10 million Dollars in sales reached in Feb 2012 with over 267,000 items sold.
10% discount was offered and good sales reported in black opals $1,000 to $3,000 and 18K gold opal rings, with black, boulder opals.
Ethiopian opals sold up to $1750 with average price $300
Many repeat opal buyers took advantage of extra discount to buy bulk lots opal.
Last month did not have many black opals listed as floods have inundated the town and could be 2-3 months before opal mining gets back to normal
In lightning ridge Hercules Air force planes have been delivering essentials and the local supermarket is empty.
Lightning Ridge opal fields are under water also so no opal miners can reach their mines. The Cochran is now one gigantic lake.
We hope to have new black opals mid year
PRESS RELEASE 250,000 ONLINE SALES
Opalauctions net work celebrates online sales of 250,000 opals and Gemstones.
Opalauctions was founded in 2004 by Wayne and Estela Sedawie to offer Opals direct from source to worldwide market.
In November 2011 the company reached milestone with over 250,000 online sales to some 62 countries.
Since starting Opalauctions the owners added complementary online sites to include gemstones, jewelry and coins.
These other sites have greatly helped to market Australian opals as these sites have been instrumental in bringing in new buyers who would not necessarily buy opal .
“The opal industry spends to much time and effort in holding local shows that sell to the converted and do not target new markets.
The Opal industry also does not have marketing campaign to promote Opals”, according to Wayne Sedawie.
The network now receives nearly 2 million hits per year and has over 150 Verified International and Australian sellers and aims by Mid next year to reach another milestone of over 10 million dollars in sales.
UPDATE 15-4 2011Total sales are now over 220,00 items
Last 30 days has seen record sales as investors cash out shares and buy quality tangible items
Double sided black opal 7.30 carat for $20,000.00
Yowah nut large 2711 carats for $32,532.00
Ethiopian opal 23 carats for $35,000.00
Black opal large 37 carats $37,000.00
Ethiopian opals from welo/Gondar have been strong $2000-$5,000
Black opals have been strong $500 to $3000 in sales
Black swan events such as japan earthqauke did result in more sales to this country as quality opals ,diamonds,gold n silver and platinum coins were purchased
Feb-march had good demand for quality rough opals
Lowe end opals market has been slow as quality items sell rapidly
Buyers prefer good pattern opal with character and good size
This includes sales for GemRockAuctions and coins-auctioned.com as well as opalauction.com.
Our auctions offer gems and collectibles that are hard to find in this modern world of electronic goods. Also since the GFC our sales have increased as many people do not want to own script or paper but to hold an item in their hands and appreciate the rarity of a gem. Top red on fire opals are now considered and investment stone and gem gemstones are well sort after but hard to find.
Opal Plus has reached a milestone this week August 2008 - 100,000 opals and gems sold online!
Many thanks to the support of our loyal buyers & verified sellers.
We started selling online over 5 years with Opal Plus selling opals on auction sites in USA & Japan.
4 years ago Opal Plus created opalauctions.com, and built upon that success to open gemrockauctions.com a year ago.
MARKETING PLAN 2009
2009 Marketing plan is to bring in new customers to our sites.
We aim to have 25% sales to new buyers who do not think of buying and Opal or Gemstone today.
To do this we will aim at collectors and investors for this year as our main marketing campaigns.
We have noted that repeat sellers have made our auction sites strong as large percentage of buyers resell and in the last few months we have noted that investors and collectors have been strong repeat buyers also.
We aim to target new sellers who will be repeat buyers more than the one off retail buyer.
In the current climate buyers need to have confidence in the web site and with the sellers. The fact that all sellers have to be verified is great advantage for our sites.
Buyers have gained confidence by knowing that they are dealing with professional sellers.
Our sites are secure and operating efficiently and out IT Department is continuing to upgrade to make our sites more user friendly.
OPALAUCTIONS has strong customer base of repeat buyers, we think we have one of the strongest followings and repeat buyers than any other auction site, but unfortunately we can’t compare.
Opal Investors and Opal collectors have been strong buyers in that last few months of 2008 and now realize that Opals are good to invest in or to own for enjoyment.
