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The above photo is me about to do a load in the mid 1990s. Had a very good fossil producing claim out at the Coocoran area.
I first visited Lightning Ridge as an 8 year old. My Dad & Uncle took our family to the Ridge for about six weeks. They did a bit of mining on the New Chum field. My brother and I loved the place straight away. Going mining - up & down the shafts. The freedom of the place - the wild life - the space and of course this strange stone we knew nothing about, OPAL! Our six weeks flew by and before we knew it we where back in Sydney Town. Most weekends I would be in Dads cutting shed playing with the opal we had found. I can still remember how proud I felt presenting my mum with the first Opal I cut and polished aged 8.Anyhow 6 years later the family packed up everything and moved to the Ridge. That was 1975. I went to high school at Walgett a fifty mile trip each way for two years. Then aged 16 I left school to become an Opal Miner.Which I have been on and off for the last 30 odd years. Mining is a hit and miss business sometimes you find plenty of Opal, sometimes none. In the lean times I would buy, cut and sell Opal, anything just to keep involved with Opal.In 2005 my middle daughter Jess was ready to start high school so we made the decision to move to the Gold Coast to give her and my youngest Gaby a better education. So I scaled back my side of the mining, now my partners are doing the digging and I'm doing the cutting and selling what we produce. So I am continuing my love affair with OpaI I have set up this site to sell some of our Opal collected over the years and it is a good excuse for me to keep returning to the place I love The Ridge.