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GemstonEstablished with a mission of exporting Ethiopian unique precious and semi precious gem stones to various parts of the world and generate foreign currency. We are one of the companies legally recognized and licensed by the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade as well as Ministry of Mines to export all types of precious and semi precious stones to different parts of the world.

Introduction about Gemstones

Geological findings indicate that many parts of Ethiopia are potential sources of precious and semi-precious stones. There is no doubt that Ethiopia has a vast mineral wealth. Granite, Marble, Sandstone and Limestone are also found in abundance all over the country.

The federal government will soon ban the export of rough opal, a precious gemstone; a move aimed at persuading exporters to add value and hence increase revenues, according to senior officials at the Ministry of Mines.

Although opals remain low in the nation's growing revenues from exports, the precious gemstone has gained momentum recently, after being included in the list of exportable items, in 2005. It has since increased, both in terms of production and revenues.

Opal is used to produce ornaments and jewellery, largely blended with gold and diamond.

Mining in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is endowed with suitable geological setting to host all varieties of minerals and gemstones. Illegal gem trade of opal, beryl, corujdum (sapphire and rubi) garnet and peridot through the vast boarders of the country is widespread.

The geologic diversity of the Ethiopian land mass makes it ideal host for various minerals including precious metals, a wide variety of gemstones, base metals, rare metals, colorful dimension stones, mineral water, and large deposits of silica sand, ceramic and cement raw materials, coal and geothermal fields etc..

Precious Metals: gold, platinum and silver are mined by Lega-Dembi, Megado Serdo, Sakaro, Dul, Oda, Kurmuk gold, Yabdo platinum.

Gemstones: opal, topaz, olivine, corundum - ruby and sapphire, quartz, garnet and others are known to occur widely in Ethiopia. Opal is mined and explored in the central highlands while Peridot is mined in Southern Ethiopia.

The Government of Ethiopia issued a new Mining Proclamation and Mining Tax Proclamation in June 1993 followed by several amendments.

The main objective of the new mining legislation was to tie the future of the mining sector to private sector and to promote investment.

Ethiopian Opals and the legend

Opals & the Queen of Sheba (960 B.C.) : Ethiopian legend (also referred to in the Bible) has it that the Queen of Sheba (Mekeda) gave King Solomon gold, spices and precious stones. Other legends say that during her visit she adorned herself with opal jewelry and gave him a son, Menelik. The founder of Ethiopia's Solomonic dynasty. According to the Kebra Nagast (1000 year old Book of the Glory of Kings) Menelik was responsible for bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia.

In ancient times opals were considered to have the power of healing depression and helping in the search for true love.

The name лopalн is probably derived from ancient Sanskrit Upala - which means "precious stone"; the Latin Opalus; and the Greek Opallios which mean variety of colors. Opal, the October birthstone, symbolizing hope, innocence and purity comes mainly from Australia, Mexico, Ethiopia and the United States.

In the middle Ages, the opal was known as the "eye stone" due to a belief that it was vital to good eyesight. Blonde women were known to wear necklaces of opal to protect their hair from losing its golden color.

There are so many fascinating legends and beliefs associated with opal and would consume a good portion of our web site.

Classification of Opals

Precious Opals which exhibit play-of-color caused by the diffraction of light through the structure of silica spheres and, Common Opals which do not exhibit play-of-color. On the other hand classification based on the body tone of opal rather than play of color is more informative.

Black Opal refers to opals which show a play-of-colour within or on a black body tone by reference to the AGIA Body Tone Chart N1, N2, N3 and N4. Dark Opal refers to opal which shows a play-of-colour within or on a dark body tone by reference to the AGIA Body Tone Chart N5, N6.

Light Opal refers to opal which shows a play-of-colour within or on a light body tone by reference to the AGIA Body Tone chart N7, N8 or N9 when viewed face up. The N9 category is referred to as white opal.A gemstone or gem, also called a precious or semi-precious stone, is a piece of attractive mineral which when cut and polished is used to make jewelry. Although not grouped as minerals, some organic materials like amber, coral, ivory, pearl etc.; are also used as gemstone.

Opal, aquamarine, garnet, olivine, tourmaline, topaz, sapphire, ruby, amethyst, agate, jasper etc, are some of the minerals used as gem. Their value generally depends on four elements: the beauty of the stone itself, play of internal color its rarity, hardness and toughness, and the skill with which it has been cute and polished

Our gemstone departments have a very unique tour packages for study tours, photographing and documentary video crews with all adjustments and facilitation. Our gemstone sights are very admirable so please contact our office for further inquiry and information.

Locations of our Gemstone tour sights

Apatite is found in Anno-Fulanto

Almandine Garnet are mined in Moyale (Kenyan border)

Amethyst is found in Tigray Region, Bonga ( Oromia) and Jijjiga (Somali Region)

Aquamarine comes from Kenticha Kilkile in Web-Degogo, in Baya-Correlli ( Baya Gundi)

Chalcedony occur in Borena (Oromia Region, North Shewa (Amhara Region ) and Tigray Region

Chrysoprase occur in Borena (Oromia Region)

Citrine is found in Southern Ethiopia

Emerald - Beryl variety gems occur in Dhas, Dillo and Web

Garnets occur in Southern Ethiopia ( Mega, Dire Dawa, Finch-Wuha,) in Gerri-Chebi Arboro as well as in Mega on the Kenyan boarder, Babile (Harar), in Bitata-Harakole in Baya-Correlli ( Baya Gundi)

Jasper occur in Borena (Oromia Region), North Shewa (Amhara Region) and Jijjiga (Somali Region)

Obsidian occur in the Rift Valley, on the top of volcanic domes and craters

Peridot are found in Chembi с Borana, in Megado

Ruby, Topaz and Diamonds are also found in lesser quantities in different parts of the country

Sapphire is found in Southern Showa and Bonga ( Oromia Region) and in Gerri-Chebi Arboro

Sodumene is known to occur in Dermi Dama.

Tourmaline occur in Chembi, in Bitata-Harakole

Opal are found in Afar Region, Northern Shewa, Wollo and Gondar suggesting that it is a huge belt extending from Eastern to Central Ethiopia. Occurences of precious opals is also reported in Warder, Ogaden and Dire-Dawa.

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