World's best opal to be displayed at SA museum

Image of the Virgin Rainbow is from the South Australia Museum.

A 2.4 inch opal named the Virgin Rainbow will be the centerpiece of a museum exhibit opening next month in the South Australian Museum.

The Virgin Rainbow was discovered in 2003 by opal miner John Dunstan and his partner Steve Zagar near Coober Pedy.

The stone is small, just 63.3 mm in length and from 13.3 mm. The complete crystallization is what makes the piece unique with ". . . brilliant medium to large rolling flash pattern featuring all spectral colours from orange through to violet," according to Chatelaine's Antiques.

Museum director Brian Oldman gushed when describing the stone, which is valued at over $1 million.

"It's of unequalled quality, it's a fully crystal opal," says Oldman to the AFP.

The museum will include other opals as well as recreation of an underground opal mine.