Australian Miners Find ‘World’s Biggest Opal’ in the Outback
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Miners in the small Outback town of Coober Pedy claimed Wednesday to have found the world’s biggest opal, an uncut rock that weighs 11.6 pounds and is worth an estimated $3 million.
Named ″Jupiter 5,″ the stone is a milky-white opal that the miners said was unearthed last July. They did not explain why its discovery was not announced earlier. The miners said the stone is 9.2 inches long and 4.8 inches wide, with a total of 26,350 carats.
A mine spokesman said the gem was found 56 feet underground in Coober Pedy, a town in New South Wales state known for its underground homes and motels. Residents dig dwellings into the earth to protect against intense summer heat.
The miners also showed pictures Wednesday of a polished opal dubbed ″Unnamed Lady″ that they said was about half the size of Jupiter 5 and worth about $1 million.