2015 celebrates a century of opal mining in Coober Pedy, and as such, stories in the media will be appearing about our national gemstone.
One particular amazing gem that has come back into light is a stunning Crystal Opal, dubbed ‘The Virgin Rainbow’ (due to its purity and phenomenal colour spectrum).
This opal is referred to as ‘Pipe’ Opal – it is the inner-casing of a Belemnite (a fossilised prehistoric squid, similar to a Cuttlefish) that has been opalised.
Most don’t realise that opal, in its first form, is a water and silica mix, that over time solidifies. What has happened in this case, is the opal solution has filled out the cavity in the Belemnite, and formed something quite spectacular.
If you are interested in seeing this amazing gemstone (worth in the seven figures), it is on display currently at the South Australia Museum, helping to commemorate 100 years of Opal Mining in Coober Pedy. It will be on display from September 2015 to February 2016.
For more information, head here –