Hello! I am James Dumar, Opal specialist since 1984.
I am not dealing in Opal at present.
I hope you may find the information on this site regarding the stable hydrophane opal from Welo Ethiopia of some interest.
The miners are farmers who live a rather harsh existence with very limited means of income.
At present the drought is threatening to turn into a full blown famine.
The new opal is reported to be found in rhyolitic deposits and is classified Opal CT by the GIA - the same as Opal from Brazil and Mexico.
The nodules are large and fairly clean.
The hydrophane nature is present in more or less degree in most of the material.
Nearly all of it will go water clear when hydrated, and some will lose spectral play of colour while wet.
The material returns to it's original state when fully dry- usually minutes to hours, but sometimes days if you live in a cool humid climate.
This slightly unpredictable and changeable behaviour in the material may provide a further point of interest to some clients adding to the mystique of the stone.
Some of the material with a slightly yellow body colour appears to be non hydrophane.
The geometry of the nodules is highly suitable for faceting in the water clear crystal.
You may like to click on the "cutting notes" link at the top left of the page for some more detailed information.
There are many interesting discussions on the forums at gemologyonline