Australian Opal Fields

 

Exploring the Australian Opal Fields

The major outcrops of opal in Australia occur along the shoreline of what was once The Great Inland Sea. The new Australian discoveries created great world interest in opal. Pioneers like Tullie Wollaston and E.F. Murphy helped develop these fields by marketing opal internationally and inspiring many to try their luck at mining. Miners worked and died in the harsh outback in the hope of making their fortune.

The important mining areas in Australian opal production over the last century have been White Cliffs, The Queensland Fields, Lightning Ridge, Grawin & Glengarry, Goober Pedy, Andamooka, Mintabie and Lambina.

We source our Opals directly from the Opal fields and regularly visit many of the Australian Opal fields. We have established many good working relationships over the last 20 years. Not only do we personally source our opals we process cut and polish all our own opals using our own workshop allowing us to maintain a high level of quality.

Queensland Opal Fields

The Queensland fields are spread across 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) and produce almost all the world‘s supply of boulder opal.

This opal is produced from remote locations in the vicinity of Yowah, Eromanga, Quilpie, Jundah, Opalton and Winton. Almost all the opal is done by open cut mining. Large and small ironstone boulders are split in the search for that elusive opal vein.

Take a Tour of Opalton

Take a Tour of Quilpie

Cooper Pedy – South Australia

The bulk of the world’s light seam opal has been mined at Coober Pedy. Mining extends over an area 50 kilometres long, running approximately north/south. The town reached its peak in the 1970s when enormous quantities of opal were being produced. It attracted many migrants from all over the world, seeking to make their fortune. Illegal gambling joints proliferated, some with dozens of tables where tens of thousands of dollars changed hands.

Unbearable summer temperatures have resulted in most of the population living underground in dugouts. By 2008 Coober Pedy’s production had fallen to 15% of its heyday but this dusty, hot outback town remains home to more than 4,000 people representing at least 50 nations.

Take a Tour of Cooper Pedy