Thursday, 24 April 2014

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.
Recently the Ethiopian Government made a deal to send the rough Opals to India to be cut, and has dampened the import to the west of rough stones. The government felt it was losing too much money by selling the cheaper rough stones. They had wanted to completely stop export of rough stones, and create an industry to cut and polish the stone for export and increase their profit. Apparently they were unable to do this, and instead made a deal with India.


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