Our aim is to target new buyers who have never seen or held an opal.
Today we feel that the opal industry only promotes to fellow opalholics and doesn’t aim at new markets. as example we have the Lightning ridge opal show ,Winton opal show, Quilpie opal show, Yowah opal show and Gold Coast opal show and the Coober Pedy opal festival.
These opal shows are popular with the trade but doesn’t bring in new buyers.
It is similar to the old saying PREACHING TO THE CONVERTED.
These shows do have jewellery competitions but they still spend all their energy and time on preaching to the converted opalholics.
I could estimate that 99% of RETAIL gemstone buyers today have not held or considered buying an opal, so the vast majority of jewellery sales do not include opals.
And what is also overlooked in the Opal industry is how an opal is finished as to how it will look in jewellery; unfortunately the opal industry hasn’t been successful in marketing opals to end users which does give our site lot more advantages as we relate to want our opal customers want.
GEMROCKAUCTIONS is not even 18 months old and has good following of repeat gemstone buyers.
In the last few months we have concentrated a lot to build up buyer confidence on this site and we are pleased with the results.
We started the Gemstone Sheriff program, than added the Gemstone Advisory Panel so gemstone buyers will have confidence with the verified gemstone sellers.
Gemstones have lot more tricky treatments than opals so we needed a system that constantly checks seller’s listings so buyers can be confident of accurate gemstone description.
Certified gemstones and Videoshave just been added to make the site very professional and easy to use for our buyers.
In 2009 we started a new auction site to market coins to collectors and investors.
We have developed a very sophisticated and expensive auction program that we can duplicate and use again. By March 2009 we plan to have fully functional coin auction site, specializing in Ancient and medieval coins and will included USA, world, silver and goldcoins.
We still have gemstones in the Opalauctions to transfer to GemRockAuctions then we have coins to transfer from GemRockAuctions to coins-auctioned.com so each site will be a 100% pure specialist site.
Specialist auction sites with Verified seller is our key strength.
In 2010 we plan to launch our last integrated auction site jewellery-auctioned.com.
We feel that 4 specialist auction sites is what buyers want as most sellers are different and different criteria is required for each verified seller on each site.
The jewellery site will target one off retail buyers more than our present system. We do not think that general auction site is suitable for specialist gems or opals or jewellery.
Our plan is for buyers to log into and register in the site that they are interested in and be able to bid on the other sites with the same login details. Also very important is search word campaigns and optimizing is so different for each auction site.
Our strength with all the sites is to have strong industry minded verified Sellers with long term goals to build up base of loyal repeat buyers. Opalauctions will be specialist Opal miner opal wholesaler direct site as it is today.
GemRockAuctions will be specialist Gemstone site with miners and wholesalers as main sellers.
Coins-auctioned also has verified coin sellers and most dealers are marketing coins tocollectors.
Jewellery-auctioned has to have verified jewellery manufactures specializing in gold and silver jewellery, not necessarily gemstones or opals. The target will be end users not resellers.
INVESTORS NEWS UPDATE
Since the financial debacle we have had a lot of buyers selling their scripts or shares and investing in investment black and boulder opals.
For the last 10-12 years collectors haven’t invested in opals or gems as the share market had such high rewards for short term capital gains,
Investors or collectors didn’t invest in basic fundamentals but invested in certificates offering high reward with little risk.
How wrong has the mass market been?
Too many people just follow what’s hot and only investors or collectors who really enjoyed opals bought opals for enjoyment and long term investment.
These investors were ahead of their time and now have beautiful black and boulder opals that they can hold and greatly appreciate and also knowing that the opals will gradually appreciate over time.
We have also sold some stunning boulder opal carvings to collector who appreciates the detailed carving work and skills to do one of these carvings.
Black opals with red fire are extremely rare in the gem world ,to the same degree that pink diamonds are in the diamond industry, but not only has an item to be rare their also has to be high demand from buyers before the gem will appreciate.
Today all aspects point to black opal and specifically gem back opals as ideal investments.
