Lightning Ridge Opal Mines
Having spent many university breaks on the opal fields, Nick Le Souëf followed his passion and became a full-time opal miner and cutter. Forty years on, Nick and his children run one of Melbourne’s most highly regarded opal businesses, Lightning Ridge, which holds a wide selection of expertly crafted gems and jewellery, ranging from $10 to $80,000. Visitors can drop by the store on Elizabeth Street or shop online.
Lightning Ridge, 63 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, +61 3 9654 4444
Housing one of the largest opal collections in Melbourne, including loose, rough and cut specimens, Johnston Opals is a family-run business that has been around since 1901. Their showroom on Exhibition Street features a mural depicting opal miners, and among the products that you’ll find in the store are pendants, earrings, watches, brooches, bracelets, cufflinks, rings and more.
Johnston Opals, 124 Exhibition St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, +61 3 9650 7434
Located in The Rocks, Opal Minded is the only opal store in Sydney that operates its own mines and the only store in the world to carry Jundah opals. Founded in 1989, Opal Minded is a family-owned business where you’ll find unset opals, engagement and wedding jewellery, rings, pendants and earrings in gold and silver designs.
Opals Down Under
Queensland’s Opals Down Under was established in 1985 after an Austrian opal miner fell in love with a woman who was every bit as radiant as the gemstones he loved. The shop is still owned by the Stein family who prides themselves on their collection of boulder, black, white and crystal opals. Those unable to drop by can purchase their stone of choice online.
Opals Down Under, 11 Ballantyne Crt, Glenview, Queensland, Australia, +61 7 5494 5400
Sourced directly from the mines, Fremantle Opals has been specialising in handcrafted opal jewellery and unset opals since 1985. Their assortment of opals includes the rare black specimen, and with an exclusive range of designs and settings, you can be sure that a piece from Fremantle Opals is one of a kind.
With origins in the boulder opal industry, the family-run Quilpie Opals first opened in 1979. Their dazzling collection has been curated with expert eyes, and every purchase comes with a guarantee and certificate of authenticity and value, ensuring customer satisfaction.
Located in outback South Australia, Coober Pedy is the opal capital of the world, meaning that there are more opals on display in town than anywhere else on the planet. The abundance of gems and the proximity to the mines also means that there are a number of reputable retailers, 15 in fact. Visitors can even try their luck at fossicking for gems.