Welcome to Manning International! If you are seeking fine natural Australian Opal Products or other specialty gemstone applications, we are here to serve you!

What Is Australian Opal?

Technically, opal is composed of silicon dioxide and a minute trace of water (H20). These elements are bound in a latticework that resembles marbles in a fish tank, all settled in orderly little rows. Because the silica is generally spherical, each tiny particle adjoins its neighbor but never lies on a flat surface.

Light passes amongst these particles, speeding up and slowing down as the size of the spheres and spaces between them change with the angle of view. Longer light waves produce red color hues while the shorter waves produce a blue tint.

Whichever way you turn an opal, you will be re-angling the direction and the speed of the light waves as they pass through the lattice and meet your eye. This phenomenon is truly a manifestation of Mother Nature's genius.

The most abundant and diverse opal varieties come from Australia. Classic, romantic names like Coober Pedy, Andamooka, White Cliffs, Mintabie, Lambina, Quilpie, Yowah, Opalton, Eromanga, and Lightning Ridge dot the map of this continent. These areas are the locales from which the world's superior gem opals have been mined, with more productions still being unearthed today.

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Where Does Opal Come From?

Opal varieties are found all over the world including Mexico, Brazil, the USA, Chile, Peru, Namibia (and other African countries), Indonesia, Honduras, and Turkey. All these places and many more have varieties of opal in the ground.

Recently, a new source of supply has appeared in East Africa. Ethiopia is a vast resource of precious, color-play opal of the hydrophane variety. Described as lovely stones that are full of color flashes, Welo Opal or Ethiopian Opal has been welcomed into the gem opal community in recent years.

Welo material is the prized source of this opal variety. Durable and bright, this material tends to absorb moisture and must be handled with care specific to its properties.