Precious Opal part 2 

Only last year a herd of opalised dinosaur bones was found at Lightening Ridge, the remains of an undiscovered dinosaur, now named;Fostoria dhimbangunmal. This discoveryis important as dozens of bones from one skeleton were found, this has never occurred before.  No doubt my friend and fellow GNd, that’s a Gem Nerd to those that don’t know the term, Jenni Brammall was excited beyond belief. Jenni, a palaeontologist, a gemmologist went to Lighten Ridge as a post-grad student in the mid 1990’s and found an opalised dinosaur bone on a dig.  Jenni was hooked and moved there. She is now the special projects officer of the Australian Opal Centre. 


"Fostoria has given us the most complete opalised dinosaur skeleton in the world. Partial skeletons of extinct swimming reptiles have been found at other Australian opal fields, but for opalised dinosaurs we generally have only a single bone or tooth or in rare instances, a few bones. To recover dozens of bones from the one skeleton is a first."- courtesy of


So where and how does the unique ‘Fire’ or as gemmologists’ call it ‘Play of Colour’ come from? The colours that only opal display and that is all colours, has mystified cultures and civilisation since opal was first found and written about.  The first know text is from the 5thCentury BC when Onomacritus, wrote, “the delicate colour and tenderness of the opal reminded him of a loving and beautiful child”. The romans in the 1st Century AD are credited with popularising this gemstone, Gaius Plinius Secundus, or Pliny the Elder, who wore many hats including as a writer, philosopher, and a army commander of the early Roman Empire. Wrote: “For in them you shall see the living fire of ruby, the glorious purple of the amethyst, the sea-green of the emerald, all glittering together in an incredible mixture of light”.  

Yep I digress.  Please don’t scold me!