T. C. Wollaston Tullie Cornthwaite Wollaston was Australia's first opal buyer. He created a world market for the stone that had never before been seen in such quantity and quality. Jewellers were initially suspicious of the flashing fire of Australian opals, believing them to be artificial or frauds. Tullie persevered. After a chancy start, he developed partnerships overseas with buyers, cutters and polishers and in Australia with opal miners. He became the acknowledged authority on opal.