The Virgin Rainbow – Most Expensive Opal Ever Found

Are you a lover of Opals and precious stones? Have you heard of the famous virgin rainbow opal, currently one of the most priced and beautiful gems in existence? The virgin rainbow Opal is one of the most valued and the world finest opal ever unearthed because of its beauty that is out of this world. Beautiful opals have been unearthed, but the virgin rainbow opal stands out from the rest with its unique feature of outstanding beauty. Another astonishing quality of the virgin rainbow opal is the glow that comes out from the opal. It tends to glow even brighter with arrays of colors just like the rainbow when kept in dark places, is that not magical?. It is a 72 carat precious stone that has no likes or comparison with other opals

Where was the Virgin Rainbow found?

The virgin rainbow opal was found in Australia, Coober Pedy by a man that stared in the TV show “Outback Opal Hunters” named John Dunstan in 2003. John Dunstan unearthed the virgin rainbow while working on his own in the Coober Pedy. There have been records of opal discovery in Mexico, Britain, Canada, Slovakia, Brazil, and other places. The Virgin Rainbow in its glamorous nature was not unearthed from underneath an ancient palace, rather it was found in an area of land likened to a desert that has been dormant and experienced years of continuous heat from the sun. This is the Coober Pedy, the land that housed such a precious gem.

Virgin Rainbow Opal

Coober Pedy was once ancient home to marine dinosaur and cuttlefish. The Virgin Rainbow was formed in the skeleton of a Belemnite. A Belemnite is an ancient cuttlefish.


The Virgin Rainbow Opal is made up of silica gel and water which became packed together closely for years that led to its hardening into its current shape. It is an opalized fossil from a cephalopod that is extinct called the belemnitida. It is recorded to have existed in the Mesozoic era. During the Mesozoic era, the majority of South Australia was a vast inland sea, filled with aquatic reptiles that are no longer in existence called plesiosaurs. This animals died and went extinct sinking under the sea and are buried there till this day. The sea eventually dried up and turned into a desert land, and the acidity level of the land increased precisely for the sandstone. This process released silica from the sandstone to the clay beneath where bones are buried. Continuous weathering reduced the acidity level allowing the silica gel to coarse and harden, forming opals in the bones of animals.

Valuing the Virgin Rainbow Opal

What exactly is the value of this magnificent gem? The virgin rainbow opal is valued at a whopping sum of $1million as of 2015. Currently the Virgin Rainbow is valued for over $1million dollars, now that’s a fortune if you ask me, but is the Virgin Rainbow Opal worth this much? At the sight of the Virgin Rainbow opal this question answers itself automatically because the beauty is out of this world. It is not for sale though because it is currently the property of the South Australian Museum in Adelaide.

Though it is not the most priced opal, it stands as the king of opals currently in existence. The Virgin Rainbow Opal is a sight that cannot be viewed in a hurry while visiting the South Australian Museum or possibly the reason you should visit the South Australian Museum Adelaide.

Virgin Rainbow Opal from Coober Pedy

About opals

Opal is from the Sanskrit upala which means “precious stone,” in Greek its called “ Opallios” which means to see changes of colors. Opals are a valuable gem or precious stone that is formed from silica, soft in nature and denser than quartz, that glows with definite and astonishing iridescent arrays of colors just like that of a rainbow. The Smart and colorfl appearance of the opal makes it a just perfect birthstone for the month of October. Opal stands out among gems, as it displays a variety of colors. These colors had high value in Roman jewelry.

Opal formation

Opal is formed through liquified silica washed into fissures in rocks, and then form into a strong gel. It is an amorphous solid and not crystal like other gems, it is found in woods, bones, volcanic rocks, fossilized shell, sedimentary rocks. The opal is a gem that has a remarkable history and this history as it is told informs us that the opal brings bad luck, all thanks to Sir Walter Scott who wrote a book titled Anne of Geuerstein. In this novel in Sir Walter told his audience how Lady Hermoine died after she was falsely accused that she is a demoness. The story recorded that she turned to a huge deposit of ashes alongside her opal when her opal got wet by a drop of holy water. This story affected peoples interest in opals. People were no longer demanding opal, and the value depreciated.

The opal came back to limelight when a black opal was discovered in New South Wales, Australia and this black opal jacked back the interest of people and value of the opal. All the myth about opal was left behind after the birth of the black opal.

Opal Myths

  • It makes maidens hair darken and stops fading whenever it is worn.
  • Believed to make the wearer invisible at the wearers wish.
  • Cure diseases of the eye and make the eyes better by emerald
  • It is believed to be a protective stone in dangerous places
  • It is believed that it gives the wearer strength to take control over their lives for those with chemical dependency issues.
  • Said to be a cure for kidney problems.
  • Helps in preventing bad health and strengthens the immune.
  • Power to stop bleeding by Ruby

The unique feature of opal is that the more brilliant the color is, or fire is, the more valuable the gem. In recent times opal has still held up their value and the people’s interest. Opal with more red in them tend to be more expensive or more valued; other colors are relatively low in value. An opal named the Harlequin is the rarest because of the checkboard pattern it has.

Just when we thought we have seen the finest of opals, the virgin rainbow opal was discovered.




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