World's most expensive opal literally glows in the dark

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:
Fancy Vivid Blue diamond
See Gallery
World's most expensive opal literally glows in the dark
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)
Read Full Story