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Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Jewelry > Gemstones > Opals > Famous Opals > Jupiter Five Opal and Persephone Opal


Famous Opals
> The Andamooka Opal (The Queen's Opal)
> Aurora Australis
> The Black Prince
> The Butterfly Stone
> The Flame Queen
> Halley's Comet
> Jupiter Five
> Olympic Australis
> Pride of Australia
> The Virgin Rainbow
Buying Guide for Opals
> Opal Store USA
> Birthstone for October (modern); alternate for June
> Care for Opals
> Cutting Opals
> Opal Store Amazon USA
> Opal shop Australia
> Glossary of Terms
> Investing in Opals - The Value of Opals as an Investment
> Lapidary Information
> Buy Opals Australia
History of Opals and Opal Mining
> Australian Museum National Opal Collection
> Australian Museum researches opalised fossil
> Fossicking in NSW
> Fossils, opalised fossils, sea snails and shells
> Legendary Opal Miners
> Opal Legends
> Opal Mines
> Mining Opals in Wyoming USA
> Opal Links
Types of Opal
> Black Opal
> Boulder Opal
> Crystal Opal
> Fire Opal
> Matrix Opal
> White Opal
> Yowah Nuts
> Opal Doublets
> Opal Triplets
> Opal Jewelry
Australian Opal Mines
> Andamooka Mines, SA
> Coober Pedy, SA
> Lightning Ridge, NSW
> Mintabie or Mintabee, SA
> Opalton, Qld
> Quilpie, Qld
> White Cliffs, NSW
> Winton, Qld
> Yowah, Qld

Gem & Jewelry Pocket Guide:
A Traveler's Guide to Buying Diamonds, Colored Gems, Pearls, Gold and Platinum Jewelry

by Renee Newman

Jupiter Five Opal

Stop Press! Stop Press! Stop Press!
 The famous Virgin Rainbow Black Opal is for sale here!

The Legend of the Jupiter Five Opal, in the Guinness Book of Records as the World's Largest and Persephone Opal

 The largest single piece of white opal of gem quality weighs 26,350 carats and was found in July 1989 at the Jupiter Field at Coober Pedy in South Australia. It has been named Jupiter Five and is privately owned.

 Steve Mr. Opals Zagar found himself a reluctant international celebrity in 1990 with his discovery of the Jupiter Five Opal recorded in Guinness Book of Records as the World's Largest and Persephone Opal. 

Steve Zagar with The Virgin Rainbow

 Steve Zagar was working on a tunneling machine thirty metres underground on July 4 1989 when his cutting blades locked onto what he feared were boulders - they jammed, and weary as he was from hours of grueling effort, he slipped the gears into neutral, or thought he did, and jumped out in front to clear the wedged rocks with a metal bar.
 Imagine you have your back to a wall of solid sandstone and glassy ribbons of fossilized silica potch and before you is a great, noisy, powerful machine, weighing many tons parked inches from your body, its engines running.

 Suddenly you dislodge the offending rocks and the blades begin to whir again, eating the earth besides your feet and biting the metal bar that is between you and those shining jaws of death.

 You leap out of the way with your heart pounding in the semi darkness as the machine thuds forward and tears great chunks out of the wall right where you stood only moments ago. You scream and swear so loud and with what's left of your pole bang the cavern roof without meaning to and dislodge a large piece of sandstone that falls on your head felling you.

 That is exactly how the Jupiter Five found Steve Zagar. That chunk of rock fell from the cavern roof and knocked Steve off his feet was encrusted in sand stone. It appeared like rock. Valueless!

 In his rage and fear of having just escaped certain death Steve picked it up and was set to hurl it into the crusher which would have rendered it to rubble and powder and sucked it up from the mine onto a noodling mound, when he spied a flash of colour where a corner had been chipped. Calming himself he threw it into a plastic bucket and bent down and collected the smaller piece.

 That smaller piece is the size of a woman's hand. Zagar's flag-stone harlequin crystal gem-quality portion opal fashioned from the hand-sized bit broken off Jupiter Five was named Persephone after a beautiful goddess whom Jupiter a mythological Roman God lured seductively and imprisoned in the underworld

 Jupiter Five intact weighed in at 26,350 carats or five kilos, and Persephone 765 carats. Steve Zagar discovered them both by chance at the Jupiter Field at Coober Pedy.

  Persephone & Jupiter Five have gone out into the world of collectors thanks but no thanks to a once famous Auction House of Christie. It's understood they have changed hands several times since for a lot more than the 1990 world record price they set in Geneva for South Australian Opal.

 A stunning tale - the stuff of legends. That legend grows. Here's its parallel of lightning striking twice, in the life of John Dunstan, and the Virgin Rainbow Black Opal - Steve Zagar's partner! 

 Legendary Opal Miners
 The three old opal miners are Greg Sherman (seated at table); David Caplan, USA, (standing on right); and standing at the rear, the late legendary Spencer Darwin Dunstan, father of John Dunstan (who found the Virgin Rainbow Opal).

This 1962 B&W image was restored and coloured by Mike Piper at Piper Films. 

 The estimated value of opal on the table back in 1962 was approx 400,000 Australian pounds or AUD$800,000 dollars. In today's currency terms, that sum translates not to $28 million, but much more. If we apply a simple formula such as the rule of 72, or the per carat average price of gem quality cabochon material, it is over $40 million.

 The name Virgin Rainbow Black Opal is copyright protected pending registration of Trade Mark. Please send all or any communication on the Virgin Rainbow Black Opal to the address below.

 Text 2003 Universal M& Copyright 1998-2013 Chatelaine's Antiques Virgin Rainbow material
used with kind permission

 The Virgin Rainbow Black Opal is being offered for sale through Chatelaine's Antiques.  For sales and other enquiries contact:
PO Box 311, Wingham, NSW, Australia, 2429

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