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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:16 pm 
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I went to Imageshack.us using your url and what you say would be there wasn't. Undaunted, I applied for and got the 30-day account they said I needed and, although I still wasn't allowed to do what your directions said I could, I was able to start an album (titled welorln). I've placed 10 pictures in the album but could not get any directions as to how someone other than me could access those pictures. The pictures are very nice and I hope your visitors are able to access them. By the way. There was a FAQ asking if the old Imageshack would be back. The answer was "no." The album may very well not be there after 30 days because I'm not very fond of their website:-).

Bob Nolan


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:55 pm 
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Imageshack went through some major changes (including a shift from imageshack.us to imageshack.com), so the instructions might be obsolete.
The problem with your second imgur url was that you probably accidentally hit "copy link location" (which points to its page in the imgur gallery) rather than "copy image location". The right url is always going to start with i.imgur.com, and end with ".jpg" or whatever type of image format it is.
Here's the corrected image:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:24 pm 
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You're right Scarodactyl. Some updates on ImageShack.
I modified the original instructions.
Thanks for letting me know.

I also resized the image above because it was over sized for our format.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:05 pm 
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I'm very thankful for your help and guidance. As I've stated previously, I'm not particularly computer literate. I am, however, knowledgeable of how to select, salvage, and care for Welo Ethiopian Opal and have just published a book on the subject. So, if you need, want, or desire any information at all pertaining to methods of buying the best rough material, separating matrix, decomposed opal, and black coatings from each piece, and caring for your beautiful pieces of salvaged opal, just ask. I'll answer any and all questions as best I can.
Thanks again for your help and patience.

Bob Nolan


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:10 pm 
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Hi Bob

We seem to have had a similar epiphany at about the same time. I discovered ethiopians on E-Bay in 2010. With the exception of my Dremel Stylus, dental picks, and a tool called a sprue cutter used to remove plastic parts from the frames of model kits my cleaning and attempts at polishing are all time and elbow grease.
Like you I prefer natural shapes and make pendants using wire wrap. I am not a gemologist or a purist. I have made small viles of chips as sun catchers for friends or as pendants using them cleaned and dry or in mineral oil or glycerin, have even dabbled with clear nail polish, like I said, not a purist. The sprue cutter is great for creating the "windows" of clear material that you mentioned and some good chips from stones that have akward shapes. It saves a lot of usable material.
Found this site at about 6:30 this morning and found and ordered your book by 7:30. Also think I found your Montana source my last name is similar to theirs.
Bought kilos of rough in 2010 and 11, can't believe how much prices have gone up. At 67 I may be set for life now. As an aside my most beautifuf personal piece is a 54 carat Shewa pendant broken out from a rough nodule that cost 8 bucks and gets more comments than anything I've ever owned.
Hope your book can give me your insites into cleaning and polishing using natural shapes. The finished and neat oval and round shaped stones bore me to tears.

Regards

Steve Smith


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2015 10:11 pm 
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Hi back, Steve

Actually, the owner's first name is Steve and your last name is in the name of the shop. I'm not mentioning the shop name or the title of my book because I believe GemologyOnline doesn't allow me to; however, I suspect you have the right place. He's an honest man and the quality of his opal rough is excellent, so if you need any he's a great source of rough.
Like you, I learned everything I know about Welo Ethiopian Opal by scrounging whatever information I could find from the internet and then matching it with my own testing and actual work on my own pieces. My book should give you worthwhile information but, unfortunately, won't help in the polishing. I suspect traditional polishing techniques have to be used and, beings as I'm also 67 and live in an apartment, I just don't have the interest in learning or space for the needed equipment.
If you have any questions about anything in the book just ask. I had a lot of fun writing it but am not a professional writer of books. Consequently, my explanations may leave something to be desired.
Hope to hear from you.

Bob Nolan
P.S. I tried clear nail polish and it didn't work for me at all. It did help steer me towards dry grinding and I gave the bottle to my granddaughter, so it wasn't all bad. :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:24 pm 
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Steve,
I had to look up what a Sprue Tool was. I think I've been doing something similar. Just a couple of months ago I tried using a common pair of scissors in an attempt to break pieces of salvaged opal along visible fracture lines (these were pieces where repeated soakings didn't cause the break). The scissors worked without damaging the opal, so I've been using the process for trimming off poor quality opal as well as finishing off fractures. Warning; I managed to pinch the base of my non-scissors index finger and pad next to that finger. No permanent damage but they did bleed a bit and hurt a lot. :-)

I didn't buy as much as you but did manage to get about four kilos of rough (one kilo as a purchase and quite a few three-troy-ounce parcels). I only regret that I wasn't able to buy more early on.

