The precious opal has seeped through tiny fractures in the host sandstone. The miner has to hit the stone with a hammer so it naturally breaks with the opal hopefully on both sides of the stone. In the rough its very easy to miss as you cant see the opal line. You have to tap the stones to check.
When miner hits the rock, only a small percentage have any opal colour and sometimes more opal will stay on one side of the rock. Very rarely is it an even split.
Contrary to the name, Opal Painted Ladies are not painted by an artist
Painted ladies are natural Opals found in Andamooka in South Australia and some are found in Allan’s Rise in Coober Pedy.
The story behind the name goes something like this, An Opal miner had just broken up from a relationship. He discovered one of these stones and decided that the opal layer was only skin deep….. just like that of his ex girlfriend.