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What is Ethiopian Fire Opal? and Black Opal?

Friday, September 30, 2016 7:29:35 AM America/Los_Angeles

What is Ethiopian Fire Opal?

Fire opal is typically without play of color and usually orange to red. We have opal that are orangish with play of color. There are some brazilian fire opals on

What is Ethiopian Black Opal?

Some of the dark brownish black opals would be called black opal by most Australians. Thi...

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Posted By Jeff Moriarty

Ethiopian Opal: How to Cut & Polish

Friday, January 22, 2016 11:47:10 AM America/Los_Angeles

Steve has been traveling quite frequently to Africa and during his last trip to Tanzania he brought back plenty of the amazing colored stone Welo Ethiopian Opal. Almost all the stones he brought back were in rough form. And being the gemcutter Steve Moriarty is, he wanted to put a video on how to take this rough opal and cut it into something amazing.

32ct Welo Opal

His example is with a 32ct Ethiop...

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Posted By Jeff Moriarty

Steve is Now in Africa in Search of Tanzanite

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 2:40:50 PM America/Los_Angeles

Hey Everyone,For our followers, Steve Moriarty (the owner of and Moriarty's Gem Art) has traveled back in Africa this month. Steve travels to Africa about once per year, and now he is back! This time he is in search of one of our most popular selling gemstones, Tanzanite. And Tanzanite can only be found in one place...Tanzania. He has been to Tanzania about a 1/2 dozen times in the p...Read More

What is Hydrophane Opal (Video)

Friday, August 22, 2014 2:47:13 PM America/Los_Angeles

We get this question quite often, which is why Moriarty's Gem Art wants to give more information about Hydrophane Opal. In this video we show you a time lapsed video of an Opal saturated with water and the phases it goes through as it dries. It is really interesting to see what happens from the beginning to the end.

Video Transcription

Hi. I'm Michael Moriarty from One of the questions...Read More

Ethiopian Welo Opal with Black Backing

Friday, July 11, 2014 2:48:00 PM America/Los_Angeles

Because this opal is so transparent, it's a great candidate for black backing. This can be done in a mounting in a variety of ways, either with an enamel or epoxy with black activated carbon mixed into it. It really highlights the color of a transparent opal. It brings out the vibrant colors of it. It tends to make it slightly more blue than it actually is, but for those who wish to do it, it will...Read More

Faceting Ethiopian Welo Opal

Monday, July 7, 2014 2:48:20 PM America/Los_Angeles

In this video, Steve Moriarty shows how to facet a Ethiopian Welo Opal and why faceting is done on a stone like this. You don't usually see faceting done on Opal gemstones, but you can see in the video how amazing it looks when faceted. Steve Moriarty has cut many of these Opals which you can see here.

Faceted Opal Video

Video Transcription

This Welo Opal is faceted, and the faceting does a lot for t...Read More

Ethiopian Pendant for Girlfriend

Thursday, July 3, 2014 2:48:00 PM America/Los_Angeles

Hey Everyone,This is Michael Moriarty, the son of Steve Moriarty, the owner of Moriarty's Gem Art and this website. This is an Ethiopian opal I faceted and had made into a pendant for my girlfriends birthday. My cousin did the design work, and I did the setting. First time I personally did any cutting in a long time. I'm usually on the manufacturing and setting side of the jewelry. Pretty exciting...Read More

Ethiopian Welo Opal Prices / Value 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014 2:48:00 PM America/Los_Angeles

Welo Opal Prices IncreasingThe popularity of Welo Opal has been growing steadily each year. The following is an overview of what has happened to prices and value of Ethiopian opal from Welo over the past 3 years. Prices are per carat and are based on actual sales and current pricing on Prices in parenthesis are those quoted by The Gem Guide, our only publication to wholesale pricing for the gem industry. ...Read More

Top 10 Reasons to Buy Welo Opal

Thursday, March 13, 2014 2:48:00 PM America/Los_Angeles

Reasons to Buy Welo Opal1. Exceptionally vivid colors that outshine Australian opal and any other opal source. Yes the finest Australian black opal have no rivals but Wello Ethiopian opals are finer across the board. Even the low end of Ethiopian opals have exceptional colors.2. Huge sizes larger than all sources,including Australia. Ethiopian opal commonly occurs in sizes over 10 carats, regularly over 30 carats and siz...Read More

What is Ethiopian Welo Hydrophane Opal?

Monday, March 3, 2014 2:48:00 PM America/Los_Angeles

ethiopian opal banner

Hydrophane Opal Definition & Facts

Much of the opal from Welo Ethiopia is hydrophane. Hydrophane means water loving and this type of opal can absorb water rapidly. The first indication that an opal is hydrophane is the feeling of stickiness when touched. You can also watch a drop of water placed on the surface of an opal. A hydrophane opal will rapidly absorb the water, the faster it absorbs the hi...

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