Where does Opal come from?

Opal varieties are found all over the world. Mexico, Brazil, the USA, Chile, Peru, Namibia (and other African countries), Indonesia, Honduras, Turkey – all these places and many more have varieties of opal in the ground. But the world's finest, most abundant and diverse opal varieties come from the Land Down Under, from Australia. Classic, romantic names like; Coober Pedy (“White Man in a Hole” according to the local Aboriginal tongue), Andamooka, White Cliffs, Mintabie, Lambina, Quilpie, Yowah, Opalton, Eromanga – and of course, Lightning Ridge, dot the map of Australia. These are the locales from which the world's finest gem opals have been been mined, with more fine productions still being unearthed today.

A new source of supply has appeared. Ethiopian opal is a vast resource of precious, color-play opal of the hydrophane variety. Lovely stones, full of color flashes have been welcomed into the gem opal community in recent years. Welo material is the prized source of this opal variety. Durable and bright, this material has a tendency to absorb moisture and must be handled with care specific to its properties.
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