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Posted in response to Ethiopian Opal (Welo) from Ward on December 23, 2010 at 10:15:32:

Re: Ethiopian Opal (Welo)

Ward,
I have now cut several pieces of the Welo opal. I have faceted 6 stones, inlaid it in a couple of pieces and have done a couple of cabs. I have only tried to saw one piece and it fractured badly, so since then I've gone straight to grinding. The material is very soft, so I have started grinding with 600 grit(well used). Once you get it opened up, be sure to look at the piece closely to find any fractures that may be present. If there is no fractures at this point, then the only problems that I have had is the variations in color(non-flash) and consistent flash throughout some stones. When it gets wet, it is usually very transparent and any fractures should then be very noticeable. It polishes well with Cerium Oxide but be careful because not only does it cut easily but it scratches easily also.

From mickey - December 31, 2010 at 10:26:20
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Message: 69620



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