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Weird and Wonderful Ways to use Opal

There are some amazing stories out there and it seems the opal world has more than it’s fair share. The most jaw dropping (pardon the pun) is the story of Harold Hodges and his false teeth. Harold Hodges was a colorful character who, in the late 1950’s came to Lightning Ridge and opened the first motel, the Tram-O-Tel which is still popular. Jurgen Thomas, Justin’s father, remembers him as a tough man and even tougher opal buyer. There are many stories about his antics as he was also the local bookmaker and slaughterhouse owner. Harold would have a footnote in history like many of the men in the Ridge at…

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Lightning Ridge Opal Mines

Lightning Ridge has many different opal fields or mines in and around it. The opal from each mine and area can differ from black opal to white opal and even grey opal. The opal mines in Lightning Ridge, like the 3 Mile Flat, have produced some of the most beautiful black and crystal opal gemstones the world has ever seen. Opal, in general around the ridge, is of gem quality when it is found, but finding it is a different story. Many people have tried to find opal and failed over and over again. Only a few select people have made it big, and I mean really made it. By…

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Lightning Ridge Update

Well, I’ve clocked up a few miles in the past week with a trip to Lightning Ridge. Being winter, the weather was gorgeous with sunny warm days but beware when the sun goes down though as the temps drop to freezing. The town was pretty full, with most accommodation places showing no vacancy – a perfect sign! I caught up with a few old faces and met some new ones – including a few people who recognized me from my video’s – good to see people are watching! Mining is in full swing, with many professional and hobby miners working hard to find opal before the summer season heats up.…

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