The Australian National Gemstone
National Gemstone Description
The Opal was proclaimed Australia’s national gemstone on 28 July 1993.
Opals are often referred to as the fire of the desert – a mesmerising display of all the colours of the rainbow. In fact there is a wonderful Aboriginal legend about the creation of the opal – that the rainbow fell to earth and created the colours of the opal.
Across the world the precious opal occurs in very few locations because it requires a very special series of geographical and climatic phenomena to coincide for opal to form. These special criteria occurred in what is now the great desert regions of central Australia, which produces 95% of the world’s precious opal.