Rain­bow Trea­sures Fea­ture Head­line

It’s all in the fam­ily at Opal Minded, as their opal trea­sures head from the mines of Jun­dah–opalville straight to their bou­tique in The Rocks.

Where Sydney - - Special Advertising Section -

RE­CENTLY, WE SPOKE with Re­nata Bernard, the Cre­ative Direc­tor and Gen­eral Man­ager of Opal Minded, to un­lock the se­crets of the opals from their Jun­dah mines. Aus­tralian opals are more pre­cious than oth­ers found in North and South Amer­ica, Europe and Africa. What is so unique about Aus­tralian opals and why do they make for such a stun­ning piece? What dif­fer­en­ti­ates our opals from those found else­where is Aus­tralian opals’ out­stand­ing colour play cou­pled with their sed­i­men­tary ori­gin, which also of­ten makes them more durable. In short, Aus­tralian opals due to their su­pe­rior aes­thetic and dura­bil­ity char­ac­ter­is­tics con­sti­tute the bench­mark for the oth­ers. Aus­tralian opals are not a static stone. Their beauty is in the unique­ness of their colour play and pat­tern in move­ment. You are in­volved in the process right from the mo­ment the opal is mined from the ground. How does this start-to-fin­ish in­vest­ment set your cre­ations apart? It all starts with John, my hus­band, find­ing a trace of opal, and that’s not easy. He then cuts the host rock and blocks it into pro­gres­sively smaller pieces un­til we de­cide on the shape that max­imises colour play and the set­ting po­ten­tial of the opal in it.

Hav­ing the con­trol over the shap­ing of the stones af­ter they get out of the ground as well as of the jew­ellery cre­ation gives us a unique ad­van­tage of work­ing di­rectly with na­ture, so the re­sult is in­fused with our, that is John’s and my, vi­sion, which gives a fin­ished piece its unique iden­tity. Opal min­ing is dusty, dif­fi­cult and lonely work. What keeps you mo­ti­vated to seek and share the gem? What keeps John mo­ti­vated is the great trea­sure hunter dream of find­ing the opal with no equals. For me and our Opal Minded team, John’s trea­sure hunt means we can share the joy and the priv­i­lege of the first-hand opal min­ing story that comes with ev­ery gem­stone from our mines. Opal Minded is a fam­ily busi­ness from the mines to the store. How do you split the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, and do you think the fin­ished prod­uct is bet­ter for it? My hus­band grew up in an opal min­ing fam­ily, so nat­u­rally I could never step into that line of work. He un­der­stands the bush. He can with­stand it for a long time. I, on the other hand, love be­ing in the mines to pay re­spect to the land that bears this mag­nif­i­cent gem­stone and the hard­ships in­volved in de­liv­er­ing it. What does the Aus­tralian opal tell vis­i­tors about the land? Aus­tralian opals tell the story of an­cient times when the di­nosaurs roamed the Earth. It tells a story of the in­land sea, of the crea­tures that used to pop­u­late it. It tells a story of hard­ship, de­sire and hope. A story of the im­pos­si­ble be­com­ing pos­si­ble and the beauty found in the most arid places.

To view your own piece of Aus­tralian his­tory, visit Opal Minded’s lux­u­ri­ous light filled bou­tique in the his­toric Rocks district, where you will be mes­merised by Aus­tralia’s na­tional gem­stone.

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