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Lightning Ridge Opal

There are many types of rough opal from many parts of the world. Rough opal comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. In Ethiopia, opal comes in a nobby-like form that is usually brownish in tint. The opal looks very volcanic and porous, so water or liquids will soak into the opal easily. This type of opal tends to crack or craze over time of being out of the ground and not under pressure. Brazilian opal comes in the form of seam opal that forms in fissures and cavities in the high silica concentrated ground. This opal is usually crystal opal and is mainly stable and not conducive to cracking…

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Lightning Ridge Gem Show 2009

The Lightning Ridge gem show went off without a hitch, the sun was bright but cold at night, with many people coming from all over. The all round feeling that the gem show had was a nice easy going show. Some people were selling very well and other not so well. Some rumours say that one booth sold around $60,000. Not bad for an opal gem show. The real talk of the town was Ethiopian rough opal being sold by some very nice Italians. The opal has been bought and experimented on by us over the weekend and we have come to the conclusion that it is very different from…

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Lightning Ridge

Lightning Ridge is a tiny opal-mining town about 70 kilometres south of the Queensland border in New South Wales and 700 kilometres north-west of Sydney. The city is situated on the edge of an ancient inland sea. The population of Lightning Ridge has fluctuated over the past 20 years from different opal rushes found at different times. The Largest of all the rushes was the Coocoran Field. The Cococoran had supplied the world with black nobby opal in large quantities in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The 80s bubble economy in Japan was the largest export of black opal Australia had ever seen before. With opal coming out of…

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