How do I get Australian opal jewelry

Welcome to the opal jewelry store's online shop!

Dear customer,

We look forward to your visit to our website and hope that you will be inspired by our opals and our opal jewelry!

The opal with its versatile and colorful appearance is a passion for us and maybe for you too.

These pages are an opportunity to pass on this passion, our more than 60 years of experience and our knowledge about the opal and to share it with you.
This not only concerns the mining in the opal mines, but also the processing with your own hands in our opal jewelry store.
From mining the opal to grinding and polishing to the finished piece of jewelry, we have been taking care of all the steps for you and with you for decades.
And although there are certainly beautiful opals from Mexico, Honduras, Ethiopia and other places, our enthusiasm is only for the opals from Australia.

Australian opal - our passion

Born and raised near Idar-Oberstein, the opal has always determined our lives for historical reasons and then also led us to Australia.
But after more than twenty years on the fifth continent, homesickness and longing for our old homeland brought us back to the Hunsrück.
Here, the acquisition of a property gave us the opportunity to continue living our passion for opals after converting it into a shop and to present you opals, whether raw, cut or set in a piece of jewelry.

With the unmistakable sandy colors of the Australian outback and the dinosaurs in the garden, the opal jewelry house with Australian opals and opal jewelry in noble design has meanwhile become known far beyond the borders of Idar-Oberstein.
We are very happy about this and of course you are always welcome and invited to visit us!

Raw, cut and set - opal from our jewelry store

On numerous trips and in numerous conversations, it has been found that not only rough stones or cut opals are sought and desired, but also opals already set in a piece of jewelry. That was the reason that at the "tender age" of 55 I decided to enroll as a guest student at the University of Design to attend courses on computer-aided design. This knowledge allows me today to design opal jewelry according to my own ideas and also to realize your ideas.

The opal, this "precious stone from prehistoric times" that was created more than 100 million years ago has fascinated mankind for ages.
The causes of its play of colors were unknown for a long time and its origin has not been clarified down to the last detail and is not easy to understand.
But at least we would like to briefly explain its classification and grading here:

Types of Australian Opals:

1. White opal or milk opal
The basic color of these opals is, as the name suggests, a milky white in various shades. This type of opal is predominantly found in Coober Pedy. The most famous site is about 800 km north of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.

2. Black opal
The basic color of this type varies from dark gray to black. Graduation takes place in great detail in 9 levels from N1-N9.
A dark base color increases the contrast and intensity in the play of colors, which is why black opals are the most sought-after (and most expensive) opals.
The majority of black opals are found in Lightning Ridge, in the state of New South Wales.

3. Crystal opal
This type is named for its transparency (not its structure!) And is translucent to crystal clear. The best crystal opals with a brilliant play of colors were found in Andamooka, today hardly anyone is active there.

4. Boulder opal
Boulder opals are only found in Queensland and show opal in thin layers on a brown, ferrous bedrock.
Depending on the play of colors and patterns, boulder opals can achieve very high prices.

Types of opals

1. Solid opal
Solid opals are big enough to be able to cut into cabochons. They are full opals, which are classified as white opals, crystal opals and black opals depending on the basic color and transparency. Black opals as solid opals, and then with a red play of colors and a special pattern, are the most valuable opals of all.

2. Laminated or composite opal

2.1. Opal doublet
A thin slice of opal is glued to a dark background. Often black onyx, black or gray potch (opal without play of colors) or brown bedrock of the boulder opal are used. Doublets are a nice and inexpensive alternative to black opal. It is important that this is pointed out. Because duplicates are often not easy to recognize, especially if they have already been captured.
Of course, all opals we use are described honestly and in detail!

2.2. Opal triplet
A triplet is a three-part material, consisting of a dark base, a disc of opal as an intermediate piece and a cabochon made of quartz or glass to protect the opal on the top. The curved surface of the cabochon makes it look like a magnifying glass and enlarges the pattern and play of colors of the opal.
A triplet is also a man-made composite material that must be described as such.

How and where can you find opal?

First of all, it has to be said that, unlike precious metals or gemstones, there are no reliable indications of exactly where opals occur. It's a game of chance in a way, aptly described by:

"Opal is where you can find it"

The first methods of mining the opal were primitive but cheap.
Holes were simply dug, a few feet deep, by hand with a pick and shovel.
However, over time it became necessary to dig deeper and deeper to get to the opal.
For this, shafts were dug and the overburden was removed with pulleys.
Later the shafts were then drilled by machine.
After the shaft has been secured to protect it from loose, possibly falling rock, a cavity is dug with the help of a tunnel machine, quickly and easily. At a depth of 10-15 meters, the machine eats its way through the ground, overburden is sucked out of the tunnel through the shaft with a gigantic suction device and carried to the surface.
This method is widespread in Coober Pedy and anyone who has already been there or has seen pictures knows the thousands of overburden mounds, the "Mullocks".
In Queensland, where boulder opal is found, mining is only possible in open-cast mining.
The earth's surface is removed there with huge bulldozers and excavators in order to get to colorful and precious opals.
Unfortunately, the machines also devour vast amounts of diesel, so that the cost of fuel is not insignificant and has continued to rise in recent years.
At the beginning of my active opal search, a liter of diesel cost just 0.16 dollars, today it's already 2.20.
With a bulldozer costing around $ 1000 per day (!), Searching for opals has become an expensive and risky undertaking.
This is one of the reasons why there are hardly any new opal prospectors or there are fewer and fewer. This of course affects the amount of opals available worldwide and their price.

But rest assured, in our opal jewelry store you will continue to find a variety of beautiful opals from our own mines in Australia.
Let us advise you, we look forward to hearing from you!

Opening hours:

Working days by appointment by email to [email protected]or by phone at +49 (0) 6781 509270

And if you have opal jewelry that has lost its shine, we are happy to help.
Our cutters and goldsmiths will give your favorite jewelery a new shine.