Coober Pedy

Australia's opal-mining capital provides the opportunity to unearth a fortune and chill out underground.

Sunday, 3 June, 2007, 12:00am

Vapourless fuel wins petrol-sniffing war

It reduced scores of Aborigines to wheelchair-bound zombies, but the scourge of petrol sniffing appears to have at last receded thanks to the introduction of a non-sniffable fuel across Australia's central desert.

30 Mar 2007 - 12:00am

Land of Illusion

Land of Illusion

Sensibility: Illusional, surreal.

Characteristics: Colourful variety of crystals and crystal combinations.

Colours: Gold and silver, and new colours - pacific opal and violet opal.

Inspired by: Magicians, fortune-tellers, crystal balls, kaleidoscopes.

24 Jun 2004 - 12:00am

Poetic light

Poetic light

Sensibility: Glamour, space, light and air; fragile and futuristic.

Characteristics: Organic forms and futuristic impressions blend to create a glittering vision of light, air and poetry.

Colours: Pastel, translucent and the new pacific opal and aurora borealis, or white opal starshine.

24 Jun 2004 - 12:00am

Scam mines rich vein of gullibility

It must have seemed too good to be true - and it was.

Gullible German investors have fallen victim to an Internet scam that promised them a stake in a valuable opal mine in the Australian Outback.

5 Jun 2002 - 12:00am

Gem of a find revives hope for dump of a town

The town of White Cliffs, deep in the heart of Australia's Outback, is a dump. It was founded after the discovery of opals beneath the dusty, chalk-white soil in 1889, and generations of miners since then have dug, chiselled and tunnelled their way through millions of tonnes of dirt.

30 Sep 2001 - 12:00am

Opals still retain value and charm

ACCORDING to European tradition, opals were considered to be lucky stones.

But, as a result of a rumour spread decades ago by diamond salesmen, opals are now perceived to be unlucky, according to Fred Giles, managing director of F. J. Giles and Associates which will display its range of opals.

17 Sep 1995 - 12:00am

Giant opal up for grabs

HALLEY'S COMET, the world's largest uncut black opal, will be auctioned in Hong Kong in February, but gem merchants believe it is unlikely there will be any bidders from the territory.

Discovered in the northern New South Wales town of Lightning Ridge, the 1,982.5 carat stone is valued at more than A$1 million ($6 million).

29 Dec 1994 - 12:00am

Black opals highlight of new exhibits

A MAGNIFICENT 67-carat black opal is one of the drawcards of the largest contingent of Australian exhibitors ever to show at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Trade Fair.

Several of the exhibitors are making their first appearance.

Opals, recently declared Australia's national gemstone, are prevalent, as are South Sea Pearls.

18 Sep 1994 - 12:00am

Opals start to cut a dash

THE largest and most impressive collection of opals will be on show at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Watch Fair.

More than 20 dealers from Australia will be exhibiting opals worth US$40 million, from rough cut boulders to finished stones ready for setting.

20 Sep 1993 - 12:00am