What is the World’s Largest Opal Matrix?
The largest Opal matrix ever found is a colossus of an Opal Matrix found in the fields of Southern Australia. It's an unbelievably huge stone of some 55,000 carats in size. Thats 11 Kilos of Opal, the same as 4 bricks or 4,500 penny's!
The Opal has the mighty dimensions of 30 centimeters long, 15-20 centimeters high and 4 centimeters thick. Uncut it's worth is estimated at more than a million dollars, but once cut up and made into jewellery the total value will be far greater! The previous largest opal weighed “only” 6,100 carats and can be considered a dwarf stone compared to this one. So what exactly are Matrix opals?
There are two types of matrix Opals found in Australia – boulder matrix and Andamooka matrix opal.
Boulder matrix can be found exclusively in the Queensland area and is a naturally occurring precious opal randomly spread through the ironstone host rock. It got the name “boulder” because it is usually found near the deposits of boulder opal.
Unlike the Andamooka matrix opal, there’s no need to treat the boulder matrix before cutting or polishing. Its rich and flashing colors are ready to shine through the dark ironstone.
Andamooka Matrix Opal
As for the Andamooka matrix opal, when it’s pulled from the mine somewhere in the South Australian Andamooka region, it looks like any other pretty unattractive light-colored limestone. However the magic happens after a special treatment. Once the treatment (which includes some sugar and sulphuric acid) is complete the famous Opal fire can be clearly seen sparkling through the darkened limestone.
The largest matrix opal was on sale in May, but I couldn’t find out if it is already sold and to whom. If the rumor that the owner joined forces with a famous designer Stuart Hughes is true, who knows what might come out of it.
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