Opal: Australia's National Gemstone

Posted by Fremantle Opals Admin on

Opal is one of Australia’s official national symbols representing our cultural life and history. 27 July 1993 marked the day opal was officially proclaimed Australia’s national gemstone.

Opals are famous for their brilliant colours. In Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, the opal was created when the colours of the rainbow touched the earth. The opal is also known as the fire of the desert.

Australia produces 90-95% of the world’s precious opal from extensive deposits in New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. Over the years, Australia has been home to many discoveries of valuable opals, including the Fire of Australia, the world’s finest uncut opal.

Opal trivia:

  • Australia’s Opal fields are more extensive than all the Opal fields in the rest of the world combined.
  • Types of Opals found in Australia:
    • Precious Opal displays play-of-colour 
    • Common Opal does not exhibit a play-of-colour
  • On 27 July 1993, the Governor-General, the Hon Bill Hayden AC, proclaimed the opal as Australia’s national gemstone.
  • In Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, the opal was created when the colours of the rainbow touched the earth.
  • Opalised animal and plant fossils have been discovered in Australia.
  • In 1994 the Australian Women’s basketball team adopted the nickname “The Opals”.

 Celebrate Australia with our Green and Gold Collection.

Opal National Gemstone Infographic

 Reference: Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet


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