Seda Opals – Paul Sedawie
‘I’m addicted to opal, so I go to all the opal deposits in Australia, trade with all the opal deposits and enjoy the Australian wilderness. I also travelled overseas (before Coronavirus), I have been to the opal mines in Batena, Indonesia, searched the Virgin Valley in the United States and visited Ethiopia on several occasions.’ (Paul Sedawie)
Paul Sedawie is a well-known expert and opal trader in the world of gems. The Australian opal enchanted him at a young age and continues to captivate him to this day. He started mining them, continued to modify them, sells them, writes about them and boasts a unique collection of opalised fossils, which – but more about that a little later. P. Sedawie really knows a lot about opal and not just about the Australian variety.
Paul Sedawie – Respect for opal
He began mining opals in 1986 at the Four Mile site in Lightning Ridge, Australia. It took half a year for him to find a decent gem.
The first opal he bought was a blue seam opal and he paid $700 for it. But he couldn’t sell it. He cut it into more than 100 lower-quality opals, which he managed to sell to one person at a good profit. Most of us would be discouraged by the initial failures in mining but also in the sale of opal from doing business with it. But Paul Sedawie didn’t give up, quite the opposite. He gained respect for opal and how difficult it is to find. Instead of mining, he started a business in the field of cutting and selling opal.
‘If you have a passion for stones, your customers will feel it.’ (P. Sedawie)
- Sedawie definitely does not lack a passion for stones and especially opal. Instead of words, it is confirmed by his actions.
He is the chairman of the Opal Association Inc., an association the members of which can be anyone who sells, mines or grinds Australian opal.
- Sedawie does not keep a lot of knowledge, experience and even memories to himself. He contributes with regard to informing the general public about opal. He promotes opal through presentations, lectures and also educational publications. To learn more about opal, you can download a free P. Sedawie’s e-book called Opal Passion.
He donated his large collection of opalised fossils to the Australian Opal Centre. The collection of unique opalised fossils, which many private collectors would like to have, no longer belongs to P. Sedawie.
‘I just donated my private collection of hundreds of rare opalised fossils to the Australian Opal Centre in Lighting Ridge. To this day, it is one of the largest collections donated to the Centre.’ (P. Sedawie)
Seda Opals was founded by Paul Sedawie in 1994. The company name is not random. It was created by combining the abbreviation of the surname with the gemstone which enchanted P. Sedawie. The family business has more than 20 years of history and its founder has more than 30 years’ experience with opal. Seda Opals also employs other family members who have been in contact with opal since early childhood.
The youngest son, Ross, oversees the opal auction website operation which has sold more than half a million opals. The eldest son, Peter, is in charge of buying and cutting raw gems.
‘I seem to be attracted to dark mysterious black opals and the funny thing is that they don’t sell well, but I don’t care because I like to look at them. My favourite pattern is the mackerel pattern, which rolls on a stone. I had black and dark opals with this pattern and I liked them both.’ (P. Sedawie)
- Sedawie likes dark and black opals, but customers can choose from a number of charming stones with a unique opalescence. Seda Opals offers a range of top Australian opals. But it is not the only type of opal that the company focuses on. Rare Ethiopian, fiery Mexican, unique Slovak opals,… Everyone can choose from a wide range of opals.
Opals and gems are sold by Seda Opals through several websites. You’ll find raw and processed opals of various sizes, shapes, colours and patterns there. Each opal is unique and original; finding two identical ones is impossible. But if you’re looking for a pair of almost identical opals for earrings, just take a look at the Seda Opals website.
Opals from around the world
‘I visit most of the opal deposits in Australia and buy from the miners mainly the raw material that I process. I also sell raw opal, there’s now a high demand due to the coronavirus and people in the lockdown.’ (P. Sedawie).
In addition to opals from Australia, Seda Opals also offers a new type of opal from Ethiopia. This type of volcanic opal appeared in the African country only recently, in the early 1990s. Ethiopian opals combine two amazing properties. They have extremely bright colours and a relatively low price.
Mexican fire opals have been used by the Maya and Aztecs in various rituals. The beautiful yellow, orange or red colour in this gemstone contains something mystical, something that appeals to and attracts admirers from all over the world even today.
Opalized fossils are another interesting thing in Seda Opals. These pieces include opalised wood, plants, shells, teeth, but also a small species of octopus from ancient times. One of the rarest pieces is the opalised pineapple, which is found in only one place in the world, in the White Cliffs. Much of the opalised fossils end up in private collections.
Paul Sedawie was also the owner of one collection of hundreds of opalised fossils. Recently, however, he decided to donate it to the AOC (Australian Opal Centre).
‘…they were my passion for most of my life. It was a little sad to see them leave.’ (P. Sedawie)
The offer of opals from almost all over the world on the Seda Opals website includes Slovak opal which was once the most precious gem in the world. Until the discovery of opal deposits in Australia, Slovak opal was the most common type of opal in the world. Thanks to the high quality and amazing colours, it also got to the royal courts. The most famous ‘Trojan Fire’ opal was given by Napoleon to his wife Josephine.
Although opal, its mining, cutting and sale are the main product of Seda Opals, it expanded its offer to include other gems. The offer of the Seda Gems website includes rubies, sapphires, tanzanites, emeralds, aquamarines and many other gems. Among the many precious stones, there is also a diamond, which at one time deprived the precious opal of the title of the rarest gem.
Gems look best in jewels. And since Paul Sedawie offers a number of amazing gems, you’ll also find jewels on Seda Jewelry website. The large selection of jewels is not limited to jewels with opals, of which there are really many. Lovers of jewels with pearls, diamonds or other gems will also have a field day.
The future of opals
‘The future is bright for our industry, the TV show Opal Hunters, the growing demand and the rising prices that miners are getting will encourage more people to mine opal.’ (P. Sedawie)
Black opals with incredible colours, white opals with a whole range of colours, huge deposits of Boulder opal or Australian fire opals, etc. Australia is a country where you can find many different types of opal. That is why this stone became the national gemstone of Australia. Paul Sedawie is one of the people who dedicated their lives to this gem. He travels all over Australia, visits sites abroad and brings his clients only the best and rarest pieces. The future of Australian opal also seems to be good thanks to the commitment and promotion of P. Sedawie. But what are his plans for the future?
‘When it is possible to travel, I want to go on a trip to Morocco for fossils – even if they are not opal, I like to go to different countries and watch them mine and enjoy new cultures. I’ve been to Ethiopia several times and want to return to the new black opal mines.’ (P. Sedawie)
Who knows what P. Sedawie will bring from his travels? In addition to the experiences, we may be surprised by other beautiful and charming opals… as he himself said, ‘I’m addicted to opal…’.