Johno mining at White Cliffs Opal Field

About Johno

I am a retired Engineer with a great passion for Opal. This passion was triggered in my early twenties when I was lucky enough to go with a cousin to the Duck Creek and Pride of the Hills Opal mines in Queensland. for us it was quite a journey travelling on rough roads and tracks but eventually finding the old abandoned fields. We didn’t find much at Duck Creek, but we did find a large number of boulder opal chips at Pride of the Hills.

From this trip the passion grew. I learnt by trial and error how to cut and polish opal and make doublets.

Many years later on I joined the Nunawading Lapidary Club and took up cutting and polishing opal as well as other stones in a bigger way. At that stage my wife Barbara and I started visiting the opal fields each year spending some time fossicking for opal but usually ending up talking with local miners and buying small parcels of rough opal from them.

From these parcels I was able to cut a lot of nice stones as well as a few lovely ones. Of course there was also a lot of less beautiful stones but they all have a special beauty as there are no two stones exactly alike.

From all this practice I gained a lot of experience and ended up teaching beginners to cut opal at the Club.

As I have now retired I want to share my love of opal with others and hence the preparation of this web site. I hope it will allow me to talk with others with the same love of opal and share experiences, tips as well as sell some of the accumulated stones and rough.