The national gemstone of Australia is one of the world’s six most precious stones in the world. 95% of all the opals found come from Australia.

There are three basic kinds, which are black opal, boulder and milky white opal. They are deposited along the edge of the great artesian basin and stretch for more than 1,000 km.
The main opal fields are found along Lightning Ridge, which are known for their black opal, Cobber Pedy, Mintabie and White Cliffs with their and light opal and Quilpie that produces the boulder opal.

Black Opal
This name comes from the Aborigine's word upala, meaning valuable stone. The term “black opal” is derived from the natural black potch base, which provides a dark background to the rainbow of colours. Their rarity and dark as night backing makes them the most valuable of all opals.

The nobbies are shaped like beans or potatoes. They are often found in pockets of small clusters. When mining, the nobbies are very hard to see with the naked eye and, therefore, you have to wash the dirt to find them. Seam is like horizontal bands. Usually you do not have to wash the opal dirt, since the seam is very easy to see and follow. Normally, the best quality opal has been found in nobbies. Sometimes you can find opalised fossils like shells and dinosaur bones, which can have amazing bright colours.


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