Opal shells are very unique pieces for any collection. These are shells that have been opalized. A lot of these shells come from the opal fields in Coober Pedy while the more valuable black varieties of these options are found in the Lightning Ridge area. Originally, the opal fields in Australia formed along the bottom of a large inland sea. There was a variety of different marine creatures that called this sea their home including shellfish, dinosaurs, crocodiles, and turtles. When these creatures died, their bodies would sink down to the bottom of the sea and would end up covered in silt and sand. As millions of years passed, this sea ended up drying up which caused various types of clays and sands that were deposited all over this sea bed. All that was left of these animals were their shells and bones, which actually created formations in the opal stones.
This area is now located in the Australian Outback, where people dig for these opal shells in the extreme heats of this location. It can be very rare to find an opal shell that is high quality, with a great color to it and only a little bit of potch. What makes it so difficult to farm up these stones is that these shells are only mostly found in small patches and other small areas. This is unlike other opals, where you can just find them spread out through the entire mine. The good shells are worth a lot more if these are not polished and left completely natural for the collectors.
On a rarer occasion, these shells may be packed with a valuable opal inside. These are the opal shells that are the most valuable to collectors. It has been estimated that different species of ancient sea reptiles were fossilized in these areas along with dinosaurs around 65 million years ago. The opal shells are primarily found by “gougers”, a name for miners that work in these mines to find the most valuable opals. For the most unique varieties of opal, these can be priceless when they are compared to precious gems like diamonds. This is especially true if the opal is a part of a fossil or if they are a shell. If either of these cases apply, these pieces may be valued at somewhere around $1,000.
Collectors want only the most unique and valuable pieces for their collection. One of the most desirable pieces could easily be opal shells. These rare fossils are stunning pieces that can really add to your collection. Each piece seems to be its own unique piece, making it so that there are no two pieces that are really alike. There are various qualities of these items and collectors are primarily only concerned with obtaining the highest quality of these stones. If you are looking for a great addition to your unique collection, you should look very closely at opalized shells. By investing in one of these pieces, your collection will be sure to get a lot of attention.
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