Recent find of rare large Yowah nut

12 March 2024 by Johno

Categories: Australian Opal | Opal Fields | Opal Types

Yowah nuts

What is a Yowah Nut

A yowah nut is a form of Boulder opal. It is found in the shape of a nut and these nuts can vary in size up to the size of an avacado. They are usually hollow inside a shell of a form of ironstone and these hollows can be filled with white powder, brown nodules and in some cases, precious opal.

The nuts are found almost exclusively, at a location in Southern Queensland named Yowah. The nuts are found usually in layers at varying depths. Today open cut mining is carried out to the level where the nuts are found.

In past times each nut was hit with a hammer and the outer crust broken to reveal what was inside. Goodness knows how many opals were damaged by this. Today the nuts are cut in half using a diamond saw a if you are very lucky you will be left with a matching pair of opal filled nuts.

Very few of the nuts contain opal so you may have to do a lot of sawing before you strike your gemstone, but when you do you have a very valuable opal.

Dave Darby was one of the lucky ones. Working his late fathers mine he uncovered a nut the size of an avacado. When he sawed it open it revealed a centre filled with gem opal.

The ABC revealed this find in an article you can read if you click the link below.

Rare 'Yowah nut' opal discovered in outback Queensland to be displayed in national museum

You can still visit Yowah today and there is a sealed road all the way. There are camping grounds  and there is a chance of finding your own nuts or fragments of nuts left by previous miners. There are fossicking areas which have been worked over but you never know your luck.


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