Our History

Our First Shop, Coober Pedy, South Australia

Established in 1974 in the opal capital of the world, Coober Pedy, and now situated in Adelaide’s iconic Beehive Corner on King William St, we are a second-generation family-owned business and Adelaide’s oldest and largest opal/diamond specialist.

 

John Ryneš - Opal Pioneer

Opals are a true Australian gem. Since the early 1900s, opal mining has been a fiercely protected tradition in many mining towns, and only a few family businesses have survived as opals get rarer and rarer.

John Ryneš started out with nothing in the early 1970s, after emigrating to Australia, and built the Opal Factory in Coober Pedy after a few years down mining shafts.

After more than forty years in the opal industry, John now takes great pride in having Australia’s largest collection of South Australian crystal and white opal, Queensland boulder opal and the famous Lightning Ridge black opal.

Coober Pedy, South Australia, The Site Where John Built His First Shop

John his wife Helena and their young son Mike lived in the Opal Capital of the world Coober Pedy through the 70's and 80's. Here they are pictured on the site where they built The Opal Factory! John purchased the land on a handshake and worked hard to not only build the Opal Factory but a successful caravan park for the many tourists that visited!

Opal Factory Caravan Park

Hardwork pays off! Open to the public and the arrival of our first caravans!

Humble Beginnings

John is pictured here hand making opal jewellery in the early days, in Coober Pedy!

It was tough work, running a business in the outback and also starting a family. After moving to Adelaide, John changed the business name to the Opal Gem Factory. John grew the company to three stores around Adelaide, and has trained more than 15 apprentices, as well as wholesaling and supplying all over Australia.

Starting Early, Father and Son

Mike was always going to follow in his fathers footsteps and has been around the opal industry his whole life!

Second-Generation

In 2010, John's son Mike took over the business and operations management.

This coincided with two major business decisions. The first, to add diamonds to the company's expertise, renaming the business to the Opal Diamond Factory to reflect this expansion.

Secondly, to focus business on a single flagship store, which is the current location on Adelaide's famous Beehive Corner, on King William St.