Are hydrophane opals safe? That’s a good question! Hundreds of gems are available today, and knowing how to navigate the options properly is crucial when choosing jewelry based on your needs. You’ll be happy to know that with proper care and handling; hydrophane opal jewelry is an excellent addition to any collection. Also known as Ethiopian Welo Opal, learn how to select and choose a piece for you, or someone special.

What is Hydrophane Opal?

Over the last decade, the Welo opal deposits of Ethiopia have been growing famous for their quality. Nearly unique to this location, these precious stones are Ethiopian hydrophane opals. This means the gems are porous and capable of absorbing water. This can affect how the stone displays color or even its transparency when wet. While this effect does not have an impact on the value, it is one way to identify potential material from the region.

Hydrophane Welo opal pendant necklace.

How to Care for Ethiopian Opal

Once you see a Welo opal, you’ll want one of your own! But, it’s also essential to care for these jewels correctly. To ensure years of enjoyment, consider these tips and tricks.
Opals rank five on the Mohs scale of hardness, making them susceptible to scratching or abrasion. Not very tough, experts rank them from very poor to fair. The nature of hydrophane opals means that absorbing water can enhance their fragile qualities.

Ethiopian Welo Opal floral ring.

Avoid prolonged immersion in water. If stones absorb water, let them dry thoroughly before wearing. Depending on how much, they can take up to a week to dry.
Avoid exposure to chemicals which can also damage the stone. High heat or an intense light over long periods can also be damaging to these delicate stones.

With proper care, even a hydrophane opal ring is a great jewelry option!

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Do you love Welo opal? We’d sure love to see it! Share your favorite Welo opal jewelry on Instagram and tag @shoplctv.