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Hidden spots to find opal in Lightning Ridge

Mining in Lightning Ridge

Nine hours west of New South Wales’ coastline is a town that consists of a few restaurants, a couple of pubs, and one surprisingly decked-out grocery store; Lightning Ridge. Home to more than just a well-stocked IGA supermarket, Lightning Ridge is renowned by collectors, miners, and admirers for the beautiful black opal that can be found under its sun-baked plains. Lightning Ridge is known for producing some of the finest opals on earth so it’s no wonder it has become a popular spot for miners and opal-fanatics to settle down in the, sometimes lengthy, search for its rich, black beauty. So, is it possible for anyone to find opal in…

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The Australian Opal Centre becomes a reality

imge courtesy of Australian Opal Centre

FANTASTIC NEWS! The Australian Opal Centre (AOC), an icon for outback Australia and the home of all things opal has been funded! The local, state and federal governments have come together after almost 15 years of lobbying and put aside almost $19 million dollars to stage phase 1 of the project. Along with community contributions and the Founders program, the AOC has a total available pool of over $20 million dollars. We are so very excited for all those involved and the community of Lightning Ridge at large. The Australian Opal Centre as a centre of education, training  and certification has been a project close to the hearts of many…

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Aboriginal origins of opal

Aboriginal origins of opal

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the following post contains mention of deceased persons. The Aboriginal origins of opal are part of the Dreamtime stories. There are a number of stories and at least two from the Lightning Ridge region. The one I think resonates the best and which can be verified is from a wonderful wise Aunty (Elder) in Lightning Ridge.  She hailed from the local Kamilaroi people and was much loved in the community. She always had a smile and a laugh at the ready. The dreamtime story of the origins of opal was passed to her and it is repeated in her words below. HOW THE OPAL CAME TO BE A…

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