About Us

Mineshaft was started by Peter Blythe in 1978.  The retail shop ran for 45 years and was finally closed on the 31st January 2023 so Peter could enjoy semi retirement. He will continue cutting the opal he mined and selling online in between fishing, other interests and slowing down just a little. 

He 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 many years ago.

Most of the opal 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 and his mining partners discovered several large 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.

 Peter cut, and is is cutting opal on a regular basis, and  the range of cut opals will constantly change. Every now and then he comes across a wonderful gem opal. That’s the joy of cutting and the thrill of discovery.

During his extensive experience in the opal mining industry, Peter established a large network of friends and business associates in not only the opal industry but also the the gemstone and crystal industries. These contacts and friends extend to all parts of the globe and keeps Peter in touch with the gem market and those in it.

Mineshaft was the major opal and opal jewelery source in Canberra.  Canberra is the location of most of the diplomatic embassies in Australia and Mineshaft built it’s reputation and business from this diverse market. He has considerable experience supplying a world wide clientele.  He aims to continue to do this because he enjoys the diversity.

Mineshaft have customers in all four corners of the globe and Peter is embarking on an ambitious website project to keep in touch.  He aims to offer both old and new customers the best value in opal jewelry, loose opal and opal collectables but at a slower pace or when the fish aren’t biting and perhaps when he is away chasing new gems.

Without the overheads of a shop he will offer small parcels of opal and opal jewellery directly at wholesale prices.

If you can’t find it on our website contact Peter with your requirements and if  he has what you are looking for he will sent you pictures. E mail is mineshaft@webone.com.au

 Peter’s interests other then anything to do with opal and gemstones are fishing, fitness, rugby league (go you Canberra Raiders) and travel.