'Pride of Australia', also known as 'Red Emperor', was found in 1915 by Tom Urwin and Snowy Brown at Phone Line (off Fred Reece Way). The Pride of Australia is shaped like the continent. The 2" x 3" opal has black and blue veins interlaced with brilliant red streaks. By 1954, it had toured at least five World Fairs as "the greatest opal of Australia, and therefore the greatest opal in the world."
This double-sided gem cut to a 225 carat stone that just fit into a tobacco tin. There were two distinct colour bars. The one on the back was much lighter and almost harlequin, totally different to the main bar of dark, rich flashes of colour. Ernie Sherman bought 'Pride' plus another three stones from the miners for £2000 around 1920. It was the highest price ever paid for four black opals. The 'Pride of Australia' was valued in 1931 at £2000 on its own, and was sold in the 1950s from the Percy Marks Collection, Sydney.
The Pride of Australia Opal is one of the most famous opals in the world. This wonderful opal is also known as the Red Emperor Opal. This beautiful piece was found at Phone Line in 1915. The credit of finding this unique opal goes to Tom Urwin and Snowy Brown. The Pride of Australia Opal was a big size opal, which was cut to a 225 carat stone. This big size stone is the size of a tobacco tin.
Some say the price was £150,000, but Greg Sherman reckons not more than £50,000 was paid for this mostly green-shot-with-orange black opal. 'Pride' was later stolen from the new owner, Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery, Los Angeles.
Check out a full list of Famous Opals