Rough Ethiopian Opal 8.40 Carats code QOM 421

Item Information

Dimensions (mm) 16 x 12 x 11mm
Weight (carats) 8 carats

Stunning solid natural welo crystal opal showing good display of solid opal thickness

Source Ethiopian

opal size  16x12x 11 mm

Opal offered as exact as per images

Combined shipping offered on four wins

Refund or exchnage offered but if opal worked in anyway,chiped or polished we do not exchange

we recommend to view under loop before cutting


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 wello.

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.

Ethiopian Rough opal suppliers on OpalAuctions include DeinOpal, Gemmagic, Opalopia, Opalfireinfo, Opalethiopia, TopShelfOpals, VocanicOpals, and XtremeOpals.


Is considered to be one of the oldest inhabited human areas on the planet.

The Awash Valley has one of the most complete preserved Australopithecine fossils around 3.2 million years old.

The country is rich in fossil findings and human settlement.

Egyptian traders made reference to Ethiopians in 3000 BC and there are many rock drawings dating back further into a rich history.

Old Testament makes references to powerful Ethiopian and many believe the biblical n lost Ark is buried in Ethiopia.

MINERALS In the 14th centenary Potash was mined by German companies and only commenced again after Eritrean-Ethiopian war of 2009

The country is rich in salts, iron ore and gold. but continual feuding has left most of the country unexplored for minerals.

OPALS In 1990 Mezezo opal was introduced to the world, but locals had used opals to make totals for thousands of years.

This opal was chocolate coloured nodule formed opal with brilliant red flashes.

These nodules were mined in volcanic ash sediments up to 3 meters thick so the opal is considered volcanic opal.

Red fire flash is common and blue colours are rare.


A new opal field was found in the Gondar highlands region of Ethiopia which is about 3,000 meters above sea level.

Now the local government is issuing mining permits and controlling the area.

Opal mining consists of pick and shovel on steep mountain cliffs.

the majority of [Welo-wollo]  is a semi to clear crystal with some dark based caramel and even rare black opals.

Welo Opal  Ideal for cabbing and stunning when faceted. This material is more like Mexican rough and not like the first opal from Mezezo-Ethiopia-[called chocolate opal] which was formed in geodes.

The degrees of transparency can range from crystal clear to translucent to opaque, which no light passes through it.

The varieties of precious color play includes Contra-Luz and patterns in broad flash, mosaic, snakeskin/leopard skin, stripes, pin fire ,honeycomb, chaff ,floral  and various harlequin patterns including patchwork harlequin and honeycomb harlequin

4h 36m 48s

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Pricing & Details

Bid Increment $1.00
Starting Bid $44.00
Auction ID 245262
Watchers 1 watching
Viewed 679 times
Starts 21st Oct 2016 11:03pm PDT
Ends 22nd Oct 2016 11:00pm PDT

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