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100% Australian Opal, Ethically Mined from the Earth



Posted by Stephen Tasic on


The Boulder Opal Miners of Outback Queensland typically prepare for the Opal Mining Season before Easter each year waiting for the temperatures of summer to cool off. Eager to uncover this outback gem they arrive as summer begins to fade and temperatures of remote outback Australia become more suitable for man and machine. Opal Miners have historically been individuals, family operations of partnerships of determined multi talented people from diverse backgrounds who are drawn to the search for Australian National Gemstone. From April through to late in the year Opal miners of outback Queensland will be drilling and digging with excavators and bulldozers unearthing the unique boulder opal. Every July the Opal miners come into Winton for the QBOA Opal Tradeshow and display the boulder opal in the rough, faced or cut forms to buyers that come from around Australia and the world to purchase this rare gemstone. Opal from around the Winton area is varied and can be one of the following types including matrix opal, pipe or crystal opal or boulder opal. Matrix Opal is where the opal occurs as a network of veins or the infilling of voids between the grains of the host rock. The term Crystal Opal is given to an Opal which has a transparent, translucent or semi translucent body. If light passes through the stone or you can see through the Opal then you a probably looking at a Crystal Opal. Pipe Opal occurs in pipe like structures which may be up to several centimetres in diameter within the sandstone and these structures may be hollow and sometimes filled with Opal. Opalised Wood is often referred to as Pipe Opal and is found replacing ancient wood tissue material and can be referred to as wood replacement, Opalised Wood or Pipe Opal. Boulder Opal forms as veins within ironstone or sandstone concretions. Boulder Opal as a result of being naturally attached to the host rock is very durable and is cut leaving the natural host rock or boulder with it that it was formed in.