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

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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Queensland Opal Fields in 1901

9 January 2020 by Johno

The following is a summary of an article in the the newspaper "The Worker" of 1901 relating to the state of the opal industry in that year. The Opal Industry In 1901,an employee of "The Worker" newspaper carried out an interview with a Mr K L Lindsay of...

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Opal Robbery at White Cliffs Opal Field in 1896

2 January 2020 by Johno

The following story was published in the Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser of June 13, 1896 Extensive Opal Robbery "An opal robbery of a sensational character has been reported here by the Wilcannia visitors to the White Cliffs Races, who returned from the township on Saturday...

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More about White Cliffs Opal Field in 1894

2 January 2020 by Johno

This is the second article about White Cliffs Opal Field taken from an article in the Sydney Morning Herald in April 1894. It was written by " The Tourist" and details what they observed on their trip to White Cliffs. The second part of the article states a lot...

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A Visit to White Cliffs Opal Mines in 1894

28 December 2019 by Johno

In looking through some old papers I came across the following article written in the Sydney Mail in 1894. It is an article describing a tourists visit to the White Cliffs Opal Field in that year. I hope you find it of interest. The article was researched by Rusheen...

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Some Beautiful Andamooka Matrix Opal

2 December 2019 by Johno

Andamooka Matrix Opal Andamooka Matrix opal is a unique form of opal found only at the Andamooka Opal field in South Australia. It consists of a fine grained limestone rock with opal ingrained in this limestone matrix. The opal can exist in all sorts of patterns. Because of the...

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