The Australian Boulder opal takes the #2 position on the podium, after the black opal, as the most valuable type of opal. These stones are unique in the fact that the ironstone is left on the back of the opal to create a full size opal. The opal veins in these opals are so thin that the mining must be done by hand in order to avoid breaking the opals – and that’s not even the downside: One in one thousand boulders actually contain an opal! Out of all the world’s opals, 97% comes from Australia and only 2% of that is Boulder Opals.
These charming opals are formed in the fissures or voids of weathered rocks, ending up on the inside of boulders… hence the name. Quilpie, (Queensland Australia) is one of the two most productive opal mines in Queensland and is also known as “The Home of the Boulder Opal”.
Pictured here is one of the famous Boulder Opals in a beaded pendant with copper washers and clasps accompanied by Japanese seed beads on a leather strand. We call it Tommyknocker’s Opulence (who comes up with these names???).