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Rainbow Ridge Mine (Black Opal No. 1 claim; Black Opal No. 2 claim; Black Opal No. 3 claim; Rincon Belle claim; Royal Opal claim; Pandora claim), Virgin Valley District, Virgin Valley, Humboldt Co., Nevada, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 41° 47' 44'' North , 119° 0' 50'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 41.7955555556, -119.013888889

The Rainbow Ridge Opal mine is a group of six patented placer mining claims known as the Black Opal #1, Black Opal #2, Black Opal #3, Rincon Belle, Royal Opal, and Pandora claims. The deposit was originally discovered sometime around 1908. The original location was made by Mr. MGhee under the name "Opal claim" in 1911, which subsequently became known as the Monarch Opal by Deb Roop and others. In November 1917 the mine produced the famous fist-size precious Roebling Black Opal which is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Flora Loughead (phonetically pronounced "Lockheed"), mother of the famed Lockheed boys, purchased the claims, and relocated others, forming the Rainbow Ridge Mining Company with the Hammond-Fiske family. Ward's Science Establishment was a shareholder in the corporation. The mining claims are located in Sections 22-23, T45N R26E, MDBM. Six claims were patented in 1929 and 1930, respectively. The Mineral Patent to the Rainbow Ridge Mining Claims contained a reservation excluding any lodes previously known to exist. The Rainbow Ridge Mine was purchased by the Hodson family in 1949. In 1952, the mine produced the now famous 6.3 pound Hodson Opal. As of 1991, there was an estimated 850 feet of underground tunnel in the main workings. The mine has been operated as a fee dig site during the summer months for decades. Many fine opals have been recovered by both fee diggers and the mine owners alike.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

1 valid mineral.

Localities in this Region

  • Nevada
    • Humboldt Co.
      • Virgin Valley

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Rocks & Minerals (1933): 8: 16.

Rocks & Minerals (1938): 13: 57.

Rocks & Minerals (1944): 19: 13.

Eckert, Allan (1997) The World of Opals. (John Wiley & Sons, New York).

United States Mineral Survey #4615, Rainbow Ridge Mining Company.

United States Mineral Patents #1024667 & 1031410.

NARA records, Rainbow Ridge Mining Company patent proceedings.

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