Welcome to Johno's Opals

My name is Johno and I have been obsessed with Australian Opal since the early 1960's, when I found my first opal. The beautiful play of colour and the fact that every opal is unique has never ceased to thrill me.

There is a great pleasure in cutting and polishing opal. To see a gem emerge as you cut away the sand and haze on the surface of the stone, never stops amazing me.

I have also always had a dream of one day finding a gem opal myself, and to this end frequently call in at one or other of the opal fields. I haven’t found my stone yet but have met a lot of wonderful people who are also looking.

This website is my attempt to share my passion for opal with any one who reads it. It shows the opal fields as we have found them in our travels, but there are also stories of some of the pioneers who overcame great hardship to try and find this elusive gemstone.

I have also tried to share my experiences in cutting opal using fairly basic equipment which most of us could afford.

There are many photographs of opals I have cut and my hope is that you will share with me the pleasure in viewing this wonderful gem.

I am not an expert, and my opals would pale in comparison to the wonderful gems that have been pulled from the earth in past days, but they still have a unique beauty.

I hope you enjoy some of my posts.

Latest Blog Posts

Potch is not always as it seems

3 April 2021 by Johno

Grey Potch.I had recently purchased a parcel of opal that contained quite a lot of potch as well as some nice colour. I put the potch to one side and forgot about it. Last week I went through it again and saw what I thought was a faint red band...

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Experimenting with Doublets and Triplets

22 September 2020 by Johno

Experimenting with Opal Doublets and TripletsWith plenty of time on my hand during the Corona Virus lock-down I decided to experiment with the making of opal doublets and triplets.Traditionally doublets are made with a potch backing and triplets with a potch backing and a clear glass, plastic or quartz top....

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Flying Cars in Coober Pedy

24 June 2020 by Johno

Coober Pedy is not all about opalWhen ever you hear the name Coober Pedy you immediately think Opal.Well you may need to think again. Air Speeder has announced it will operate a full scale fling car race in Coober pedi by the end of 2020. These flying cars are based on...

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Experimenting with opal

22 June 2020 by Johno

Trying something different with your opal Most opal lends itself to cutting some form of cabechon. Some will have rounded tops and others, where the opal has a band of colour, will have flattened tops to ensure we get the most out of our opal. When we have thin layers of opal...

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Queensland Opal Fields

17 June 2020 by Johno

The Queensland Opal Fields The Queensland Opal Fields are found in a belt of deeply weathered cretaceous sedimentary rocks known as the "Winton Formation". The Cretaceous Period existed between 145 million years ago and 66 million years ago. The climate during this period was quite warm and obviously...

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Yowah Opal Field

20 March 2020 by Johno

While looking through old newspaper archives I came across this story from the "Worker" Brisbane of Monday 21 November 1949 entitled " When the old Grey mare ate the flour and the hops" and now will share it with you. When the old grey mare ate the flour and...

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Opal Mining in the early days at Andamooka

21 February 2020 by Johno

The following was published in the Daily Standard in Brisbane on Friday 21 st June, 1935, not that long after opal had been discovered at Andamooka. The article gives a bit more detail on conditions at Andamooka in those early years of opal mining. "Two sheepherders of Andamooka Station,...

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Turning opals into Jewellery

19 February 2020 by Johno

Turning your Opal Collection into JewelleryIt is wonderful to have a collection of opals that you have cut and polished. But what is the point if you only look at them occasionally and the rest of the time they sit in a drawer with no one to admire them. Opal...

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Who did discover the Coober Pedy Opal Field

15 February 2020 by Johno

I guess there will always be disputes about who first discovered a lot of things and that apparently is what happened with the Coober Pedy Opal Field discovery.In looking through old newspaper stories on "Trove" I came upon this story written in the Argus of 9th July 1932. Hope...

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Duck Creek Opal Field Queensland - 1903

9 January 2020 by Johno

The following article on the Duck Creek Opal Field was published in "The Register" newspaper on Wednesday 24th June 1903. It is reproduced here to let you know what it was really like mining at Duck Creek in 1903. Duck Creek 1903 " The Duck Creek Opal Field...

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