The Fire Queen - Famous Opals


The Fire Queen has an interesting and somewhat sad history. Found roughly around 1906 in the Angledool diggings the Fire Queen was originally named 'Dunstans's Stone' after its finder Charlie Dunstan. It was alive with colour and dubbed too beautiful for words - truely a unique piece. Not only that she weighed in at 6.5 oz. which is nearly 900 carats an expensive Opal in todays market! However unfortunately back then Opals didn't have much of a market so all Carlie could manage to sell it for was the tiny sum of £100 to an unknown buyer. After this sale and 'losing' two other stones of decent value Charlie was found with a gunshot wound to his head in November 1910 - the verdict, suicide.

The Fire Queen continued to get passed from buyer to buyer with each seller having trouble finding a buyer due to the uneduacted market for Opals. It wasn't until 18 years later in 1928 that it ended up in the Chicago museum with a valuation of £40,000 a far reach from teh original £100! It was renamed 'The Fire Queen' with good reason and then in the 1940's it was resold to non other than J.D. Rockefeller for £75,000 who then donated The Fire Queen to his family collection.

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