The Story of Opal Minded

Opal Minded is the only opal store in the world with a comprehensive collection of outstanding opals from the opal fields of Jundah in the South-West of Queensland. Jundah’s opal mines are situated in the opal mining area historically known as Opalville. This area has a reputation for producing a great variety of high quality opals, including some of the most beautiful opals ever found — such as the world-famous Galaxy. Opalville is also one of the most challenging and rewarding opal mining areas in Australia. Only those with a great passion for natural wonders are brave enough to tackle the extreme, desert-like conditions in search of Australia’s rainbow-infused ancestral stone.

Opals in Dreamtime

Legend has it that opals were created when a rainbow fell to Earth and shattered to pieces, which turned into beautiful opals. Those in the know believe the rainbow must have touched down in Jundah, for some of the best and most brilliantly coloured opals in Australia are found there.

Jundah-Opalville is unique for having produced every type of opal ever found in our Great Southern Land. This includes black opal, boulder opal, light opal and crystal pipe opal, all of which have been continually found in Jundah since the 19th century. Famous for producing the 1880s ‘opal fever’, the region also produced Australia’s first black opal mines.

At the turn of the 19th century, several hundreds of opal miners worked in Opalville in extreme conditions, foregoing water and sustenance in exchange for the excitement of uncovering opals that have been the benchmark for the opal industry ever since.

The Bernard Family Tradition

The splendour of Jundah opals was the reason why our founder, Mr John Bernard, decided to situate Opal Minded’s mining operations there, after his father mined in Coober Pedy and different Queensland opal fields. In 1989, Mr Bernard also founded Opal Minded, an opal jewelry boutique in the heart of Sydney’s historical The Rocks.

A life-long admirer of opal’s uniqueness and exquisite beauty, Mr Bernard searches for Jundah-Opalville’s opal treasures undeterred by the lonely nature of his pursuits. Opal Minded today holds several opal mining leases in Queensland, continuing half a century of family tradition of opal mining. After defecting from British Merchant Navy in Fremantle, Mr Bernard’s father John Bernard Benny(-Wojciechowski) searched for great adventure and found his destiny in opal mines across Australia, together with his wife Zofia, one of the best boulder opal cutters the industry has known.

In 2007, Mr John Benny’s son, John Bernard married Renata Murawska, an academic and author, whose creative direction took Opal Minded to the new level of quality and refinement.

The Bernards’ Opal Mission

To the Bernards, Opal Minded is about increasing the world’s happiness quotient by sharing the beauty of opals. And Jundah rewards their devotion by producing opals known for their superb quality and infinitely alluring colour play.

Unlike many other gems, the luminosity of Jundah stones is so splendid that they can mesmerise onlookers in near total darkness. Each opal is unique in colour, pattern and value, and each carries a special message.

When it shattered, the ancestral rainbow created an opal for each person seeking a connection with the world of magic. At Opal Minded you will find that special piece of rainbow nature has created especially for you. We have been collecting its artworks and delivering them to our discerning clientele for over fifty years.

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