Opal shells are popular with collectors all over the world.
Its only in recent times that shells have been collected by what we term non
opal collectors. That is collectors who enjoy minerals specimens are now buy opalized shells.
The Opal Hunters tv series on Discovery channel, shows two
new opal miners try opal Mining at the Shell patch in cooper Pedy.
The Shell patch opal field has produced top quality opalized
shell and belemnites.
Opal hunters shows the guys trying different methods to find
the rare opals.
They dug down older mines looking for left over traces, they
used dynamite to blow away walls to find opals, and excavator on large area to fossicking
at night with ultra violet lights that helps to see opal lying in the open that
the miner might have left behind.
There is good demand for complete clean opalizd shells and
buyer will pay accordingly and they prefer the shell is not polished or
Coober Pedy south Australia has reputation for shells a sit was
once under the sea so there are areas prolific with these sea water shells but
most do not have any colour .In comparison to lightning ridge where shells are
from fresh water creeks and not so common and mussel shells are also found in
some opal fields but it is rare to find
colour in these and if it is black opal shell it is very expensive.
Broken pieces shell are always offered for sale at good
prices and thyme can be polished to make unique pendant or for inlay material.
Some large specimens from coober pedy show Clam Shells Mussels,Gastropod ,Fish Verteberate , are of saltwater creatures, snails, clams,
mollusks, crayfish, belemnites,on Natural Matrix from the Cretaceous period
Some shell specimens have also gypsum formed in them and do display some opal colours.
Parcel lots of shells with no colour are collected but serious collectors are always chasing
bright fire colours. Snails and clams are also in fossil section for collectors
and it takes lot work to clean these from the potch a s some is very hard and
breaks the fossil and some are in softer potch so can be easily cleaned with
out doing nay damage but professional mineral cleaners do good job restoring or
caring for these fossils.