Rare $675,000 opal makes public debut

CNN  — 

The world’s finest uncut opal, a 998-gram gem called the Fire of Australia, has gone on permanent public display for the first time since its discovery more than 60 years ago.

Valued at more than $675,000, the stone is the largest known high-grade opal in the world, according to the gem’s new owners, the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, Australia.

“The Fire of Australia is around the size of a softball…and shows all the colors of the spectrum,” museum director Brian Oldman told CNN, emphasizing the extreme rarity of the stone.

“The opal is unique because of its high quality and large size. It throws off a lot of red, which is one of the indications of a highly valuable piece of opal.”