How it all started
'The Opalcutter' has its foundation in 1982 when Piet and Barbara Lamont met. Piet was running the local TAFE (a Technical And Further Education institution). He was teaching courses in adult education and opal cutting and Barbara, a graphic artist by trade, was visiting from Germany. Barbara and Piet fell in love and married quite soon after meeting. They started mining as a ‘hobby’ and by 1984 it turned into full time for both of them. Over the next few years they mined, cut and polished opal and Barbara used her talents as a designer to create their own jewellery range.
They formed 'The Opalcutter' 1990 in order for them to be able to share their love and passion for this most unique of gemstones with a diverse range of people around the globe. Having their own shop meant that they were able to have complete control of their product and how it was processed.
Barbara and Piet made it their mission to show the beauty and character of opal by presenting it in the best possible light. To that end they cut and polished as many of their own stones as time permitted or contracted the work to a limited range of craftspeople. In order to blend Barbara’s flair for design and Piet’s talent as a cutter of quality stones they searched for Goldsmiths with whom they could establish a partnership in the production of the individual and distinctive pieces which characterises their jewellery. It is evident from the finished collections that 'The Opalcutter' has a special place in the industry as a source of unique cut stones and items of jewellery which are found so infrequently in an age of mass production and large workshop items.
In the early days of 'The Opalcutter' Barbara and Piet concentrated on the ‘Light Opal’ sourced either from their own mines at Coober Pedy or other workings from there as well as Andamooka and ’Dark Opal’ from Mintabie. As part of their work with the stone the pair frequently searched Australia wide to source ‘Black opal’ from Lightning Ridge and the Queensland ‘Boulder Opal’ fields to add to their local material.
More recently the special properties of the ‘Boulder Opal’ have formed the main part of 'The Opalcutter'’s offerings. Over the last few years Barbara has made ‘Boulder Opal’ the feature stone of most of her jewellery designs.
After Piet’s untimely death in August 2006 Barbara ran the business almost entirely by herself and continued the dream which had formed the basis of their philosophy and which provided the driving force to keep up the demanding workload.
‘'The Opalcutter'’ closed it’s doors in Coober Pedy in December 2007.
Barbara married Edi Heide in December of that year and both are working the business together from near Cairns in Queensland. ‘'The Opalcutter'’ will continue to offer high quality stones and individual jewellery items to the public and wholesale over the internet. Barbara and Edi are mining for ‘Boulder Opal’ at Koroit in Queensland and are maintaining their connection with opal miners, cutters and goldsmiths to ensure that they are able to continue supplying high quality, individual pieces of opal and jewellery.