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 Ethiopia Imports

Ethiopia Imports

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 We offer a unique collection of quality 100% Natural Ethiopian Opals; Rough, Polished, & Opal Jewelry. Handmade Rings, Pendants, Bracelets, & Earrings in Silver and Gold! We also offer rare Ethiopian Opal Specimens, Investment Grade Opals, and Unique Hand Carved Opals! Welcome...

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  • About Wello Opals
Shipping & Payment
When purchasing multiple items, please use "Add to Cart" to be able and make ONE payment for all your items. We ship all International items with US Postal Service First Class International Service. Tracking is now available to Canada.

The Nature of Welo Opals...

Welo opals are diverse in color, type, and fire.

The most common finds of opals are crystal opals of various color range; from clear crystal to translucent, with shades of white, yellow, orange, brown, red, green, blue, purple, gray and black. The fire patterns are also diverse: pin fire, harlequin fire, linear fire patterns, sheets of fire in layers, and many more.

Welo opals are hydrophane. This means that when wet, they absorb water and become clear at first, and then cloudy white.

In about a week to two weeks they dry at which point they show their best fire.

When cutting Wello opals use water. First start by removing the dirt, then you can shape and polish the opal. After cutting the opal, leave it out to dry for a one to two weeks.


Frequently Asked Questions About Our Opals...


How do I preserve and care for my polished opal?

  To prevent any damage, keep the opal away from extreme heat, like a heater. For storage, put the opal in a zip lock plastic bag and store in a box, or drawer. This same recommendations applies if you opal is set in jewelry.
To tend and maintain the quality of your opal, it is advised that you wet your opal once every three months or so,  to replenish the moisture in the opal and avoid cracking. This procedure is not necessary with the Welo hydrophane opals, since they are able to take in moisture from the air; unless you live in an extreme dry and hot place, in which care you can follow the hydrating routine suggested above.
We have many finished Welo opals that are polished (both lose and set) that we have had for over three years which we have not rehydrated at all, and they continue to be stable and colorful.  In fact, many Welo opals become even more beautiful over time when they are given a chance to slowly dry, allowing the opals’ fire color potential to be fully visible.
The trick is to always keep the opal dry, but not extreme dryness or heat, (a rule of thumb to consider is: if its too hot for you, for example, under the extreme heat of the desert sun), then its probably too hot for your opal too. You can easily protect your opal by placing it in the shade like your pocket or bag.

Another factor to remember regarding the hydrophane nature of a Welo opal, is that if you soak it in water or if you wash the opal, it absorbs water and becomes a little cloudy, temporarily losing some of its fire color and luster. In this case, there’s nothing special you need to do, simply allow a couple of days for the opal to dry back to normal.

Are your listings of the actual stones for sale or just stock pictures of the opal type?  

All of our listings provide photos of the actual opals available for purchase in that specific listing.

What makes Welo Phantom Crystal Opals different from the other Welo Opals we offer? What does "Phantom" mean?

Phantom opals are opals with an outer crystal layer and an inner cloud-like formation that people call a “phantom”. The formation ranges from semi-transparent white, to milky white, gray, and black.

The fire color and patterns of phantom opals vary and could be attractive or dull, without any connection to the cloud like formation inside the opal. So, the category “phantom” is a reference only to the cloud like inner formation and not the other characteristics the opal may have.

Are all Ethiopian Welo opals hydrophane?
Opals from Welo are mostly hydrophane but not all, some are less hydrophane and some are not at all. Hydrophane means the tendency for an opal to absorb water when soaked in water.
Q: Are pictures and vidoes of opals taken while they are wet or dry?
A: All photos and videos of our opals are taken when the opals are DRY.

What’s the difference between the Ethiopian brown Shewa opals and the brown Welo opals?

Welo mines were discovered towards the end of 2007. The opals mined there are much brighter and more stable compared to opals mined in different regions of Ethiopia, such as Shewa; the other well-known source which produces some non-hydrophane crystal opals that have less fire than Welo opals and are also less stable.
Most of the chocolate brown opals coming out of Ethiopia which are very unstable comes from the region of Yeta Ridge.

Are Welo opals good for setting into jewelry, for example, a ring? Or are they more contraluz which means they won’t show their color when set in jewelry?

Yes, Welo opals are great setting in Jewelry. These opals are bright and colorful, and  are very different from contraluz opals. The videos in our listings with show you the exact color, fire and patterns of the opals.

Do the Specimen opals have cracked? Can Specimen Opals be drilled?

All of our Specimen grade opals have varying levels of cracks and some also a degree of dirt inclusion. Specimen opals or other grade opals with cracks are not recommended for drilling since the cracks makes them highly prone to shattering. However, many can be cut into cabochons (unless they have high levels of large cracks). You can also stabilize specimen opals using sealers like Opticon, and then cut them or in some cases also drill them.
If you’re looking for opals recommended for drilling, we recommend the crack free gem grade material found in our Top Grade, Top Grade AA, and Top Grade AAA categories in our eBay Store.


Didn't find your questions here? No problem, we're happy to answer any further questions you may have about our opals and services.

Please contact us at: info@ethiopiaimports.com