Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Birthstone Opal and Australia

If there is one thing I wouldn't have known if I didn't visit Australia is the appreciation and a great deal of information about my birthstone - which the Orientals referred to as “the anchor of hope”, the birthstone of October - the lucky Opal.

Opal is Australia's national gemstone. Ninety-five percent of the world's precious opal comes from Australia, where unique geological conditions allowed the formation of this rare gemstone. Most light opal is found in South Australia, black opal in New South Wales - especially Lightning Ridge, and boulder opal in Queensland.

I was touring around Sydney last Wednesday, July 8, 2009 with Kenzie and her son Caleb, my new-found friends from Colorado, USA, when we came across "The National Opal Collection (NOC)" along George Street on our way back to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Since there is a museum and the entrance is free, we decided to enter. It was an interesting experience. The Opal Mine Museum and a theatrette within the stunning showrooms, provided me with an opportunity to understand and appreciate this incredible gemstone - my birthstone Opal. The NOC have faithfully recreated the history of opal and as you enter the NOC showrooms, you are completely surrounded by graphic, life-sized dioramas of Australia during the dinosaur age. Also I was able to cap my educational experience with a tax-free purchase of an opal memento - a koala bear necklace opal.

I then learned that like the fantastic colour play of Opal which reflects the changing emotions and moods of people, my daily mood is changing and always like to take on new and different kind of experiences.

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