John Ryneš


John escaped Soviet-occupied (then) Czechoslovakia in 1968, and found a home in New South Wales, working at BHP. Without speaking any English, John soon struck out on his own, building a successful candle-making business with 60 employees (it’s still going!) before selling the business for $20,000 (a huge amount of money in the ’70s).

John was introduced to the opal industry when he moved to Coober Pedy in 1974 from Sydney. He first became a miner, before learning the art of opal cutting and jewellery making. With over 40 years’ experience in the opal industry, John has become a leader in his field and still remains the senior opal cutter for the Opal Diamond Factory.