“When you see a true gemstone opal, you never forget it. Like a rare song in a language you don’t understand, but you feel its mysterious power. That’s why I keep mining opals.” – John Bernard, Founder & Director
Generally, opals are a relatively little known gemstone. They are found in North and South America, Europe or Africa. They can be produced in a laboratory (with a mixed effect), and made into a composite stones of opal doublets and triplets.
But solid Australian opals are different. They are rare. They are the benchmark for the precious opals of the world. They are bright and more durable than other stones. The majority is sedimentary, so they are denser than those of volcanic origin found elsewhere.
The dominant belief is that they come from 80-100 millions years ago, however there have been some sightings of liquid opal matter which evaporated when confronted with the open air and the sun, which may suggest that they are still undergoing the process of formation. If so, that would be good news for opals’ value, which reflects their rarity and uniqueness. The scarcity of opals means there is little exposure to them, which means that not many people around the world understand their true value. And, for the added difficulty of judgement, no two opals are the same. They come in all sizes, shapes and colours. Their unique beauty and colour spectra are designed by nature, and brought out with a skillful hand of an opal cutter who has to “follow the colour”. Some claim that cutting opals is an Australian version of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland.
But what is the biggest secret of opals? Well, you will have to discover it yourself. Take a close look at opal colour structure – it is waiting for you and you alone to decode its exquisite beauty.