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About Us

About Us

At Flood Gem, we specialise in mining, cutting and supplying of wholesale Boulder Opal to the jewellery trade. We are a Queensland based privately operated business which has been trading since 1995. We have over 25 years of extensive experience in opal mining and cutting and seek to employ the best mining techniques developed especially in and around the opal industry.

We strive to maintain the safest and most economical and environmentally sound mining practises available to us. In addition we have taken on previously mined areas as part of our mining operations in an effort to incorporate them into our rehabilitation program. These areas would have otherwise been left environmentally unsound and unsafe.

Mining is currently being undertaken in the Quilpie mining district approximately 3 hours drive north west of Quilpie.

Mining, cutting and selling is all undertaken by us in our Ipswich workshop, thus we are able to supply unset Boulder Opal at very competitive prices both locally and internationally.

Buying Opals

A Short Guide to Buying Opals

WARNING; when purchasing an opal there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If the price is “too good to be true” it generally is!  Quality opal is rare and expensive to find and this is reflected by the price.
  • Buy from a reputable dealer who guarantees their products.
  • Ask whether the opal is Solid Opal, (Boulder Opal, Black Opal, White or Crystal Opal), opal doublet, opal triplet, synthetic opal or imitation.
  • If buying an unset opal make sure that it does not have any major flaws (major cracks) that may cause the opal to break when setting. A lot of opal has minor inclusions or imperfections that do not detract from the soundness of the opal; they are however somewhat cheaper than a perfect opal. If you don’t mind a little spot here or there it may be a good way to acquire a lovely coloured opal at a lower price.
  • Ask about the origin of the opal (where it is from).  Australian sedimentary opal  commercially produced in Australian is of a sedimentary origin and seems to be far more stable and durable than from other opals deposits around the world.
  • Be aware of volcanic opal; Some opals from volcanic origin around the world may discolour or crack over time and are of less value than opal from well known locations. Although extremely beautiful at times this volcanic opal is not as suitable for jewellery making and is extremely heat sensitive.
  • Synthetic opals (so called) are mostly produced these days from microscopic polymer sphears fused together and are a fantastic immitation of the real thing. However these polymer opals are formed from plastics and are very easily scratched and lose there shine.
  • “Gilson” synthetic opal has the same chemical composition as natural opal and is expensive to produce, this is not so cheap and nasty as the polymer opal imitations. It is generally identified by its classic “Lizard Skin” effect in the colour pattern.