Black Opal which was in possesion by Bobby, an australian miner, for 14 years, will make its debut later this month at the Couture show for high-end jewelry at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. It is expected to reach $3 million.
Called the Royal One, the 306 carat, gem quality black opal is almost double the size of the Aurora Australis, found in 1938, which was valued at $1 million in 2005.
The miner, who wishes to be known only by his first name, says he found the Royal One at the bottom of a bucket of rough, uncut opals, and only discovered its quality by accident. “It had scum on it like a poor-quality opal and when I took that off, I saw the good-quality opal underneath,” said Bobby.
While he was in New York, Bobby met with Australian-born, New Mexico based opal designer Katherine Jetter, who has a trusted relationship with several of Bobby’s opal-mining peers in Lightning Ridge. Ms. Jetter arranged for the opal to be put on display at Couture, the annual upscale jewelry event at the Wynn Las Vegas.
The Black Opal will attract potential buyers and private mineral collectors and business people from the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia.