I had a very productive trip to Coober Pedy, Lambina and Mintabie during our May 2012 trip to Australia to buy opals.
When I arrived in Coober I was VERY suprised to find a good supply of rough opal for sale from the miners I’ve delt with over the years. Rumor had it that opal production was down and there just wasn’t any rough opal to be found in Coober. It seems these same rumors have kept foreign opal buyers away from Australia. It may be true that opal production had been down, but the news of the opal rush at Donna’s Rush had brought many miners back to the Coober Pedy Precious Stones Field. Opal prices seemed about the same as my last trip in 2009, but the exchange rate from the US$ to the AU$ were certainly not in my favor. 2009 an Australian dollar cost US$0.80 and this year it was US$1.05.
I found a very nice Parcel from Donna’s Rush mined by Steve Zagar and others from Zorba Field, 11 Mile Field and the 8 Mile Field. Seems like Coober has quieted down some, but Tom & Mary’s Greek Taverna was still open with new management. Food remains excellent with service as good as ever. Stayed at the 3 star Mud Hut Motel which also comes highly recommended by me. Comfortable beds, flat screen TV and great breakfast in the restaurant. John’s Pizza Bar (Greek specialties) was a great eating place with quality food at a modest price.