Opal is a composition of silica and certain amount of water, usually up to 10%. Its internal structure was a mystery until the invention of electron microscope, which revealed a lattice like pattern of silica spheres arranged in more or less orderly fashion. That is the case for precious opal which dazzles us with its play of colour, which in turn is created when light gets scattered and waves interfere with each other. There are many varieties of opal with main sources being Australia, Mexico, Brazil and recently Ethiopia. Opal has amorphous structure and its hardness varies between 5 and 6.5 on a Moh's Scale. While wearing opal you should generally avoid, hard knocks, abrasion, immersion in liquids other than water ( household chemicals, oils etc.). To clean your opal it's best to use wet cloth or gently clean it under running water, you should avoid ultrasonic cleaners. Ethiopian Welo opals have some additional characteristics and care requirements that are reflected in their price. Most of those additional features are connected to a hydrophane character of these stones. When exposed to water they absorb it in relatively short time and in most cases, it causes their body colour to become more transparent, plus after a longer period it may affect the play of colour as well. Some Welos will have their fire strenghtened but more will loose it, do not worry as that effect is temporary and they will regain their original appearance as they dry. This can take as short as an hour or as long as a couple of days, depending on atmospheric conditions and the size of the stone. Hydrophane character also means that you should keep them away from other liquids, like oils or coloured drinks as they may stain your opal. While considering a purchase please also note that many Welo opals have their fire strongest while under incandescent light or in direct sunlight and may not be as lively on overcast winter day, again this is not a case with all of them or a feature that they suffer from exclusively (opals from other localities will are sensitive to lighting conditions too) but we feel that potential buyers should know this. If you want to learn more about opal care you can follow this link to our article on the subject – Taking Care of Your Opal.
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Pictures- All Images used by us represent the actual item on sale unless stated otherwise. We try to depict each jewel and gem as accurately as possible and do not use colour altering techniques during post processing stage. Please note that our images usually show objects in high magnification as to enable you to inspect them in close detail, the actual measurements are given in products' description and you should reflect on them while considering the purchase. Pictures showing gems are many times their size and may show you more imperfections (inclusions, imperfections of cut and polish) than you will see while holding the same gem in your hand. Certain gems like opals do not look the same under different lighting conditions or from all directions and in such case we chose the best shots to show potential of the stone. Purchasing- Once you are ready to complete your purchase, click on the "Checkout" button. This will open a new tab where you will be asked to provide your details and ultimately a PayPal® Payment window in your browser will open and you will be given instructions for completing the transaction. PayPal® will accept payment from either your PayPal® account or your credit or debit card (you do not need to have a Paypal account). All transactions conducted this way are extremely secure and ensure that no-one has access to your credit card information. Once you have completed the process, you will receive a confirmation email to indicate that we have received your order. This does not indicate that a contract exists between us. We have included this term to protect us in the case that we are no longer able to supply a particular product for some reason. You will receive another email once we have accepted your order. If you would prefer to pay by another method such as bank transfer or personal cheque please contact us to arrange this. Shipping- For security reasons we will only use insured types of shipment. Please be aware that if you order from abroad you may be liable for paying appropriate duties and taxes.
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