Ethiopia is the home of many fine opal mines, including those in the Welo province, Yita Ridge, Shewa, Gondar and Afar. The vast majority of Ethiopian opal is hydrophane, meaning that it is highly absorbant and should be protected from strong perfumes, face creams and oils etc. If dunked in water, a hydrophane opal will go clear and can take several weeks to dry out properly. Because of these hydrophane properties, we recommend that most Ethiopian opals are reserved for earrings and necklaces only, however, some bracelet designs may also be suitable. We would not recommend any hydrophane opal as a ring stone (as rings takes the most wear and tear of any jewellery piece). Hydrophane opals should also be kept away from oils and inks etc, as they will absorb these readily and it will ruin the opal, causing a cloudy appearance. That said, these opals are spectacular with a 'reverse value pattern' to Australian opals i.e. red colour play is common in Ethiopian opal, with blue being rare.
Ethiopian opal jewellery is fairly new on the market and is generally much cheaper than Australian opal jewellery, as such it is quickly gaining in popularity, especially as the Gemmoligical Institute of America (GIA) has recently announced that Ethiopian opal can be as stable as its Australian counterpart (even Australia has its 'problem fields'). We would encourage anyone who is interested in purchasing Ethiopian opal jewellery, specifically Wello/Wollo opal jewellery to read this dedicated article from Gems & Gemology.
Your Ethiopian opal jewellery will arrive securely packaged in a black gift box tied with luxury Beresford ribbon. Free UK Special Delivery is standard on all orders over £100.