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Opals Down Under News

Opals Down Under News

The latest news from your favourite opal shop.

Opal miners shy away from land releases

Sat 4 Jul, 2009

(Sourced from on July 3, 2009) There has been a dramatic drop in the number of people applying for new opal mining land at Lightning Ridge. Ballots for 12 areas opened last Friday and so far there have only been about 40 applicants for each plot. This is compared to hundreds of bids per ballot the last time new land wa Read more Comment (0)

Call on freeze for opal leases

Wed 1 Jul, 2009

(Sourced from on June 30, 2009) Farmers are lobbying the NSW Government to hold off releasing any more opal prospecting blocks near Lightning Ridge in the state's north-west. The NSW Farmers Association wants a freeze on prospecting releases until landholders' concerns have been addressed. Chair of the association's conservation and r Read more Comment (0)

New Russian Technology being used to find opals

Thu 25 Jun, 2009

Just found this on the ABC News website and found it interesting. "An Australian mining company says it is using Russian technology to make opals easier to find. Midnight Opals says the technology can detect objects up to 500 metres underground compared with about 25 metres using previous methods. Company official Anthony Melonas says it is in partnership with Russian scientists who have develo Read more Comment (0)

Pick of the Week - June 12

Sat 13 Jun, 2009

I've decided on a set of Boulder Opals this week, for our pick of the week. We've had quite a few people lately comment on the intense blues/purples these stones display. Though not evident in the photo, these stones actually have a really intense purple hue to them. Read more Comment (0)

Pick of the Week - May 23

Sun 24 May, 2009

The owners of ODU have been busy the last few weeks, with going out and sourcing new material out west, then coming back and cutting & pricing the stones, so it would only be fair if I mentioned one of the standout stones as pick of the week. Hard decision, but I've chosen this really interesting piece. [caption id="attachment_109" align="aligncenter" width="287" caption="Koroit Boulder Opal"]Read more Comment (1)

Opals in Engagement Rings?

Wed 20 May, 2009

We don't normally endorse it, but in the last 12 months we have had quite an increase in enquiries for opals to be used in engagement rings. The reason why we don't normally support this is due to the softer nature of opal on whole. Read more Comment (4)

The result of the recent expedition for Boulder Opal

Sat 16 May, 2009

Owners of Opals Down Under, Immo and Louise recently embarked on a week long mission in Western Queensland to bring back some new Boulder Opal parcels for us to cut and sell. They visited the Koroit/Cunnamulla area, then made their way north to Quilpie. The Queensland Outback is pretty much what people might expect - a lot of rocks and dirt, but still very pretty. Read more Comment (0)

Pick of the Week - May 5

Sat 9 May, 2009

Our fearless leaders (re: owners of Opals Down Under, Immo and Louise Stein) returned this week from a stint out west buying up parcels of rough Boulder Opal from Koroit and Quilpie. Once back home, they've bought it in to be cut and polished, and we've had some awesome stones turn out. This week's pick is one of the first of that parcel that I've had the chance to put up on the site (ID #201144 Read more Comment (0)

The best Cuff Links I've seen...

Sat 9 May, 2009

...are these ones. These have been specially made for a client's wedding (to match the engagement ring which we created). Containing Queensland Boulder Opals (one stone cut in half, from Winton) and set into 18k White Gold, these cuff links are hand made (apart from the mechanism). Not the cheapest pieces of jewellery to make, but very original. Read more Comment (0)

Triplets? Doublets? Solid Opal? Synthetic Opal? Oh my!

Tue 5 May, 2009

So many terminologies which add to the confusion of what opal is. Here at Opals Down Under, we like to not only sell our products (which is the main objective, of course), but to also educate people on opal and the various forms which you see. Read more Comment (0)