The focal gems in these earrings are exquisite: deeply-saturated amethyst, carved with a floral design. They look absolutely magical when paired with fiery Welo opals, which are meticulously wired to the hand-made ear wires. These are sterling silver. They are 1-7/16” long, including the ear wires.
Amethyst is a variety of quartz. It is abundant and a much-loved stone, due to its vibrant purple color. It has long been a top choice of royalty, and was once believe to ward off drunkenness! The color of amethyst can be the result of heat treatment. Amethyst can also be heated to become prasiolite (green), citrine (yellow), or smokey quartz (gray/brown). Prasiolite is often incorrectly referred to as “green amethyst.” Amethyst is the birthstone for February.
Welo opals come from a single location in Ethiopia (the Wollo Province) which was only recently discovered in 2008. They have since uncovered a second deposit, also in the Wollo Province. They are highly sought after for their excellent play-of-color. Although these Ethiopian deposits are “new,” opal relics located in a cave in Kenya were thought to come from Ethiopia as long ago as 4000 BC. Any color of Welo opal besides white and pale yellow are the result of dying.