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Opal Time

When was opal first discovered

When was opal first discovered

Opal was first known to mankind around 250 BC, the word opal derives from the Latin word 'opalus', meaning gem stone of many colours. Hungary and Czechoslovakia were the first to mine opal, therefore the first to see the gemstone of many colours.

Today, Australia supplies around 95% of the world's precious opal. These opals are mined from localised areas scattered on the edge of the once inland sea we now know as the Great Artesian Basin. Opal was first discovered in Australia around 1880. At first these gems were of such unique beauty, they were thought to some sort of fake. It took quite a while for the Australian Opal to catch on, and Tullie Wollaston was probably the first to take Australian Opal to the world. Even though he had the very best coloured opal it was hard to convince the jewellers of the day to take on this new Gemstone, however today it is a highly sought after gemstone.