|Opal, from the Greek, "Opallos", meaning 'to see a change (of colour)', is a formation of non-crystalline silica gel.|
Millions of years ago, this gel seeped into crevices and cracks in the sedimentary strata. Through eons of time and through nature's heating and moulding processes, the gel hardened and can today be found in the form of opals.
Black opal is the rarest and most valuable type. It is generally found as a bar of various colours forming natural water horizontals in dark grey to black "potch nobbies" or "nodules". The unique patterns are as complex as an artist's imagination.|
98% of the world's supply of this radiant, dark lustrous gem is mined at only two tiny pinpoints on the globe - Lightning Ridge and Mintabie, Australia.
|The world famous black opal field of Lightning Ridge was discovered in 1903 and is still producing gems.|
The discovery of light opal in 1915 made famous the name of one of the most hostile and remote places on the Australian continent - Coober Pedy, the largest opal producing centre on earth.