Opal Producers Australia
Gemmological Digital Analyser from Opal Producers Australia Limited
Precious opals are Australia’s national gemstone, with 95 percent of the world output coming from Australian mines. But no objective systems has existed for assessing and reporting the complex gemstone characteristics of cut and polished opals, with the industry relying on subjective assessments which produce inconsistent results and lead to lack of confidence to trade.
This has made it difficult for opal producers to achieve true market value for their rare and precious opals. It has also created uncertainty for consumers who demand grade quality assurance with certification and brand recognition to trade and to ensure that they are purchasing quality products at a fair price and to provide confidence to trade.
So a group of Australian opal miners have come together to establish Opal Producers Australia Limited (O.P.A.L.) and create the Gemmological Digital Analyser (GDA). The goal is for the GDA to become the globally recognised standard for assessing and reporting opal quality. Created in conjunction with the CSIRO and Applied Robotics, the GDA uses advanced imaging technology to achieve precise colour measurements, and uses complex software algorithms to analyse the play and flash of colour and other characteristics that determine the grade and value of an opal.
O.P.A.L. is now commercialising the GDA technology and aiming for wide-scale adoption by providing the Australian opal miners with a grading service and trading platform for local and international markets. Graded opals are certified under theGDA Certified brand, and state-of-the-art security measures using nanotechnology ensure the veracity of accompanying certificates of authenticity that detail the features of GDA Certified Australian Opal. The aim is to establish GDA Certification as a global standard for opals, enabling producers to achieve a fair value for their products.
The GDA technology has won the prestigious Innovations and Inventions category at the Sydney Division of the 2009 Australian Engineers Excellence Award.