View the latest news about Australian Opal around the world.
How To Get Your Own Troublesome, $1.1m Uncut Gem, The Black Opal
January 14, 2020
"They say you can see the whole universe in opals, that’s how old they are,” says Howard Ratner as he gazes upon a raw block of black opal – the uncut gem from which Adam Sandler’s latest hit takes its name. It’s yet another half-truth from Sandler's motor-mouth diamond dealer. In real life, even a 7.89-carat black opal won't quite show you the cosmos.
Dinosaur bones shimmering with opal reveal a new species
June 03, 2019
A hunt for precious gemstones revealed the first fossil evidence of a dinosaur herd, including a previously undiscovered dinosaur species, in Australia. The new dinosaur fossil was found in an opal mine and has turned into the gem itself, making it the most complete opalized dinosaur skeleton in the world, according to a new study...
Opal capital Coober Pedy 'on knife-edge' as desert town faces big water problem
March 05, 2019
If there is one thing more precious than opal at Coober Pedy, it is water.
In the middle of the South Australian desert, 850 kilometres from Adelaide, Coober Pedy is often referred to as the opal capital of the world — but it uniqueness extends past its mining of Australia's national gem stone...
Opal costs rise on international market amid Mintabie's uncertain future
November 01, 2018
Uncertainty surrounding the future of a South Australian opal mining town is impacting upon the international trade of the precious gemstone.
Mintabie in the state's far north west is home to about 30 permanent residents and has been crucial to Australia's opal trade for more than 40 years...
Opal And Tourmaline: All You Need To Know About The October Birthstones
October 02, 2018
Two marvellous stones to choose from, to gift your autumn-born friends. First of the October birthstones is the opal, a mysterious stone that symbolises intelligence, clarity and spiritual awareness; and secondly, the tourmaline, which is cherished for its vast range of colours.
Outback Opal Hunters: Friends strike it lucky in Disney Channel TV series
April 30, 2018
IT’S no wonder the Discovery Channel decided to make a TV series about the adventures of Justin Lang and Daniel Becker.
With a hobby that involves dropping down an old mine shaft 30m underground in the Australian outback — hoping to find a fortune in opals — it tends to make for gripping TV viewing...
Go behind the scenes at an underground community in the Australian Outback
January 13, 2018
The Jan. 14 edition of Sunday TODAY featured a story on Coober Pedy, Australia, a remote town where opal mining and underground dugouts make for a community that's like no other....
Australian Opal Lunar Series 2018 Year of the Dog 1oz Silver Proof Coin
January 04, 2018
This beautiful coin features the Lunar dog set in stunning Australian opal. This is an exceptional addition to the 2018 Opal Lunar Series coins and would make a wonderful gift for those born in the Year of the Dog...
New series Outback Opal Hunters coming to Discovery Channel in February
December 12, 2017
Discovery Channel will follow four crews of fearless opal miners around the Aussie outback in new show Outback Opal Hunters.
The eight-part series, created by Prospero Productions (Outback Truckers, Railroad Australia), launches on Thursday February 8, 2018, and heads across Australia to Lightning Ridge (NSW), Opalton (Qld) and Coober Pedy (SA).
October 03, 2017
There are a lot of favorites in October for me: favorite month, favorite season, favorite holiday, and (for the jewelry enthusiasts) favorite birthstone. Maybe it’s odd to favor a birthstone that isn’t your own, but I’m likely not the only one. Opal is just too darn good not to covet for yourself...
[Exclusive Gallery] DIOR’S Stunning Opal High Jewellery Collection
May 01, 2017
Imbued with sometimes-contradictory beliefs, the opal is a mysterious stone that seemingly reflects the origin of the universe. An exquisite new high jewellery collection by Dior Joaillerie pays tribute to this mystical stone...
The Bizarre Subterranean World of an Australian Opal Town
April 27, 2017
Coober Pedy, an isolated town in the middle of the southern Australian desert, is scarred by man’s greed. A lust for opal riches has left the once flat landscape pockmarked with hundreds of thousands of holes and accompanying hills...
Unearthing the precious opals and colourful characters of Coober Pedy
April 20, 2017
Since the turn of the 20th century, the opal fields of Coober Pedy have inspired hundreds of travellers looking to change their luck.
The name 'opal' is thought to have originated from the Ancient Greek word opállios, which means 'to see change'...
Year of the rooster Australian gold, silver and opal coins a boon for Perth Mint
February 09, 2017
Perth Mint's casting of its year of the rooster commemorative coins has seen massive collector interest worldwide, selling out of its silver and opal centrepiece days before the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations...
