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buying opals

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Oct 14th, 2003, 05:31 PM
  #1
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buying opals

Can anyone give us suggestions on what store are reputable for buying opal jewelry in Sydney? We want nice quality, but don't want to pay top-dollar, tourist prices. Tips from Sydney-siders would be most appreciated.
paintingqueen is offline  
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Oct 15th, 2003, 05:35 AM
  #2
 
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Hi, paintingqueen!
Hope you've forgiven me for my gaffe re your other question on travel to the airport! On the subject of opals, I don't know the best place for you to buy, but I can give you a few tips on places to avoid. If you don't want to pay top-dollar tourist prices, don't buy at the places around the Rocks (they are everywhere to be seen) and, preferably, don't buy in the city at all. I think that if I were buying an opal today, I would head for an inner suburb where there are lots of second-hand shops (like Newtown) and try my luck there. Better still is to get right out of Sydney and environs and buy from the source, which is up around Lightning Ridge... though I realise that this is a "big ask". Maybe you will be visiting some country towns, however, where any opals on sale are aimed at locals, not tourists.
Did you know that there is an opal information website at www.australianopalcutters.com; also, on the subject of suburban opal shops, my telephone book lists Opal Products at 7 Wiltona Place, Girraween (forty-five minutes from the city), Opal Magic Australia, Georgina St, Newtown (ten minutes by bus), and a chain called "Opals and Gems" which has branches in suburban shopping complexes, including Blacktown, Liverpool, Mt Druitt (all at least a forty-five minute train ride) and North Ryde (a more pleasant thirty-minute bus ride). Whether any of these is any good, I am not in a position to say. Sorry I can't be more help.
Alan is offline  
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Oct 15th, 2003, 08:39 AM
  #3
 
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Hi Paintingqueen,

Allan is right in that you will definitely be paying top dollar anywhere in Sydney for opals. The only way to get a good deal is to buy from the opal towns where it is mined. Unfortunately for people like yourself this can be a real problem.

I could put you in touch with an opal miner who also makes custom opal jewelry, he has a mine at a place called Mintabee in the Northern Territory. He supplies the North American market with raw product but he also sells locally and I can garantee that his prices will beat anything in Sydney.

Cheers

Paul_S
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Oct 16th, 2003, 04:56 PM
  #4
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Hi Alan and Paul S.: Thanks to both of you for the info on buying opals. We won't be going out of Sydney, so possibly a close-in suburb might work. Also, guide books mention Downtown Duty Free (Strand),Gemtec and Ana House(both on Pitt),Opal Beauty (Qn.Vic.Bldg.)and duty-free shops. Any thoughts? I'm going to check out the web-site you suggested, also.
Again, thanks for your in-put!
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