The largest Opals in the World

The amazing Opal Matrix! The largest opal in the world, so far. Found in Australia, it is 55,000 carats in size!

Found by Stuart Hughes and his team, it is valued over $1 million dollars and it outweighs the previous record holder by an unbelievable 48,900 carats.

The length is about 30cm, height varies from 15-20cm and its around 4cm thick. [Photo source: Stuart Hughes]

How is an opal formed?– There is still no major agreement of how it is formed and even how old it is. The common theory at is that silicane [which is related to Quartz] laden water seeped down through the sandstone and filled in void cavities and cracks. The water then evaporated and the opal gel solidified. However at the opal fields in Virgin Valley, Nevada they believe that hot silica laden water was pushed up and replaced vegetation to form opals. [Source: How is Opal Formed?]

The Galaxy Opal is the world’s largest polished opal, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1992. It was found in Brazil in 1976. It weighs approximately 3,749 carats! It was carved from a grapefruit-sized piece of rough stone weighing 5,205 carats by Scott Cooley.

The Olympic Australis Opal (photo below) was found in 1956 at the “Eight Mile” opal field in Coober Pedy, South Australia. It was found at a depth of 30 feet and so named because the Olympic Games were being held in Melbourne at the time.

The Olympic Australis consists of 99% gem opal, with the remainder of 1% being the soil still attached to the stone. It weighs 17,000 carats as was valued at $2,500,000 in 2005.

These opals are pretty amazing!

Blog post by ~ Jelene

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