Jose Nunes moves on - The new Chapter

Opalized Fossils – Belemnites and Shells

Opalized Fossils – How Are They Formed?

A cavity can be formed by a plant or animal being buried in sand or mud and this sand or mud, over time, may become rock. If the conditions are right, opal may form a replica of the original object. For further reading you may find this article on Wikipedia and this article at Australian Geographic of interest.

Australia is the only place on Earth where opalized animal fossils are found. Opalized fossils can be in the form of plants, molluscs, freshwater crayfish, shark teeth, lungfish, bony fish, frogs, turtles, crocodiles, plesiosaurs, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, snakes, birds and mammals. For more details I recommend you read the article at the Australian Opal Centre. I have been fortunate to obtain some magnificent examples of some Opalized Fossils. Three of these are listed below. For more details, please visit my new website at RockyGem.

Opalized Shell

This opalized shell was mined at Coober Pedy and comes from the famous “Shell Patch Field”. It was unearthed many years ago when the field was at its peak. Today there is little mining there and the good ground is all mined out. Today shells with colour as good as this one are a rarity and with each passing year, they will only become harder to get. Most have been kept in collections and few become available to the market.

Image of opalized shell from Coober Pedy

My Opalized Shell. Mined at Coober Pedy

Opalized Belemnites


The Business Life of Jose Nunes – A New Chapter Begins

An update from Jose Nunes.

Two Buttons is closed, but business life is moving on.

I am now selling the most beautiful gemstone collection, passionately and painstakingly collected over more than a decade, in a new business called Rocky Gem.

Rocky Gem is inspired by the only dog who didn’t warm to me – a gem of a dog, called Rocky. Many of you who visited Two Buttons may have had the opportunity to meet Rocky and remember how lovely he was.

The pictures you see here are part of my rarest, most interesting (and most beautiful) gems. They are opalized belemnites and their story is fascinating!

Prized possession of Jose Nunes. The Virgin Queen opalized belemnite

My most prized opalized belemnite which I have named “The Virgin Queen”

Fifty or so million years ago these two squid were swimming in the sea above what is now the opal capital of Coober Pedy, in the South Australian outback. For some reason, they died and were buried in the sediment of the sea floor. Nature filled the cavity left by the squid with the very best crystal opal. Then, just forty years ago, the ripper on a bulldozer unearthed these two special gems. opal expert, Peter Blythe from Mineshaft in Australia, believes they could be the largest high quality opalized belemnites ever found.

Visit Rocky Gem to read more about these beautiful opalized belemnites and the rest of my collection.

Thank you for visiting, and enjoy browsing the new site.

My very best greeting to all of you.

Jose Nunes