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The secret world of opal buying

It’s a sight about as rare as the Rainbow Serpent gem; welcome to the secret world of opal buying.

Across the state of New South Wales and down a long stretch of gravel, my son Saxon and I bring you along our trip out west on the hunt for opal. 

  • Where do I start when buying opal from a miner? 
  • What conditions should I be in to look at opal?
  • What tools do I need to buy opal?
  • How do I visit a miner?

I get these questions more frequently than seeing a kangaroo in the outback. Today, I’m going through the whole process, and I’m bringing you with me! 

What’s it like to buy opal from a miner? We head to the source of the worlds best black opal, Lightning Ridge, to show you what opal buying is really like.

Lightning Ridge is a beautiful landscape of red dirt and Australian natives with a herd or two of emus never too far away. The landscape is breathtaking, but the real magic lies underneath the earth.

While I show you the buying process, my son Saxon takes you out on the field to get a glimpse of the conditions and machinery on the opal fields.

It’s really important that I make one note when heading out to Lightning Ridge; never go to a mining site without permission. Apart from dangers like mining holes, heavy machinery, and risk of collapse, it’s illegal to visit a site without permission.