In 2016, Down to Earth Opals proudly celebrated 25 years in the opal business.
Hi, I’m Vicki Bokros, founder and owner of Down to Earth Opals.
I am an opal wholesaler and retailer, gemmologist, registered opal valuer and designer of opal jewellery. I used to manage bikini boutiques at Queensland’s sunny Gold Coast, until in 1991, a chance encounter with an opal dealer changed my life forever. Seduced by the dealer’s glorious collection of opals, I left for Lightning Ridge with my former husband to seek our fortune. My family thought I was mad: a young woman heading to a rough, tough, male-dominated mining town in hot, dusty, remote outback Australia.
Lightning Ridge is filled with the stories of people who 'came for a weekend and stayed forever' – and I am one of them. When we first arrived in 1991, the plan was to stay for a few weeks, buy rough opal, then head back to the Gold Coast to process and sell the opal. I was certainly never going to live in Lightning Ridge!
Until a lucky rough opal purchase changed EVERYTHING... when a rough opal nobby revealed the stone that became the famous Southern Princess. However, time in 'the Ridge' grew longer and time on the Coast shorter. We spent our first year staying in basic caravan-style accommodation at the Outback Resort and Lightning Ridge Tourist Park, never setting up permanently, so I could go back to the Coast any time.
The sale of the Southern Princess enabled us to purchase a beautiful sandstone miners ‘camp’ where we lived for thirteen years, before buying the property that is now my retail gallery and the base from which I wholesale opal across Australia and internationally.
Thanks to unrelenting persistence and hard work, a lot of learning and a little luck, my passion for opal has been rewarded. Opal has been good to me, and I want it to be good for you too.
We ran successful opal mining operations for 15 years. I have walked the surface and pegged claims; I’ve done my apprenticeship on the jackhammer, miners’ rickshaw, hoist, digger and blower; followed opal trace, faults and blows, prospecting underground and earned my share of blisters! Over that time, I gained an appreciation for how rare and difficult opal is to find; a huge respect for the tenacity of opal miners; and a thorough understanding of the opal mining process. Thanks to unrelenting persistence and hard work, a lot of learning and a little luck, my passion for opal has been rewarded. Opal has been good to me, and I want it to be good for you too.
My business is internationally renowned for the highest quality Lightning Ridge opal. I have an outstanding collection of carved Lightning Ridge opals, and we supply everything from opal rough, rubs, specimens and cut stones to bespoke opal jewellery. I have travelled to the USA annually since 2000 to attend the largest gem trade show on earth; there, with my team, I proudly exhibit our beautiful gemstones at two locations. Please click here to see our up and coming show schedule.
My gallery exhibits not only Australian opal, but also unique jewellery and collectibles from around the world, complemented by stunning and distinctive Aboriginal artworks from the Utopia region of Australia.
Make sure Lighting Ridge is on your travel bucket list and please drop in to my gallery and say hi.
Member National Council of Jewellery Valuers
Registered Opal Valuer N663
The Rock Boss