INDUSTRY NEWS – Respected gemstone dealer, and opal specialist, Andrew Cody dies

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Respected gemstone dealer Andrew Cody, well known for his work promoting trade in opals, died on Monday 12th September 2022, his family has announced.

Andrew Cody
Andrew Cody

Andrew suffered from a rare form of blood cancer for the last 20 years. His brave fight ended peacefully surrounded by his family.

Andrew grew up in the suburbs of Hawthorn East and Ivanhoe, and he lived in Melbourne, Australia, all of his life. He enjoyed sailing and sports and at 12 years of age started collecting fossils, minerals and gemstones. He began cutting opal in 1964 after a school excursion to Coober Pedy.

After studying Valuations at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, he decided that he should pursue his passion for gems and in 1971, and at the age of 20 he established the wholesale opal and gem cutting business Cody Opal which expanded to include exporting around the world.

His industry achievements included involvement in the proclamation of Opal as Australia’s National Gemstone, the production of an award-winning Opal stamp series with Australia Post, the design of the official National Gemstone emblem and development of the official Opal Nomenclature.

In 1991 Andrew wrote the book, “Australian Precious Opal – a Guide Book for Professionals.” This was published in English and Japanese and used extensively worldwide by the industry.

In 2010 Andrew and his brother Damien published “The Opal Story” in six languages. There are now more than 50,000 copies in circulation.

Andrew founded Cody Opal Australia in 1971 and was joint founder of The National Opal Collection with offices, showrooms and museums in both Sydney and Melbourne.

His opalised fossil collection is expansive and includes a 2.5 metre opalised pliosaur, and the opalised upper jaw of a rare mesozoic mammal.

Andrew’s businesses were winners of both Government Export and Tourism Industry Awards. He was awarded a Gold Commendation from the Lord Mayor of Melbourne and was a Research Associate of The Australian Museum.

He served the gem industry in a number of official capacities including President of the Australian Gem Industry Association, Founding Member and Chairman of the Australian Jewellery and Gemstone Industry Council, and Special Projects Officer of CIBJO (The World Jewellery Confederation).

He served as a member of Thailand’s JTC-AIGS Leaders Council (JALC), and President of The International Colored Gemstone Association.

He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of both The Australian Gemmological Association and The Gemmological Association of Great Britain, and was a regular speaker at international forums. His tireless passion and dedication to the gemstone industry spanned more than 50 years.

Andrew is survived by his wife Lynore and sons James, Patrick and William.