What is so special about Australian Opal?

on . Posted in FAQs

marcusco carvingAustralia’s desert regions are home to the most precious Opals in the world!

Play-of-colour is what makes Precious Opal rare – common Opal is abundant and was even recently found on Mars.

Pictured: A brooch by Marcus & Co. from the early 1900's features a Queensland Boulder Opal carved cameo of Aurora, goddess of the dawn, flying through a sky lit up with diamonds. Demantoid garnet fish and seaweed decorate the ocean bottom.


The desert sandstones from which Australian Opals are unearthed provided a unique geological environment; 100 million years ago, the forming Australian continent was covered by a shallow inland sea. As the sea gradually receded, the desert sandstones were laid down (~65mya). Australian Opal’s sedimentary host rocks deposited in what now roughly corresponds to the Great Artesian Basin. This tectonically stable region of the earth’s crust experienced only the most subtle surface folding. Australian Opal had uninterrupted eons to form in layers and harden from solution to a gel and finally a stone. The micro silica spheres that make up Opal’s structure were able to grow larger and to form in orderly arrangements, thus capturing all the colours of the rainbow and many besides, in a kaleidoscopic myriad of patterns.

Besides, the desert gem is found by bronzed ‘Aussie battlers’; hardened gentlefolk of the bush, whose appreciative sponsors are child-like visionaries and creative dreamers!

Not to mention the fossils, no, not the old-timers, the Opalised replacements of organic remains, unique to Oz!

Source & Image Credit: BEJEWELED:GREAT DESIGNERS;CELEBRITY STYLE, Penny Proddow & Marion Fasel, 2001.


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 productions.tv

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,