What is an Opal
All the colours of the gems ever found can be seen all rolled into one spectacular stone.
From Queensland down through NSW the tip of Victoria through South Australia across to Western Australia there are numerous Opal Fields. Out here along the Stuart Ranges, Coober Pedy produces the largest percentage of the World's most precious opal.
The Queen of Gems is out there, hiding away throughout the stark barren beauty of out timeless desert twinkling her eyes beneath the surface. With her intoxicating beauty she tantalizes the miners as a maiden to her lover as they dig, pick, tunnel and drill their way down to the depths hoping to find the faintest sparkle which will capture the dancing colour of the QUEEN OF GEMS. Choose your own opal from the many on display in our own Opal Room at the Comfort INN Coober Pedy Experience Motel.
Over eons of time as the water receded from the Great Artesian Basin and the earth dried, cracked and moved about creating cavities beneath the surface. Changes of climate caused lowering of the water table and the silica rich groundwater filtered downwards through the rock mass becoming trapped in the cavities and over time gradually settling and hardened to become opal.
Many animals and plants which lived and died during this time also dissolved and were replaced with the silica-rich solutions filtering into their cavities becoming fossils. Many of these are shells.
With an electronic microscope we view very small spheres of silica. The difference between precious and common opal (potch) is the arrangement of these spheres.
PRECIOUS OPAL is made up of regularly arranged spheres. The brilliant colours of precious opal are produced by the diffraction of light waves traveling through the three dimensional array of transparent silica spheres and voids. The larger the spheres the larger the colour.
Click here to make a Reservation