Blog Archives

Rare Opal Pattern

Sometimes an opal cutter comes across some rare opal that has an unusual pattern. These opals are both rare and unique. Peter cut one of these rare opals recently. The rare opal pictured below, weighs 14 carats and measures 30 mm by 20 mm.

Rare opal patterns in large stones are not cut often and for a cutter can be a heart-pounding discovery.

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Peter’s Story Part 25

The prize fighter claim – Part 2

I felt on top of the world and digging out breathtaking opal in our newly named “Prize-fighter Claim”. The opal seam was becoming wider by the day and there was some wonderful opal amongst it. I had already taken several buckets to Stafford’s camp for storage so knew the value of the pocket was building nicely.

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Mineshaft History – First Half 2016

17/03/16……One of  the best opals Peter has ever cut. He mined this opal around 1980 at Mintabie Opal Field. He kept it in the rough just to look at all these years. Yesterday he had the pleasure of cutting and discovery of the exquisite gem inside. 6.9 carats of beautiful dark crystal opal (best of the best).

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Million Dollar Black Opal

Black Opal of this quality, to put it mildly, is ‘exceptionally rare’. This is what all opal miners dream of finding. black opal of this quality in a stone as large as this is simply unbelievable.  This gem was found many years ago and is currently for sale BUT you will need a wheelbarrow full of money.

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Opal – An Introduction

Opal has been described as natures kaleidoscope, an individual expression of nature’s beauty, rainbows of perfection. Each opal is totally unique.

Some writings mention that the first recorded opal artifacts dating back to about 4000 B.C. were found by anthropologist Louis Leakey in a cave in Kenya. However others dispute this saying the beads in question were actually chalcedony,

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Black Opal Information

Black opal is the most majestic of all opal. The best Black Opals are truly striking, the rarest and the most valuable. I believe their beauty far exceeds all other gemstones.

The term “Black Opal” often confuses people. We get customers thinking that black opal is exactly that….black….with no other colour.

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Mintabie Opal Fields

Mintabie opal field is located 280 kilometers north of Coober Pedy. It is 35 kilometers west of Marla.

I went to Mintabie in 1980. It changed the direction of my life and you are reading this now as a direct result of that first trip. Whenever I see a picture of Mintabie my pulse races a little.

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Opal Pioneer Tullie C Wollaston

To all involved in the opal industry perhaps the most important person in the evolution of the industry was Tullie Wollaston. Through his pioneering efforts Australian opal was introduced to the world stage.

He was born on the 17th May in 1863 on the family property, Lake Hamilton,

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More Pictures

This page features random photographs taken over the years. Some are mining pictures whilst others are just nice pictures taken along the journey. Click on the image for a full size picture.







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More Mintabie Opal Images

More photos from Peters early opal mining days at Mintabie. Click the image to view a FULL size version.

A nice opal sandwich

A nice opal sandwich

Prospecting Drill

Prospecting drill
(Directly behind is what became crystal valley,

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