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Opals from Mezezo, Ethiopia have been well-known for more than 10 years for their play-of-color chocolate opals. Other deposits discovered more recently from Welo yield precious white, fire, crystal and sometimes black opals. The opal you see here is a crystal opal (33.15ct) from Welo. Gem opal consists of tiny silica spheres tightly packed together; the voids or spaces between the spheres contain air or water. The play-of-color in opal is due to the orderly arrangement of these spheres acting like a diffraction grating, breaking visible white light in to separate colors. Opals are typically cut en cabochon or polished free-form to best show the play-of-colors. This beautiful Ethiopian opal is a wonderful addition and upgrade to the National Gem Collection and the first from Welo.

Image Number: Ken Larsen
Catalog Number: G10622
Weight: 33.15 carats
Gift of Opalinda and EyaOpal , 2009
Locality: Welo , Ethiopia


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