Boulder opals are natural occurring opals that can mainly be found in the state of Queensland, Australia. They form along a geological formation known as the Winton formation. This weathered cretaceous sedimentary rock extends from the far north of the state of Queensland right down to the Queensland – New South Wales border. Along this formation is where many different forms of boulder opal can be found.
Naturally occurring Boulder opal in this area is different to other opals that can be found in places like Lightning Ridge. The boulder opals are formed in an ironstone concretion which ads stability to the precious opal. It seeps down in cracks or voids in the ironstone and when it solidifies it creates one of the most unique and beautiful patterns in nature.
Auctions are a great way to try and secure a natural boulder opal at a fraction of the retail price. When stones are placed up for auction in many cases they do not have a reserve. This means that buyers and collectors can keep an eye on the auction and bid an amount that they think the stone is worth. We have seen top quality boulder opals sell at extremely cheap prices because the bidding activity was low. Likewise though we have seen some very ordinary stones bid up to incredible prices. Sometimes auctions awaken a passion inside people that makes them bid higher than they normally would.
Mining for boulder opals is hard work. The conditions are dry and harsh and huge machinery has to be used which creates a lot of dust. When some of these miners offer their opals for auction it can heart breaking if they don’t fetch the expected price. There is so much work that goes into mining and cutting an opal that sometimes it is hard to believe that the stone is only worth $10.
If you would like to participate in one of our auctions be sure to click here and check out what all of the excitement is about.
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