Throughout history Opal has been considered a mysterious stone. Due to its unique play of colour it combines the beauty of all other precious stones. As early as 250 BC Opal was established as a precious gemstone, the Romans valued the stone with the impression that it brought them luck.
The Origin of the name "Opal" has long been discussed, it is thought it originated in Greece from the word "Opallios" in 100 BC.
Opal was first said to be discovered in Kenya, Africa. It was found in 1939 by an Archaeologist named Dr Louis Leakley. The Opal artefact was buried in the "Nakuru" cave which has been dated from 4000 BC.
Opal also has a place in Roman history. It is said that a Roman Senator named Nonious had acquired a most beautiful Opal that was renowned thought the ancient world. Mark Antony wished to give the stone to Cleopatra as a gift, however Nonious declined to sell the Opal and then had to flee for his life from Rome Opal still clenched in his hand.
Around 250 BC Opal had been reported to originate from the Orient. However other reports indicate Opal mining in Slovakia. These mines are believed to be the source of all the Opal used commercially until the discovery of Opal in Mexico in the 16 Century.
In the 1890's Australian Opal appeared on the world market taking it by storm. This was due to the abundance of brilliant fire, which was not seen before. Thus Australia became the worlds leading supplier of precious Opal. Australia has regained it former popularity and is now one of the most precious, appreciated and valuable gems.