The Roebling Black Opal

Rainbow Ridge Black Opal

Roebling Black Opal in the Smithsonian

In November 1917 this mine produced the 1.5 pound precious Roebling Black Opal. The Opal was named after its owner Colonel Washington Augustus Roebling which is in the permanent collection of the same name at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Roebling Black Opal in the Smithsonian

The Colonel was the chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge and his son John A. Roebling donated the Black Opal and a private collection of other fine gems upon his fathers passing in 1927. $150,000 accompanied the collection to ensure its maintenance.

Colonel Roebling was a keen collector of minerals and gems and it is thought the Black Opal that now bears his name was the largest of its kind in existence.

The Roebling Black Opal is an exquisite piece of rough opal from the Rainbow Ridge Mine, Virgin Valley, Nevada.

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The Opal is thought to have been created from fossilized tree branches. These type of Black Opal have not often been made or cut into precious jewelry due to its propensity to cracking.

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