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Multi-million Dollar Opal Exhibit

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

A multi-million dollar exhibit of opal, Australia’s national gemstone, will be held at
the 2007 Opal and Gem Festival in Lightning Ridge, July 27th to 29th. Showcasing will be stunning opals and exquisite opal jewellery entered by overseas, interstate and local designers into the prestigious International Opal Jewellery Design Awards.

Lyn Carney, President of the International Opal Jewellery Design Awards Association said jewellery designers worldwide are beginning to embrace free form and carved opal to create striking contemporary designs that will be on display in our very own backyard.

The four day Lightning Ridge Opal and Gem Festival attracts trade from abroad and within Australia and is open to the general public.

“We are expecting thousands of visitors that range from rockhounds and jewellers to families with kids. It’s a very relaxed and great day out held against the backdrop of one Australia’s most famous outback mining towns,” Ms Carney said.

On display will be Lightning Ridge black opal as well as an array of Australian opal from other mining fields. “The Opal and Gem Festival will offer a rare glimpse into gemstones that are not typically available to the general public, “ Ms Carney said.

Other precious gemstones, beads and jewellery will also be available for purchase and rock-hounds will find an abundance of specimen pieces and rough material.

Master carvers will be demonstrating their intricate craftsmanship creating breathtaking undulating opal pieces.

Apart from the magnificent array of gemstones on display, Ms Carney said meeting the colourful and interesting locals may very well be one of the most surprising highlights that visitors can expect.

“The locals and exhibitors take such pride in their spectacular fiery stones that there is bound to be more than one tale to tell about their origins,” she said.

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Contact: Lyn Carney - President of International Opal Jewellery Design Awards Association
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