The commencement of opal mining in Ethiopia a decade ago has attracted the involvement of poor peasants, wealthy traders and traffickers. Although the academic and official literature on artisanal small-scale opal mining (ASOM) has primarily focused on the loss of wealth owing to a lack of skill and its traditional nature, this study explores the multidimensional insecurity that the discovery and mining of opal stones in the Delanta wereda of Wollo has brought about. This study contends that the ASOM industry has brought a new and previously unknown body of wealth to a society that is not used to the circulation of huge amounts of money in its narrow geography of commerce, engendering multidimensional insecurity. To make things worse, the network of patrimony and rentierism connecting locals with powerful people at the regional and federal level has given licence to illegal wealth extraction at the cost of exacerbating local insecurity. The qualitative data for the study was collected using interviews, focus group discussions, non-participant observations and document analyses at Delanta mining sites, the Wegel Tena town administration and Dessie city.