Australian Opal is without doubt, the most sought after precious opal in the world today. Australian opal is mined at Andamooka, Coober Pedy, Lightning Ridge, Mintabie, Lambina and numerous other smaller areas in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.
"Today I went to the Post Office to pick up the package you sent me. While taking care of other business there, I kept looking at the package and finally couldn't take it anymore so I took my car key and opened it up. When I saw the black opal pendant you made for me, it just took my breath away! It is exquisite! I never expected it to come out so beautiful and I was so surprised to see the beautiful chain you included with the pendant! I was so pleased and excited that I put it on right there and wore it for the rest of the day. You have really outdone yourself this time. Please don't forget to keep an eye out for the matching black opals I want to have made into earrings." Your friend and loyal customer, Marilyn, San Antonio, Tx
All Australian opal is of sedimentary formation and occurred when the inland sea that covered a large area of mainland Australia receded and then began to dry, over 150 million years ago. Silica rich waters found their way into faults and cracks and traveled deep within the earth, where they slowly set about evolving into the most beautiful gemstones in the world.
It is estimated that it took around 5 million years for an Australian opal to form one centimeter thick. Fossil shells and bones from as early as 120 million years ago have been replaced with opal and these fossils are very sought after by museums and collectors alike.
Precious opal occurs in very few locations around the world due to the very special and precise series of climactic and geological phenomena that must occur simultaneously for in order for opal to form. These precise conditions did occur across parts of Australia many millions of years ago with the end result being the beautiful Australian opal we see today.