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Introduction

Hi
I\’m Dr. Rod Sparks, a retired Accounting Consultant. For years, before her passing, my wife collected Black Opals, befriending several Lightning Ridge miners who would bring her opal specimens from their mining efforts (many of which she purchased to add to her collection). All are truly GORGEOUS and I hope to learn more about how they form and how they are valued in today\’s marketplace.

Welcome, valuing Opals is about the hardest exercise I know! I live around 4-5hrs from ‘The Ridge’ in Qld’s coldest town, love and occasionally cut opal when not doing other gems and have several close friends in the Opal cutting industry. ‘The Diggers’ used to be a haunt in the 70’s, plenty of cash strapped miners needing beer money so bargains were to be had.

What are your plans with your wife’s collection? A good friend works with Opal on the GC and has the right contacts for pricing stuff, or get in touch with Kim at Symmetry in Nerang.

Large mineral and gem collections are difficult to sell, particularly in volatile financial times. For true black opals It is best to engage a recognised and well respected valuer and to divide up the collection for sale as parcels. Obviously if there are singular world-class stones these should be treated separately. Then the parcels should be advertised to major opal buyers for bids, or sold at auction. Clearly, if the valuation proves the collection not worthy of the above action then perhaps it may be best to have one or more firms who deal in opal rough to sell your rough for a commission. If you decide to sell them yourself I can only suggest getting up to speed on the opal market place as quickly as possible. To judge from the present Forum, its a veritable jungle!