WELCOME TO MY BUSINESS “Australian Opals”!
In this website you will find information about all the varieties of opals. Please note that while many opals in jewelry sold elsewhere are synthetic or lab grown, I only sell natural opal that has been painstakingly mined from Mother Earth.
I lived in Australia for two years from 1975 to 1977 and at that time is when I acquired my passion for opals. I now live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota Area where I have founded this business in 1996. I promise that you will not find a larger selection of fine opal jewelry of this quality anywhere else unless you go to Australia yourself! So please enjoy shopping for dynamic and beautiful opal jewelry on this website!
John A. Korman, Proprietor
In 1975, after graduating from college, and only being 23 years old and adventuresome, I went to live in Melbourne, Australia for two years. There I obtained my first social worker job in a suburban city of Melbourne (The City of Keilor) providing services to seniors. Prior to leaving for Australia, my mother was quite distraught that she wouldn’t be seeing her “baby” for two years (I’m the youngest of six children). In an attempt to console her, I asked Mom what I could send to her while I was in Australia. She stated that she heard Australia was known for its beautiful opal gemstones, and if it didn’t cost too much I could get her one. Mom was about 60 years old at the time and never had owned a piece of opal jewelry even though it happened to be her birthstone. So before her next birthday came up, I went on a mission to find her an opal.
At that time, I didn’t know the difference between an opal gemstone and a car called an Opel! Anyway, when I found these beautiful gemstones, I was absolutely taken in by them even though prior to this time I had no attraction to any kind of jewelry or gemstones. As they say, I was “bit by the opal bug!” I then bought Mom a loose opal and sent it to her for her birthday. According to Dad, she shed a “few” tears when she received it.
Mom then had her opal made into a ring and cherished it for the rest of her life. After Mom passed away in 2002, her opal ring was given to one her granddaughters who just happened to be born in the same month and year (October, 1976) that I bought an opal for Mom. Mom’s granddaughter, and my niece, shed a “few” tears when she received her grandmother’s opal ring, and now fondly remembers her grandmother when she wears her opal ring.
Because each individual opal is so unique and different than any other opal, I see that people who have a piece of opal jewelry handed down to them from a loved one seem to greatly cherish it and have a strong memory of the person they received it from. I often tell people buying opal jewelry that opals are like people: you know one when you see one, but they’re all uniquely different and have their own looks and personalities. This is what I see as the dazzling difference between opal and any other kind of gemstone!
After coming back to the United States from Australia, I couldn’t get the beauty of opals out of my mind. Eventually, I started up my own business known as “Australian Opals” and as they say, “the rest is history.” Since about 1996, I have been attending local weekend gem shows in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area, now doing all my business at Har Mar Mall in Roseville, MN. I have conducted five weekend shows each year and was opened for 2-3 weeks for the Holidays in December. I am now transitioning my business to an online store that will be open 7/24 for your safety and convenience.. Possibly in the future, I may still conduct some weekend shows.
In September, 2010, I retired from being a full time child protection social worker for the previous 30+ years. Prior to retiring, I also operated my business in addition to holding down a full time job. Somewhat exhausting, but this also put a nice balance in my life at the time. But now that I’m retired, I can really focus on scratching that itch that I received many years ago from being bit by the opal bug!!