About Us

Mineshaft is a small family business.

Mineshaft was started by Peter Blythe in 1978. Peter has had a passion for gemstones all his life. Both his grandfather and uncles were involved in mining and one of his uncles chased black opal at Lightning Ridge.

Most of the opal on display on this site has been mined and/or cut by Peter. He had many years of professional mining experience at Mintabie Opal Fields where he discovered many pockets of opal. These pockets contained black opal, crystal opal and semi black opal. This was followed by several years mining boulder opal in the area North West of Quilpie in Queensland.

Mineshaft stock opal from other famous Australian opal fields including Lightning Ridge, famous for its black opal, Andamooka, well known for its crystal opal, and Coober Pedy, known for its magnificent light opal.

Peter with giant boulder

Apart from opal jewelry, we have many hand crafted collectibles made from opal. These collectable pieces are crafted from large specimens of Boulder Opal and include unique carvings of koalas, elephants, snakes, lizards and other interesting pieces. You will also find a wide range of opal beads, opal watches and opal pens.

In addition to the famous Australian Opal, we also have a large range of other gemstones, gemstone jewelry, crystals, carvings and collectables.

As Peter is cutting opal on a regular basis, the range of cut opals is constantly changing. Every now and then he comes across a wonderful gem opal. This may be from Mintabie, Lightning Ridge, Coober Pedy, Andamooka or perhaps a remote boulder opal mine in the deserts of Queensland. This gem is then set in a beautiful gold or silver hand crafted setting and offered for sale.

During his extensive experience in the opal mining industry, Peter has established an extensive network of friends and business associates in the gemstone and crystal industries. These contacts and friends extend to all parts of the globe and Peter is always acquiring new and exciting items to offer our customers.

Mineshaft is the major opal and opal jewelry source in Canberra and as Canberra is the location of most of the diplomatic embassies in Australia, we have built our reputation and business from this diverse market and we are experienced with supplying a world wide clientele.

Because we have customers in all four corners of the globe we embarked on this ambitious website project to keep in touch and be able to offer both old and new customers the very best in opal jewelry, loose opal and collectables.

If you can’t find it on our website contact Peter with your requirements and he will endeavor to find it for you. E mail him at mineshaft@webone.com.au

Our retail store is located in the Canberra Center, which is the main shopping mall in Canberra Australia. See us on Google Maps.

You may contact us by phone or send us an email at … mineshaft@webone.com.au

If you are in the Canberra region drop in to our shop to get a closer look at our full range.

You can purchase items from the website and we accept paypal

Meet The Team

Peter opened Mineshaft in 1978. He has had a lifetime interest in opals and gemstones. He has been cutting opals since 1964. He has spent many years professionally mining opal at Mintabie in South Australia and more recently northwest of Quilpie in southwest Queensland. Peter’s interests other then anything to do with opal and gemstones are fishing, fitness,rugby league (go you Canberra Raiders) and travel.

Peter Blythe founder and owner

Peter in the shop


Marianne is married to Peter. She has been interested in gemstones since she was a little girl. She has a gemmological diploma with the Gemmolgical Association of Australia. Apart from her gemmological expertise she has completed a course in pearl restringing  and is responsible for many of the unique bead designs in Mineshaft. She has been actively involved with the mining of opal at our Rainbow opal mine in southwest Queensland. Her interests other then opal and gemstones are fitness and the gym, fossicking, country music, rugby league (Go you Canberra Raiders) and travel.

Marianne Blythe. Joint owner of Mineshaft
Marianne is married to Peter. She has been interested in gemstones since she was a little girl. She has a gemmological diploma with the Gemmolgical Association of Australia. Apart from her gemmological expertise she has completed a course in pearl restringing  and is responsible for many of the unique bead designs in Mineshaft. She has been actively involved with the mining of opal at our Rainbow opal mine in southwest Queensland. Her interests other then opal and gemstones are fitness and the gym, fossicking, country music, rugby league (Go you Canberra Raiders) and traveling.
Jamie is Peter’s youngest daughter.  She is a major component of our family business. Almost finished her certificate IV in Business at Tafe. She makes wonderful wire wrapped jewellery and has her own micro business called Jamie’s twisted jewellery (www.facebook.com/jamiestwistedjewellery)  She is quite competent at filling mining trucks with an excavator.
Jack Blythe
Jack is the eldest of our twin boys. He has joined the team and working whenever he can outside school hours.
Ethan Blythe
Ethan is the youngest of our twin boys and has also joined our team and works whenever he can outside school hours
DOROTHY YAU
Dorothy is a major addition to our team. Dorothy loves nature and colour and absolutely adores crystals. She loves helping customers with their choices. She loves painting and also makes her own silver jewellery. For Cantonese & Mandarin speakers, Dorothy speaks your language too!
Allen Beasely
Allen is a key member of our team. He has been a good friend for many years. He has had a life time interest in gemstones and has been faceting gemstones for many, many years. He has developed in to a gifted gem cutter. He is a perfectionist and his work can only be described as “totally professional”. Allen has many of his gems on display at Mineshaft and you can talk with him on any Sunday to discuss these or gemstones in general. He is only too happy to talk about the art of gem cutting and answer any questions you may have. Debbi works part time whenever required.

Chris Swanwick…Chris has been with the team for a while. He has a great interest in crystal healing and is never short of words for a conversation around his interests.

Michelle Blunden
Michelle is Peter’s oldest daughter and managed the shop for many years. She now lives in Brisbane but helps us out on buying trips.
Rating: 4.8/5. From 16 votes.
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