Oh My Opal!

in rockhound •  2 months ago 

Oh My Opal.jpeg

Last night was my California Gem and Mineral Club's monthly meeting. I usually can't attend because I'm either in Japan or not willing to sit in traffic for 2 hours to get there. Last night was an exception though. The presentation was by a geologist couple who are close friends with one of Australia's premier Boulder Opal miners, Broken River Mining https://www.brokenrivermining.com.au

The couple have been traveling around California giving talks about Broken River's operations and specimens, the latter of which was absolutely mind blowing. That's not to say the presentation wasn't fantastic, it was. I learned quite a bit about roughing it in the Outback in Queensland, Australia. In order to mine these opals you really have to love doing it. There are no services for 6-8 hours of driving from their claims. Add to that they have to maintain many miles of the roads themselves as well as a landing strip for emergency medical planes. They are really out in the middle of nowhere.

While I could ramble on about the process they go through to get the opals let's just skip to the good stuff, the specimens!

This was a 3" x 2", $7,000 piece. My pictures don't do it justice, but it screamed with color bars as did most of the other specimens.

My favorite was this very large, just over 1', two sided opal. A cool $30,000 and I could have brought it home with me.



A slab specimen ready to be cut up into cabochons.


These are smaller nodules, sometimes called "Nuts". Good examples of what the opals grow in.

A larger version of a nodule with a thick opal vein.

And a shot of the whole table which had over $250,000 worth of opals.

Lastly, proof I was there.

It's always an incredible experience to touch high end specimens like these. I was fortunate to be around for this meeting and it really gave me some needed energy to plan digging trips out in the mountains this month. There are still many amazing things to find in this world if you're willing to look for them.

I've written about California opals I've been digging if you'd like to read more about opals. https://steemit.com/fridaysrock/@rt395/friday-s-rock-california-precious-opals

Off to eat Sushi. Thanks for reading!

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Wow! Mega-opals. Looks like a neat event. I hope all is well with you.

Hey Box, doing good. How are you guys? Snowed in yet? I may be doing a gem show up there this year called Mineral Marche. I think it's September. Will let you know if I am in town.

Hope all is well.

That’d be great! Let us know if you come into town.

We’re all well. No snow yet this year.

Hi @boxcarblue

I've just visited your profile to check out if you posted anything interesting lately, just to realize that you didn't publish anything in a long while.
Hope you are well and didn't give up on steemit yet.

Cheers, Piotr

hi there, long time no talk. how's life? Hope you and your family are safe from the coronav.
I need to inform you that I am gonna cancel my little delegation to you as you might have already known that Steem now is no longer our old Steem. 3 years here ended up like this is quite saddening, but I will look forward to any new initiatives that the community will take.

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I had sushi for lunch! 😁 These are astonishing specimens and I am so glad you went and took photos to share with us. I have never seen opals like these!

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So so beautiful.. I never, even on photography,saw that size... Great you can get it and show us this photos..
Thank you for share

These are very rare opals. Some of their other pieces are famous on youtube, one being cracked in half to reveal an incredible blue opal. We were lucky to have seen these in person. Thanks!

Wow! Wow! Never seen such big chunks like these before!
Absolutely beautiful!!
Love to have a tiny piece of these fantastic beings!

Yes, they are incredible and more amazing in person. These were special opals. Thanks!