December 16, 2021

Opal mining trip December 2021. Stunning discovery of fully opalised Cretaceous shells.

An opal shell we mined in Coober Pedy Australia that looks to be full of precious opal!

It’s early December 2021 and the Grace Opal brothers (Lochy and Shannon) AKA World Class Opal and Kimberley Opal respectively, try out the smallest mass manufactured cutting head on the market. With no idea whether it will work or be effective, we take it down our East Pacific claim. It seems to work well, and we noodle a few nice stones in the old mullock and pick a few scrappy shell bits out in between. What we don’t show is all the digging in between where there is nothing. But that would be very boring.. A week goes by like lighting and the days feel like minutes in such engrossing work. We found good shells a couple of years ago in the top level and have been picking around trying for more for months to no avail. Towards the end of the trip however, a chunk of sandstone in a pillar above where Shannon has been operating the cutter has a crack in it, I decide to lever it down to make it safe. In the video you can see the small pocket of shells that was immediately behind the chunk of loose ground, and in the middle, a full shell! Watch to the end to witness what many opal purists would consider sacrilege (slicing up a full shell) but man oh man, just wait to see the jewelry we make from it if all goes well…New cutting head on the Kanga, tipping hoist bucket from underground and some space opening up!

The kingstone (full opal shell) we found on the trip and some lovely small stones up top in the sunshine..



Leave a comment