The Dynamic Earth View Multimedia Version

Main Menu >  GeoGallery >  Gems >  Dark Jubilee Opal
TITLE: GeoGallery

Dark Jubilee Opal

Opals are described according to their transparency and body color. Opals with a vivid play-of-color and a black or other dark body color are called black opals. Top-quality black opals are highly prized and were discovered in the legendary Lightning Ridge opal field in Australia in 1903. Opals are typically cut as cabochons or polished free-form to best show the play-of-color. The Dark Jubilee Opal pictured here is a 318.4-carat free-form polished black opal from a mine in Coober Pedy, Australia, another famous region known for black opals. Coober Pedy means "a man in a hole" in a regional aboriginal language, and many miners do live in the underground excavations there. The Dark Jubilee Opal was a gift of the Zale Corporation in 1980.

Image Number: 95-40315
Catalog Number: G8827
Weight: 318.4 carats
Gift of the Zale Corporation , 1980
Locality: Coober Pedy , Australia

     4033

bottom navigation bar

 

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits