World's most expensive opal literally glows in the dark

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
World's Most Expensive Opal Literally Glows In The Dark
Meet the "Virgin Rainbow" – perhaps the finest and certainly the most expensive opal on record.

It literally glows in the dark. In fact, as it gets darker around the opal, the opal appears ever more vibrant.

The stone's vivid and sparkly nature is in stark contrast to Coober Pedy, Australia where it was discovered.

The area is a hot, more-or-less desolate and barren desert laid waste by millions of years of heat, heat and more heat. The mining community was built underground and looks more like Tatooine than Earth.

But, it used to be the aqueous home to untold numbers of marine dinosaurs, including the modern-day cuttlefish's ancestor—inside whose skeleton the virgin rainbow was formed and found.

Unearthed by a lone miner working an old mineshaft with an excavator in 2003, the virgin rainbow is comprised of water and silica gel which ran together millions of years ago before hardening into its present shape.

It's valued at over $1 million and was purchased by the South Australian Museum in Adelaide which will be presenting it as part of their "Opals" exhibit to celebrate 100 years of gemstone mining in the region.

See photos of more stunning gems:
15 PHOTOS
Fancy Vivid Blue diamond
See Gallery
World's most expensive opal literally glows in the dark
An unidentified employee of auctioners Christie's examines a fancy vivid blue diamond ring of 12.02 carat in Geneva, Switzerland, on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2001. The largest vivid blue diamond ever to appear at an auction is expected to fetch $6 million at the Christie's auction Tuesday, in Geneva. (AP Photo/Keystone/Martial Trezzini)
A Sotheby's employee displays the diamond ring, Magnificient Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, during an auction press preview at Sotheby's in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009. The auction Magnificent Jewels, will go on sale November 17 in Geneva. Because of their great rarity and beauty, diamonds of exceptional fancy colour have been sought by collectors for many years and will be represented in this sale by an extraordinary group of outstanding examples. After setting the current world record price per carat for any gemstone at auction (US$1,349,752) with the 'Star of Josephine' (Geneva, May 2009), strong competition is anticipated for this Magnificent Fancy Vivid Blue Pear-Shaped Modified Brilliant-Cut Diamond weighing 5.96 carats. (AP Photo/Keystone, Sandro Campardo)
An auction house worker poses for the photographers wearing 3 rings, one with cushion modified brilliant-cut vivid green diamond weighting 2.52 carats, one with a vivid blue pear-shaped modified brilliant-cut diamond weighting 5.96 carats, and one with a fancy pink cushion-shaped diamond weighting 6.63 carats, that will be part of an upcoming auction, in central London, Friday Oct. 23, 2009. . (AP Photos/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Daniele Mascetti, senior jewelry specialist for Sotheby's auction house poses for the photographers holding an internally flawless cushion-shaped blue diamond weighting 7.03 carats from the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa , during a presentation ahead of an auction in London, Monday April 27, 2009. The rare fancy vivid-blue diamond, which was cut from a 26.58 carat rough which was discovered in 2008 and is estimated to fetch some 3.9-5.8 million British pounds, (some 5.8-8.5 million US dollars) when it is auctioned as part of Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale on May 12, 2009. Blue diamonds are among the rarest of all gems and this stone has the highest possible grading. The buyer will have the honour of naming the diamond, according to the auction house. ( AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Daniele Mascetti, senior jewelry specialist for Sotheby's auction house poses for the photographers holding an internally flawless cushion-shaped blue diamond weighting 7.03 carats from the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa , during a presentation ahead of an auction in London, Monday April 27, 2009. The rare fancy vivid-blue diamond, which was cut from a 26.58 carat rough which was discovered in 2008 and is estimated to fetch some 3.9-5.8 million British pounds, (some 5.8-8.5 million US dollars) when it is auctioned as part of Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale on May 12, 2009. Blue diamonds are among the rarest of all gems and this stone has the highest possible grading. The buyer will have the honour of naming the diamond, according to the auction house. ( AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
A Sotheby's employee displays a Claw-set to the centre with a fancy vivid purplish pink oval diamond weighing 5.06 carats, within a surround of pear-shaped stones, mounted in platinum, left and The fancy vivid blue pear-shaped diamond weighing 3.73 carats, set between pear-shaped stone shoulders in platinum, right, during a press preview in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 7, 2008. This fancy vivid purplish pink diamond is estimated to fetch 2,350,000-2,850,000 US dollars and fancy vivid blue diamond ring is estimated to fetch 2'800'000-3'500'000 US dollars at the Christie's jewellery sales on Wednesday, May 15, 2008 in Geneva. (AP Photo/Keystone/Martial Trezzini)
A Christie's employee presents, from left to right, a fancy vivid blue pear-shaped diamond ring weighing 3.45 carats, an important fancy cushion-shaped pink diamond ring, weighing 7.50 carats, and a fancy vivid yellow cushion-shaped diamond ring, weighing 20.02 carats, during a press preview in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Feb. 12, 2007. The blue pear-shaped diamond ring is estimated to fetch US$1,300,000 - US$1,600,000,( 1,000 ,000 - 1,230,000 euro) the pink diamond ring is estimated to fetch US$2,500,000 - US$3,000,000 (1,920,000 - 2,300,000 euro) and the yellow cushion-shaped diamond ring is estimated to fetch US$1,000,000 - US$1,500 ,000 (748,000 - 1,153,000 euro) at the Christie's jewels sales on Feb. 21, in St. Moritz. (AP Photo/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron)
A Christie's employee presents a fancy vivid blue pear-shaped diamond ring weighing 3.45 carats, during a press preview in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, February 12, 2007. The diamond ring is estimated to fetch 1'300 000 - 1'600 000 US dollars at the Christie's jewels sales on February 21, in St. Moritz. (KEYSTONE/Laurent Gillieron)
The priceless 12 carat 'Blue Moon Diamond' is displayed at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles on September 12, 2014. The extremely rare 'Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond' was discovered in South Africa. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: A Sotheby's employee wears the The Premier Blue, Brilliant-Cut Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond on September 9, 2013 in London, England. The 7.59-Carat stone will be offered for auction in Hong Kong at their Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale on October 7, 2013 where it is expected to raise US$19 million. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: A Sotheby's employee displays a 5.16 carat pear shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ring, at Sotheby's on March 8, 2010 in London, England. The internally flawless diamond, estimated at 3 - 3.9 million GPB, is the first to come to auction from the De Beers Millennium collection and will be offered for sale at Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 7, 2010. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: A collection of rare diamond rings is displayed at Sotheby's on October 22, 2009 in London, England. Comprising of a cushion modified brilliant-cut vivid green diamond weighing 2.52 carats estimated at USD $3.1 million to 5.1 million (R), a fancy pink cushion-shaped diamond from a private collection weighing 6.63 carats estimated at USD $1.3 million to 1.9 million (C) and a rare fancy intense blue brilliant-cut diamond ring of 3.17 carats, from a private collection, is estimated at USD $1.6 million to 2.6 million will be sold at the Magnificent Jewels Sale at Sotheby's Geneva on November 17. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
A model showcases a 17.16 carat step-cut unheated Kashmir sapphire and diamond Ring (top), a 35.72 carat step-cut Colombian emerald and diamond ring (lower) at a Sotheby's gallery in Hong Kong on September 18, 2014. TheColombian emerald and diamond ring is expected to fetch 4 to 4.6 Million USD at auction. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)
A view of 'The Blue', the world's largest flawless vivid blue diamond, on display during an evening 'Magnificent Jewels sale' auction by the Christie's auction house, on May 14, 2014, in Geneva, Switzerland. The spectacular blue diamond, considered the largest in the world in its category, was purchased by US jeweler Harry Winston for $ 23'790'000 (with costs) at a Christie's auction in Geneva. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners