Australian Opal Gems
Australia is the most important source for fine opal gemstones. Australian opals include black opal, boulder opal, crystal opal, fire opal and white opal. Famous opal deposits in New South Wales are at Lightning Ridge and White Cliffs, in South Australia, and also at Coober Pedy and Andamooka. Other opal deposits are also found in Queensland. Australia is the main source of the world's finest and largest supply of precious opal, including the rarest and most valuable Australian black opal. The best black opal is thought to come from Lightning Ridge in New South Wales. Australian opal is known for its incredible play of color and excellent stability. Opal gemstones make wonderfully unique and interesting jewelry. In 1993, Australia declared opal its national gemstone. Some of the finest and largest Australian opals ever seen include the multicolored precious opal gem called the Virgin Rainbow, from Coober Pedy, Big Ben, which was found in Lightning Ridge, the Light of the World and the Andamooka Desert Flame.
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