Sugarpuss London proudly introduces our new Ethiopian Wello (or Wollo/Welo) opal jewellery range:
We only have a few items up at the moment but have plenty more to come. If you’re new to Wello opal (and most people are, as it was only discovered in 2008), it was one of the hottest finds at the Tucson gem fair this year. The reason for this is mainly because the amount of fire the opal displays is incredible and, because it is a freshly mined source, the price is currently very reasonable (although it has been going up over the past few months).
Ethiopian Opal got a bad rep prior to the Wello opal discovery, as most of the opal was highly unstable and formed in nodules, it was (and is still) sold as ‘chocolate opal’ and characteristically had highly bright neon fire within a chocolate matrix. Fortunately, the opal found in the Wello province seems to offer a good balance of bright colour and stable opal (for a report on Wello opal, click the link). The opal from the Wello province can be hydrophane, semi-hydrophane or non-hydropane. We would not recommend hydrophane opals in bracelets or rings (as these jewellery items take more wear & tear than other items, such as earrings). A hydrophane opal is highly absorbent and will ruin if it comes into contact with oils/inks and such like.
We are expecting the value of this opal to rise considerably over the next few years, especially as it looks as though the Ethiopian government may be signing the Wello opal mine over to private contractors (with the chance of the mine being mined out quicker than expected). All eyes are on this opal!