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.
Mike grew up in the opal town of Cooper Pedy in northern South Australia, and moved with the family to Semaphore, Adelaide, in 1985. Mike enjoyed PE and maths at school, and left Australia to play professional soccer in the Czech Republic when he was 18.
After getting homesick, Mike returned to join the family business in 2001, and began managing the affairs from 2004.
With a re-ignited passion for customer service and custom manufactured Australian opal jewellery, Mike became Managing Director in 2008, and expanded the business to include diamonds in 2010.
Mike knows the keys to success are outstanding customer service, a team environment, and having incredible handmade jewellery.
Loretta started in the jewellery trade at the age of 16, and worked at the House of Middleton, in the silver city of Broken Hill, for 14 years.
After moving to Adelaide, Loretta managed three high-traffic retail jewellery business around the city, including at West Lakes, and Rundle Mall. Loretta brings comprehensive gemology knowledge, and particular expertise in opals, in which she has specialised for the last 18 years.
Loretta joined the Opal Diamond Factory family in 2013 as Store Manager, and enables the store to offer rethreading of pearl strands. She brings a wealth of experience over a 44-year jewellery career.
Melanie Sfarra Saj-Ryneš
Anna recently joined the family business after graduating from Eynesbury Senior College in 2018. She is currently studying Criminology at Flinders University. Growing up around her father and brother’s passion for Opals and jewellery, led to her natural interest in the industry. Anna is looking forward to learning more about our fascinating Australian gemstone and our superior collection of diamonds and pearls.