Written by Chris Gawthorpe from Opal Rush.
The Black opal parcel shown below was mined in the Cochran Opal fields at Lightning Ridge Australia around the early 1990s. Currently all pieces have sold, but it is one of the best overall parcels I have ever seen with consistent gem quality black opals.
These gem flame fiery red opals are now considered to be investment opals as they are so rare. It is now becoming harder and harder to find these top quality black opals.
They have parcel body tone of N1 and formed as Nobbys not as seam opal.
A little history about myself, I was bought up in Lightning Ridge and know all the different opal fields and have worked for most of them. My father also worked the opal fields near the airport and we are well known in the black opal industry.
This parcel he called ‘Flame Fire Red Black Opals’ as you can imagine what they looked like in the rough form. All the Nobbys came out of the mine around 20 meters down and also near the roof of the mine. When the nobbys were rubbed, you could only see thin colour bars with red hues, but when the opal was rubbed even further the colours exploded. It is very unusual to find pocket red fire opals but to find 20 opals is unheard of.
One of the opal displayed rare harlequin pattern, which is the rarest pattern in black opals. Most of the opals showed beautiful block pattern display, a close pattern to harlequin pattern and made this whole opal collection extraordinary. We could see fire flame colours so came about the name of the opal collection.
It is good that we have these opals to look back at. It’s every opal miners dream to find opals like this. Unfortunately, most of us can only dream about finding red fire black opals.
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