One Of The World’s Largest Opal Gems Just Sold At Auction For $144,000

Weighing in at over one 11,800 carats, they dubbed the opal the “Americus Australis.”

There are many different types of gemstones that will fetch a pretty penny, but one that is exceedingly rare is opal.

When we hear about a large opal going to auction, it is often a big event because, quite simply, you don’t find them that often.

Photo: flickr/James St. John

That is why nobody was surprised with the price that was paid for one of the largest opals that has ever been found. This gem-quality stone was recently sold in Alaska at auction for $143,750.

Weighing in at over one 11,800 carats, they call it the “Americus Australis.” Interestingly, this particular gem has been around for quite some time. In fact, it has been in the Von Brandt family for almost 70 years after the grandfather purchased it from an opal dealer from Australia.

It was kept in a linen closet in the home north of Anchorage by Fred von Brandt. His family has a lot of experience in the gem and rock business and he is also busy mining gold in Alaska.

The gem is as large as a brick but it is broken into two pieces. It would’ve been worth more if it had been kept in a single piece but many years ago, they use to break these large gemstones and half in order to prove their quality.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Guy von Brandt, Fred’s father, decided that it was time to bring the stone out of its hiding place and show it to the world. He wanted to see who would be interested in it, but he probably had no idea that it would generate quite so much interest.

When Fred von Brandt moved to Alaska more than a year ago, he decided to bring the stone with him and put it up for sale at auction. He thought that a new auction house would generate more interest in the stone.


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♬ Stranger – Official Sound Studio

After contacting some individuals who may have been interested, conversations went back-and-forth about the stone and it seems as if it continue to generate more interest.

When the stone eventually went to auction last Sunday, it was at a minimum of $125,000. The company was taking a “calculated risk” at offering it at that price, but it ended up taking off and generating quite a bit more.

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