Here’s a terrific video taken by a woman who’s a “boulder opal miner,” meaning she looks for opals inside of large boulders. Here we get a rare experience, which in her words is “one of the most amazing moments that I get to experience with my team; exposing an opal and being the first person on the planet to gaze upon its natural beauty.”
Opals are formed through a fascinating process that involves the interaction of water and silica-rich rocks. The formation of opals typically occurs in areas where ancient geothermal hot springs were once present. These hot springs carried dissolved silica from underground sources to the surface. Over time, as the water from these springs evaporated or drained away, it left behind silica deposits in the cracks and voids of the surrounding rocks.
The key factor in opal formation is the unique structure of silica. Opals are composed of tiny spheres of silica, arranged in a regular pattern. These spheres diffract light, giving opals their characteristic play-of-color, where they exhibit a stunning array of iridescent hues. The play-of-color is caused by the way light interacts with the spaces between the silica spheres, creating a phenomenon known as interference.
“To find, extract and split a raw boulder opal is simply like no other experience,” she says. “At our ethically sustainable mining site, we split boulder opal along the opal vein running though ironstone rock every day, if we’re lucky. This boulder opal that we split open has gem grade black opal inside.” And beautiful it is. Watch the video below and please leave us a Facebook comment to let us know what you thought!
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