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My Boulder Opal Story

In the coming weeks or months but hopefully not years, I will be publishing my boulder opal story – a serialised account of my involvement in the Australian opal industry. I say that because I have not written a word of it yet. It is still locked up in my head from which it needs to escape onto paper or rather via my keyboard into cyberspace.

May I also add that as I am Australian, I am writing in our version of the English language. So, for American visitors, you may see some spelling anomalies. There are a number of differences and to give you an example: Aus – jewellery, US – jewelry, Aus – colour, US – color and so on. If there is anything that you do not understand or would like further information or clarification on, please leave a comment and I will try and satisfy your curiosity.

This then is a story of a significant portion of my life, 20 years or approximately one third of the time I have been alive on this planet in this lifetime.

It spans the years 1975 to 1995 when I was involved in the Australian opal industry. I started as an apprentice learning cutting, polishing and marketing opals and eventually ended up exploring for and mining Queensland boulder opal.

Now for the uninitiated, Australia has most of the world’s opal reserves and the Australian state of Queensland has a unique form of it called boulder opal. Boulder opal occurs as veins in sedimentary rocks which are concretions called boulders because of their shape. This is the only place in the world where this type of opal is found and as it accounts for a very small amount of total opal production, it is arguably one of the rarest gemstones on this planet. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, boulder opal does not attract the status or the value that this rarity would normally command.

So if you have an interest in opal, the Australian outback or just like reading about the lives and experiences of other people, sometimes in very strange situations, bookmark this website or just visit from time to time and check for new content. There is also a gallery of spectacular photographs of all aspects of the boulder opal industry such as exploration, mining and the rehabilitation of boulder opal mine sites.

Some of it is humorous, some tragic, some strange but all of it is true.

Next page:   1975

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