In February of 2022 the giant opal known as the “Americus Australis,” found a new owner after fetching an astonishing $143,750 at an Alaska auction.
Weighing in at an impressive 11,800 carats the opal, which is larger than a standard brick and is split into two separate pieces, holds a significant history within the Von Brandt family. The Von Brandts have been the owners and caretakers of the opal since it was brought back to the United States from Australia in the 1950’s.
For years the opal was showcased at various gem shows as well as in a furniture store, eventually spending most of its time out of the public eye. Most recently the giant opal had even been stored it in a linen closet at the Von Brandt home in Big Lake, Alaska which is just north of Anchorage.
The Von Brandts, who have a deep history in the gem and mineral industry, kept the gemstone primarily hidden away for decades until the decision was made to share it with the world once again.
The recent auction by Alaska Premier Auctions & Appraisals successfully landed the opal under the gavel, not only revealing a piece of family legacy but also reigniting the lore of its originating field in Australia, alongside the famed “Olympic Australis.”