Chronological History of Opal

on . Posted in About Opal

Opalised Dinosaurs65 Million Years Ago Towards the end of the Cretaceous period sea levels receded, dinosaurs became extinct & the vast desert sandstones were layed down which host Australia's National Treasure

30 Million Years Ago By the mid Tertiary period the process of Opalisation had begun

50,000 Years Ago Australian Aboriginal 'dreamtime' regards the birth of Opal as sacred

 The Classical source of Opal is likely 'Anatolia' or modern Turkey, although India has oft been cited.

320 BC Theophrastos1First literary record of 'Opal' by Ancient Greek scholar Theophrastos 372-287 BC
79 AD Pliny the Elder describes Opal as a multi-coloured gem, refering to Nonius' stone and paste imitations of Opal in his Historia Naturalis
1100 AD First commercial Opal mines Olbayana Hungary.
1280 AD crown_of_the_holy_roman_empireAlbertus Magnus exults the virtues of the Orphanus Opal set into the Crown of the Holy Roman Emperors
1540 Bernardino De Sahagun describes a stone used and named by the Aztecs in his Florentine Codex
1597 Emperor Rudolf II issues the first Opal mining lease in Dubnick present day Slovakia
1840 First recorded discovery of Opal in Australia at Angaston S.A. by Professor Johann Menge (not a commercial deposit)
1851 Opal found by a peasant farmer near Querétaro Mexico
1869 Queensland’s first recorded Opal find at Listowel Downs near Adavale
1871 First Opal lease in Australia Pride of the Hills mine Toompine Queensland
1873 1886_Exhibition1Opal Miners Berkleman & Lambert attend the International Exhibition in London
1889 Light Opal discovered by Kangaroo hunters at White Cliffs NSW
1901 Tully Wollaston takes Boulder & White Opal to the Empire Exhibition in London
1902 Black Opal is found at Lightning Ridge NSW

1912 Opal proclaimed October birthstone by American National Association of Jewelers

1915 The world’s largest Opal deposits, found at Coober Pedy South Australia
1930 Andamooka, famous crystal Opal fields, discovered by boundary riders in SA
1930's The Fire Queen Opal stone is sold to J.D. Rockefeller fetching a record £75,000
1945 Opal found at Pedro II Piaui State in Brazil
1965 Scientists from Austalia's CSIRO discover the internal structure of Opal

Australia Post issued Opal Stamps on two occasions: 

Firstly in 1974 an 8c stamp was part of a gemstone series. 


Then in 1995 two denominations were issued depicting Australia's National Gemstone;

A Light Opal $1.20 and a Black Opal $2.50 stamp, Boulder Opal featured on the cover of the Stamp pack.


1990 Opal industry reaches historical peak worth $500m to Australian economy
1993National_gem Opal proclaimed Australia’s National Gemstone
1999 First National Opal Symposium held at Lightning Ridge NSW, now a biennial event
2008 Significant reserves and quality Opal discovered at Welo in Ethiopia
2008 Black Opal announced as the new Emblem of the State of New South Wales




Sue-White opals29 June 2013
Dear Rainbow Serpent,
Thank you for your email and membership.
It is great to know that you are out there promoting Australia's National gemstone & NSW emblem.
Keep up the good work, I love your concept.
Sue White - Orana Glitz & Glamour Extravaganza Inc Assn.

15 march 2013
Hi Peter,
Colourful characters are key,
your Facebook page and the photos look like there are some fantastic people!
We loved the look of Tarzan of Opalton.
Gemma Brady - Boundless

Alexander fink.PhysicsPHD opal28 Nov 2012
I would like to welcome your information page on opal,
with detailed information about nearly everything their is to know in a general term.
Alexander Fink PhD - Dept. of Physics La Trobe University

5 August 2010
Hi from another opal lover.
Just wanted to say I love your site, a wealth of information.
I always send people to your page for opal info.
Kind Regards
Sean Tapner - Planet Opal

8 july 2010
Dear Rainbow Serpent,
Will be recommending your website as a primary reference to 15 Macquarie Uni media students who will be doing a PR project for us as part of their assessment soon.
Best wishes
Renata - Opalminded

Opalminded recommend opalsinformation6 June 2010
Dear Rainbow Serpent, 
Greetings from Opal Minded In Sydney.
We are all very impressed with your website – one of the best things that has happened to this Industry for a long time. 
We would love to share it with the visitors to our website. 
Would you mind If we post with us links to your website, 
also on our facebook and twitter. 
Best wishes
Renata, John, Nelly, Fabrice and Summer

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 
Good Morning,
I have just found your wonderful website.
I produce a monthly e-newsletter which is circulated to the Tourism businesses in Coober Pedy and neighbouring stations plus the Info Centres around SA & the NT.
I wondered if I could use some of your Opal info in my October Edition (Opal Month), mainly the parts in your “About Opal” section – names, spiritual info etc.
I would obviously reference it to your website noting the address so others could read your site. 
Sandra Harris
Tourism Officer - Coober Pedy Information Centre

5 April 2010
I am wanting to use your site in an assignment as it is a superb example
of a site to use for a primary teaching unit on gemstones.
Many thanks,