Lightning Ridge is probably the most famous opal mining area in Australia. It is located in New South Wales and it is one of the most isolated areas in Australia. This region has been mined since 1869, and it’s also known as the “Black Opal Capital of the World.”
Lightning Ridge is known for producing exceptional black opal but also red, orange, blue, and green varieties. The black opals are known for their rich dark colors and unique fire patterns. The reds are beautiful, too, often with a fine grain structure that resembles the finest oriental lacquerware.
The town itself is not very big; you can find different lightning ridge opal shops in Australia that sell all kinds of opals: roughs, tumbled stones, and jewelry pieces. There are plenty of shops selling both natural and synthetic stones from all around Australia and even from overseas. The quality can vary quite a bit, so always make sure you know what you’re buying before making any purchases! You’ll find everything from small souvenirs to large pieces of jewelry made from precious stones found in Lightning Ridge!
1. Opals Are The National Gem Of Australia
Australia is the largest exporter of opals in the world, and these beautiful gems are considered to be their country’s national gemstone. There is even a national association that promotes their use and sale in Australia.
2. Opals Are Formed From Water
Opals are formed when water seeps into rocks or minerals, forming tiny spaces between them. Over time, pressure builds up within this space and causes it to crack open, releasing its contents back into the ground as a tiny piece of opal.
3. Opals Come In Many Different Colors
There are over 25 different colors of opal available today, but they all share one common property: they contain an interplay between light and dark areas that gives them their unique appearance. The color of each individual stone can vary based on its source material or environment during formation; a black opal might look green or red under certain conditions, while a white or blue opal can appear yellowish brown or gray if exposed to enough heat or light exposure over time (or vice versa).
4. Opals Are Durable Gemstones
Opals are relatively hard and durable, ranking at about 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness (with 10 being the highest). They can be scratched by harder stones such as corundum and sapphire. Opal is also susceptible to cracking if it is dropped or receives impact damage because its internal structure is not very strong.
5. Not All Opals Are Precious
Not all opals are precious; there are many types of common opals that may be found in jewelry stores and markets around the world. Common opal has little value because it lacks color play and fire (i.e., sparkle). However, common opal often has great value due to its durability and low price point.
6. Opal Was Once Considered Bad Luck
The Romans believed that opals were unlucky because they resembled the eyes of Medusa, who transformed men into stone with her gaze in Greek mythology. This legend may have originated from the fact that an opal’s color can change depending on the light hitting it, making it appear to move or even “glow” at times, like Medusa’s eyes did in some stories. Opals were also thought to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck when worn by women in ancient Egypt and Greece. Today, many people still believe that opals bring good fortune — especially if you find one yourself!
7. Opals Are October’s Birthstone
Opal is the birthstone for those born in October and is also considered an anniversary gemstone for those celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary. It also makes an excellent gift for anyone born during springtime or winter months due to its association with fire and warmth.
Now that you know some interesting facts about lightning ridge opals, what are you waiting for? There is nothing better than a beautiful piece of jewelry, and these opals are just the thing to have to treat yourself or someone else. Enjoy your time with this beautiful jewelry always. You can buy these beautiful opals from lightning ridge opal shops in Australia.