There has always been high demand worldwide for rare gems and as the black opal fields at Lightning Ridge are more worked the easy black opal has already been mined.
So this rare opal will be found less in the future and also the mining expenses by the miners are very high now compared to several years ago.
Firstly opal miners have to deal more accurately and more information with the mines department and now they are so many extra fees associated with opal mining .as an example to do an open cut mine you need a deposits of $250,000.00 before you start so that you have to back fill the mine after you finished mining.
Government departments are now very active on the opal fields and even check that electrical equipment and leads are up to standard.
So we will have less gem black opal production, more overheads, including a fuel cost which is always 50% more expensive than city prices.
With boulder opal the situation is nearly the same in regards to gems as the easiest opals to mine have already been found.
At Lightning ridge and Yowah the opal fields are worked with boggers and vacuum pumps down mine shafts witha few open cut mines.
But the boulder opal fields in central Queensland use heavy mining equipment
Cat D-9 to d-12 are very expensive machines to operate and some cost around $900.00 per day in fuels costs alone, plus repairs are so expensive.
DEMAND for Opals as investment
In the past only those investors that had the opal bug and really appreciated the rarity of opals bought for opals for their opal collections.
Today we are seeing new investor who has not bought investments or opals or gems to hold and this site has offered them to be able to do so at wholesale price.
Only problem is that gem opals are harder to find now and more scare than ever
I remember not that long ago that opal I sold for $1,000 per carat, now sell for $3,000 per carats.
Fortunately this site is ideal as all sellers are verified and have to offer opals at wholesale prices.
So investor is dealing direct with the opal miner or opal wholesaler.
Other HANDS ONinvestments that investors can also look at are rare coins and Paintings and of course the rare pink diamonds.
If diamond are considered as an investment they should rank high in the four C and preferable be well over one carat as large diamonds are rare but smaller diamond are not considered as an investment as they are not rare .
Consider these figures if you wish to invest your hard earned money
Black opals with red fire is one of the rarest gemstones on this earth, rarer than diamonds
A 3 carat red fire black opal in 2000 I sold for $1,000 per carat, today same opal is worth $3,000 per carat.
Compare an investment of $100,000 with us from AFTER Y2K, January 2000 to mid November 2008... I bet they have even changed a lot more since than…
Gold portfolio in precious metals would be worth $293,588.00
Silver portfolio in precious metals would be worth $188,991.00
Portfolio invested in the Dow Jones Index of America’s 30 largest companies would be worth only $74,897.00
S&P 500 Index of Americas top 500 companies would have lost 34% in value over these 8 years.
In comparison with our black opals a similar investment would be worth $250,000.00.
That is a 12% increase per year
Private investors are the main buyers of opals and gems, but corporations and super funds also have purchased.
Superannuation funds in Australia do allow for self managed funds to buy opals or gemstones as part of a portfolio.
Strict conditions do apply in that the opals or gems have to be insured and kept in a safe and not on display.
Countries have different rules on self managed superannuation funds so best to check with regulators in your country.
PORTFOLIOS OF THE FUTURE
In this changing world you can’t afford to have assets only in your home andshare market.
Well balanced portfolios of the future will be more diversified and also more personnel gratification, and gemstones like Red fire Black opals should form part of that portfolio along with investments in precious gold and silver.
I would recommend a well balanced portfolio. Keep the family home out of your investment strategy.
20% shares, only invest in companies you are comfortable with, no speculation.
20% property, location, location, location.
10% precious metals gold
10% Precious metals silver
10% Cash RESERVE for rainy day
10% CASH to buy discount deals
10% red fire black opals or other gemstones
10% coins, or arts or collectibles
I have sold over 100,000 opals over the internet in my business Opalplus.
Only 3-5 % would I consider Investment opals, for your viewing pleasure please view and appreciate http://www.opalauctions.com/auctions/investment-opal/.
Enjoy our opals, hold and touch a rare gem that no one else has in the world today.
Only you can enjoy a gem from the earth and hopefully it will greatly appreciate in value for you, but remember: You don’t own a gem opal, you are holding in trust for future generation.
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