What Precious Stone Is Australia Known For?

By | May 17, 2024

Hello, and welcome! We’re about to embark on a journey to the Land Down Under – Australia. More specifically, we’ll be diving into the world of sparkling, mesmerizing precious stones that this diverse continent is renowned for. Get ready to unearth some truly fascinating facts and unexpected knowledge that will broaden your understanding of Australia’s rich geological tapestry. You might find the information to be an absolute gem!

What Precious Stone Is Australia Known For?

Have you ever wondered what precious stone Australia is known for? Well, you’re in luck because that’s exactly what we’re going to dive into. To many, Australia is known for its stunning landscapes, it’s unique wildlife, and its epic surfing spots. But there’s another thing that might not be on everyone’s radar, yet it’s something Australia is intensely famous for. You guessed it – precious stones! Australia has a rich history of mining some of the world’s most exquisite and valuable gems known to man. So, sit back, relax and come along for this treasure trove journey.

What Precious Stone Is Australia Known For?

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Australia’s Gemstone History

Before we can talk about Australia’s famous precious stone, it’s important to dive a little into its history with gemstones. Australia is a mineral-rich nation with a long history of mining that dates back thousands of years. This wealth of minerals results from its unique geology and vast landscape, giving it a diverse range of gemstones including diamonds, sapphires, opals, and many others.

Indigenous Australians and Gemstones

Australia’s history with gemstones begins with its indigenous populations. The Aboriginal people of Australia, who have occupied the continent for more than 50,000 years, have been using gemstones for both practical and spiritual purposes. From shaping tools out of stone to using ochre for painting and ceremonial purposes, gemstones are deeply embedded in Australia’s historical and cultural fabric.

“Dreamings,” stories that provide a map of the spiritual universe and the land, often feature gemstones and minerals. One well-known Dreaming tells the story of the Rainbow Serpent that created opal in its journey across the landscape.

Gold Rush and Birth of Commercial Mining

Australia’s commercial relationship with precious stones kickstarted in the 19th century with the discovery of gold. The Australian gold rushes, particularly those of the 1850s, led to a massive influx of migrants and a population boom. As gold became less abundant, miners began to turn their attention to other precious stones hidden in Australian soil.

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Australia’s Precious Stone Legacy: Opals

So, what precious stone is Australia known for? If you thought ‘Opals,’ then you’ve guessed it right! Australia is the largest producer of opals in the world. Just how significant is Australia’s opal production? It accounts for a staggering 95% of the world’s supply!

These stunning gemstones, famous for their array of shifting colors and internal “fires”, are indeed Australia’s national gemstone.

The Birthplace of Opals: Coober Pedy

For the uninitiated, Coober Pedy is known as the opal capital of the world. This small, quirky town in South Australia is home to an abundance of opal mines. It’s a mecca for those seeking their fortune in opal mining – from hobbyists with a shovel to professional miners with heavy machinery.

Opals from this area are widely celebrated for their quality. They are famed for their striking color play, ranging from fiery reds and oranges to cooling blues and greens. But what makes these gemstones truly special is their unique ability for diffraction, which makes the opals shimmer and flash with an internal fire that can encompass all the colors of the rainbow.

The Legend of Black Opal: Lightning Ridge

Lightning Ridge, a small outback town in New South Wales, is the only known source of the rare and beautiful black opal. These opals are famed for their dark body tone which provides a stunning contrast to the vibrant play of color inside the stone.

Black opals are described as the most precious of all opals and are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts around the globe. These precious stones not only encapsulate the beauty of a rainbow but also add a touch of intrigue with their dark undertones.

What Precious Stone Is Australia Known For?

Other Precious Stones in Australia

While opals take center stage as the most famous precious stone from Australia, the country also boasts a wealth of other gemstones. Let’s take a quick look at some of them.


Australia is one of the largest sources of sapphires in the world. The gemfields of New South Wales and Queensland are well known for their blue sapphires.


The Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia is renowned for its production of pink diamonds – one of the rarest and most valuable types in the world.


While often underrated, zircons are treasured for their high refractive index and stunning brilliance. Zircons from Jack Hills in Western Australia hold the record for being the oldest gemstone on Earth, at an astounding 4.4 billion years old.

What Precious Stone Is Australia Known For?

In Conclusion

So from your journey through Australia’s gemstone history, you’ve discovered that Australia is fondly known for its relationship with opals. As Australia’s national gemstone, the opal represents a lot of the country’s natural beauty and uniqueness. But let’s not forget Australia’s rich array of other precious stones like sapphires, diamonds, and zircons.

Whether you’re a gemstone enthusiast or just curious about Australia’s natural treasures, there’s no doubt that Australia’s bounty of gemstones is as diverse and vibrant as the country itself. So, the next time someone asks you, “What precious stone is Australia known for?”, you’ll be more than prepared to impress them with your knowledge: it’s the opal, with a sparkle and uniqueness that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Australia.

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Author: marklsmithms1

Hi, I'm Mark, the author of Maura Gems and Jewellery. As a team of qualified gemmologists and goldsmiths, we bring you world-class jewellery at Bangkok prices. With offices in both Bangkok and the UK, we ethically source the finest gemstones directly, eliminating any middlemen. We offer a wide range of stunning ready-made jewellery items in our new online store, available for retail or wholesale. Additionally, we specialize in custom-made jewellery where we can bring any design to life. Whether you're a trade professional or an individual customer, we cater to all. Feel free to email me at mark@mauragemsandjewellery.com or call/WhatsApp me at 07470547636 or +66949355718. Discover our incredible collection by visiting our online store. I guarantee you'll love what you find there!

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