I really wanted this fossilized bivalve opal that was in a mineral and gemstone auction that was posted on BB a while back...
Thanks! I always knew I had the coolest birth stone!
And around 95% of the opals from the Great Artesian Basin come from around Coober Pedy, which is one of the oddest places in all rural Australia. Which has got to be saying something!
I recall reading a story about the area in National Geographic as a kid and being fascinated by the underground living quarters that seem ubiquitous there.
Yeah, I saw a tv show about that town once. One of the residents was talking about how he was adding some stairs to his dugout to expand it and found a $15,000 opal that ended up paying for the renovation.
I've been fascinated by opal since I was a kid buying scraps of Mexican opal stored in water in old baby food jars at the local rock shop. I've never made it to Coober Pedy but I did get a chance to go opal mining in Spencer Idaho one time. The trick was freeing the opal from the rocks it had formed in without fracturing the opal itself. Hard rock mining is a LOT of work.
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