Get to know the Australian jewellery brand making opals cool again
February 08, 2017
“No other gemstone obtains so many different colours in a single stone like the opal does,” the design duo say of the gem, which can hold red, yellow, blue, green and purple tones in just a single stone. “Throughout history, the opal was believed to have many magical and healing powers. But most importantly, it is believed to enhance confidence and self-esteem.”
Rare $675,000 opal makes public debut
February 01, 2017
The world's finest uncut opal, a 998-gram gem called the Fire of Australia, has gone on permanent public display for the first time since its discovery more than 60 years ago.
Valued at more than $675,000, the stone is the largest known high-grade opal in the world, according to the gem's new owners, the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, Australia...
Inside the world of Australian opal miners who live underground
November 20, 2016
The Washington Post has published a gorgeous series of pictures by photographer Tamara Merino featuring the underground homes of a community of opal miners in the Australian desert.
The photos provide a rare and welcome look into the lives of some of the people on our industry’s front line...
Opal miners struggling to meet Asian demand, as buyers 'just about beg' for Australian stones
June 30, 2016
South Australian opal miners are struggling to keep-up with surging export demand, as Chinese and Indian buyers scramble to buy up huge quantities of the precious gem.
Over the past 18 months, the value of top quality black opal has almost doubled, with some buyers reported to be paying up to $12,000 per carat...
Nature’s Most Bewitching Jewels Go on Show at Aaron Faber Gallery
March 21, 2016
Phenomenal is an adjective not used or taken lightly. Meaning very remarkable or extraordinary, it derives from the word phenomenon, which in turn is used to describe something that is impressive because of an unusual quality. For Patricia Faber, co-owner of Aaron Faber Gallery in New York, several examples of gemstones do indeed command such vocabulary to describe them...
Brilliant Colours: 10 Opal jewellery pieces to dazzle your eyes
March 15, 2016
From glittery greens to fiery reds, ocean blues to calming lilacs, soft pinks to shimmering yellows, precious opals will definitely make any gemstone curator’s collection complete. The internal structure of the mineraloid makes it diffract light in the most peculiar and irregular way, making the stone take on a spectrum of different colours...
The secret life of gemstones
November 01, 2015
“I could shoot opal forever – especially boulder opal, which is only ever found in Australia,” Sanchez says. Boulder opals – like the one below – form within fissures of large boulders of a sedimentary rock called ironstone. Over the aeons, silica-rich water trickles into these cracks in the ironstone, collects and dries, and spherical crystals of silica – the opal – slowly grow.
2016 Australian Opal Lunar Monkey Silver Coin
January 18, 2016
The Perth Mint of Australia has released a Year of the Monkey-themed coin that has opal, a composition of 99.9% pure silver, a collector proof quality, and a limited mintage. This silver coin’s reverse features an inner panel design of a monkey with a peach, symbolizing longevity and immortality, in pure Australian opal. Around the scene is a collection of peach blossoms. Inscriptions include YEAR OF THE MONKEY, 2016 1 OZ 999 SILVER, the Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark, and NM for the initials of designer Natasha Muhl...
Man who unearthed $1million opal now can't find any
January 05, 2016
He unearthed a $1 million opal said to be the most beautiful in the world but more than a decade on fortunes have changed for John Dunstan. The Coober Pedy miner told 9Stories he’s had some decent finds since digging up the “Virgin Rainbow” in 2003 - but revealed his endless quest for the next big hit of glittering treasure has cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last two years alone...
8 Opal Jewels to Keep Us Celebrating October’s Birthstone
October 15, 2015
I love October for a myriad of reasons, but in this moment, I love it the most because I can keep talking about opal, and it’s totally acceptable. I mean, it would probably be acceptable anyway (because who doesn’t love a good opal?), but since it’s actually the month of the gemstone, it’s at least expected. So what is it about opal that we love so much, really? For me, I think it’s because almost all varieties of opal appear to contain some sort of mystical power...
A Winning Combination: Opal and Sapphire
October 06, 2015
It’s my favorite month of the year. And to make it even better, October is represented by one of the best birthstones: opal. But do you know what’s even better? A great colored gemstone combination. Namely, opal and sapphire. More specifically, boulder or black opal—the dramatic, glowing variety with flecks of blue and green—teamed up with blue sapphire. Bonus points if the piece features diamonds or is detailed with black rhodium (who doesn’t love that sort of oomph?)...
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