Bob Nolan


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:39 am 
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Nice to see some more Welo opal addicts in the group! I started faceting Welos around 2010 and I also wish I bought more at the time. It seems like large, top quality material is starting to get tougher to find.

I consider faceting Welos to be my forte, when I have odd shaped or particularly nice rough that will suffer a lot of loss during cutting then I send it out to a colleague who cuts and polishes with a Dremel. He does great free forms with little loss and manages to get a very high quality polish.

Here are a couple of pieces he did for me:
Image

And here's one I faceted:
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:33 pm 
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:oops:
Yes, I too am a Welo Opal addict.
I believe I have faceted 8 Welo's so far.
Not good with pics but will try posting a couple.

Image

Image

Image

=D>
Have been wanting to start sharing my cut stones, but my lack of photographic skills
along with not knowing how to post them has been enough to make me lazy.lol

Will see how this goes.

Harold H


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:06 am 
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Those look great, Harold! You should post a picture or two in the 'Off the Dop' thread in the Lapidary Corner.

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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:03 am 
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Those pieces are absolutely beautiful. Here's a quote from the owner of Village Smithy Opals, Inc. that might explain the increase in price of Welo Opal:

Updated 11/19/2013
We have been informed by our Welo opal supplier In Addis Ababa that rough Welo opal can again be exported. Unfortunately the ban reversal comes with a VERY large increase in opal prices. The Ministry of Mines is requiring opal exporters to provide proof of bank wire transfers, before opal can be exported, of $1500.00/kilo for low grade mine run rough Welo opal, $5000.00/ for high grade mine run rough Welo opal and $10,000/kilo for select gem grade rough Welo opal. This price increase has just about put a halt to all rough opal exports.
Steve Newstrom Village Smithy Opals, Inc

I haven't sold any of my salvaged opal but have just this month commissioned my granddaughter to set up a Website. It should be a lot of fun and a great teaching experience for her. She's 18 and just finishing up her senior year.


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:11 am 
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Hi Bob

Have been reading your book. Purchased a rock tumbler from the store you bought your Diamond cutting disks.
Also from the same store bought another of the tool I called a sprue cutter. At this store it's called a MICRO FLUSH CUTTER. It is light, small, spring loaded, blades are about a half inch long. It is easy to manipulate and great for removing all kinds of debris and trimming small pieces to fit my bezel cap mosiac pendents. It costs a romping $2.99. I use it extensively and have never caught a finger.
Went to the store you get your coarse sand from. Asked for media for a rock tumbler. They looked at me like I had 2 heads because they don't sell tumblers, but led me to the floral department. They had bags of coarse sand for $2.99 which leads me to believe it may be what you buy. Will practice on a bag of Mexican boulder to see if the tumbler can make the stones look like something beside a bag of dull rocks.
Lastly purchased a 3 ounce parcel from your man in Montana. Sounds like a really nice guy actually into opals. Parcel had minimun debris and great color play in all but a few pieces. Gave you some serious plugs for raving about his operation in your book.

Regards
Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Hi from a Welo Opal addict.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:09 am 
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Hi Back, Steve,

I sent the owner a glowing testimonial on how great his material was/is and how I couldn't have done the research and testing if his quality hadn't been as high and as uniform as it was. I also sent him a copy of my book. He was very responsive to the praise until he received the book. I haven't heard from him since. I suspect something in the book hit a nerve. Oh well. Sometimes the truth can hurt.

Although I have a fair amount of rough left, I haven't been doing any salvaging because I'm deep into the research needed for my granddaughter's website. I'm also combining individual salvaged opal nodules with loose facetted gemstones (sapphires, rubies, amethysts, zircons, garnets, etc.) purchased from a televised gemstone and jewelry show, and packaging them in small plastic display jars so she'll have product to sell. Having lots of fun!

Bob Nolan


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