart so it is considered a black opal.

It is showing multi colours of BLUE GREEN ORANGE RED.

Black opal

Body tone N-4

Brightness out of 5 -4.5


Weight 5.40 cts app

Size  15.2x10.9 x 5.3 mm app

All our black welo opal is natural-we do not sell smoked/treated welo black opal and all out stock is checked by our in house AIGS gemologist.




Opal Body Tone Scale as per recommendation by the Australian Opal and Gem Industry Association Ltd. Briliance Scale: 1 Faint, 2 Dull, 3 Bright, 4 Very Bright, 5 Brilliant - Gem Quality

This is what the GIA has to say about this type of opal





New Play-of-Color Opal from Welo, Ethiopia

A new source of high-quality play-of-color opal was discovered in early 2008 in Welo Province, Ethiopia, about 500 km north of Addis Ababa. This deposit is geographically distinct from the Mezezo deposit in Shewa Province, which was discovered in the early 1990s (see, e.g., Spring 1994 Gem News, pp. 52–53).

These contributors examined a parcel of about five rough and 30 cut Welo opals. The cabochons showed good play-of-color ; the vast majority were white and transparent, but some had a bodycolor varying from light yellow to dark “chocolate” brown. Compared to Mezezo opals (e.g., J.-P. Gauthier et al., “L’opale d’Ethiopie: Gemmologie ordinaire et caractéristiques exceptionnelles,” Revue de Gemmologie a.f.g., No. 149, 2004, pp. 15–23), those from the new deposit generally appear much whiter. We noted all spectral colors in the play-of-color in our samples. Most of the cabochons were similar in appearance to opals from Australia or Brazil. However, many samples displayed a columnar structure of play-of-color opal within common opal (figure 2), as first described in material from Mezezo (again, see Gauthier et al., 2004). This feature is only very rarely observed in opals from sources outside Ethiopia.

The hydrostatic SG of the opals ranged from 1.80 to 2.10. This broad range is in part due to the high porosity of some samples, as revealed by a significant weight increase after immersion in water (up to 8%). Fluorescence varied from inert to moderate yellowish white to both long- and short-wave ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Samples that were inert displayed an unexpected greenish phosphorescence of moderate intensity. No luminescence was observed in the opals with a yellow-to-brown bodycolor, even the light ones; these darker bodycolors are probably due to the presence of iron, which quenches luminescence. The yellow-to-green luminescence is likely due to the presence of uranium (E. Gaillou et al., “The geochemistry of gem opals as evidence of their origin,” Ore Geology Reviews, Vol. 34, 2008, pp. 113–126). Fourier-transform Raman spectra were obtained for several samples using a Bruker RFS 100 spectrometer. All spectra were consistent with opal-CT, with Raman bands at about 1070, 780, 670, and 345 cm-1, and water-related bands at about 3200 and 2950 cm-1.

Welo opal is found in volcanic rock, possibly a rhyolite. The rough samples we examined consisted of opal (either common or play-of-color) cementing fragments of the host rock. By contrast, opal from Mezezo fills cavities in rhyolite, forming nodules. Despite these differences, the fact that columnar structures are seen in opals from both deposits (but very rarely from elsewhere) seems to indicate similarities in the conditions of their formation.

$2,500.00 USD

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Auction ID 1048035
Watchers 5 watching
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Starts 3rd May 2021 5:16pm PDT

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