About Len Cram (by Gan Bruce)

I am very pleased to be given the chance to pen this brief profile on Len Cram.

Len has been a personal friend for 27 years. Though born in Sydney, he was nurtured on the beautiful sweeping shores of the picturesque Lake Macquarie. There is no doubt that such an environment had a powerful influence on his development as a person and his inevitable love for the things of nature which was later to include our beautiful opal.

Though Len never finished his formal education, he can stand beside many in the scientific world today with his research, as he is a living testimony to the worth of external study.

While writing the manuscript of my book on Lightning Ridge, I spent quite a lot of time with Len in his opal research laboratory. I quickly learned that he was a very deep thinking person with a strong analytical mind. Among Len’s many achievements since I have known him is a Ph.D.

In his subdued manner of research, Len has cut such a path through the wilderness of amorphous silica science, that scientists from Australia and around the world continue to make contact with him, even from as far away as France and the U.S.S.R. He has unlocked many of the mysteries of the origin of Australian opals and so much so that professors of science have written to him seeking his knowledge on certain aspects of opals.

Opal cutter, Writer, Opal industry All Rounder

Len is recognised as a world authority on Australian opals and even after thirty odd years experience, his face still lights up on the mere mention of our national gem. He is a fine cutter and judge of opals, especially the many complex forms of the Queensland Boulder Opal. He has been involved in every aspect of the trade and industry from mining to exporting, but the biggest impression, I feel, is clearly seen with his professionalism as a world class photographer of opals. His brilliant work on the precious gem can be seen in this book and others.

In conclusion, I am so pleased that after years of pestering him, Len is at last going to pass a little of his wealth of knowledge onto us with this small pictorial.

By Gan Bruce