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Our Family Business

MAXWELL LANE – CHAIRMAN

After initially working with Diamonds in a Family Company in Sydney from 1965, Maxwell completed his degree in gemmology in 1968, and developed a strong interest in precious coloured gemstones.

Maxwell then started a wholesale gemstone business selling all types of precious gemstones, throughout the World, but specialising in Australian opal.

From the three specific types of Australian opal, Maxwell developed a strong preference for Queensland Boulder opal due to it’s incredible dark colours and beauty, eventually through Clifton Opal Pty Ltd, specializing in the cutting, polishing and exporting of this beautiful form of opal.

Maxwell has been a founder member and Chairman of The Australian gemstone Industry Association, and has extensively travelled overseas selling to Clifton’s wholesale clients.

WILLIAM LANE – SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE

William often spent holidays travelling with his father, Max in the Queensland outback visiting the opal mines, and after completing his higher school certificate in Sydney, commenced work in the Clifton cutting factory from 2010. Realising his passion for Boulder Opal, he continued working full time with Clifton and completed a course in Advanced opal from the Gemmological Association of Australia in 2015.

William also began travelling within Australia and Overseas representing Clifton as a sales executive, attending the major precious gemstone exhibitions in Hong Kong, Japan and China, whilst also visiting Clifton’s wholesale clients in North America.

William is the Senior Sales Executive for Clifton Opal, and continues to cut and polish opal when he has time available from his sales trips.

ALEX BARNES – BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

As Max’s daughter, Alex has grown up around opals, accompanying Max on his trips to the outback in the plane and fossicking for opals since she was three years old. Alex still jumps at any opportunity to go to the outback – her last visit was when she drove the company 4WD from Sydney to Longreach, showing her English husband ‘real Australia’. (Around a 1700km trip). Alex has been fortunate enough to have seen and worked with some of the most rare and beautiful opals in the world, and is constantly amazed at the stunning flashes of colour shown in true gem quality opal.

Alex has a degree in Fine Arts (Photomedia Major), and has completed Diamond Grading and Jewellery Design courses with the Gemmological Association of Australia. Alex has worked at with Clifton Opal for over 15 years, and enjoys her interstate trips all over Australia.

Alex loves the incredible vastness and beauty of the outback, how friendly and open all the locals are and the feeling of being so far from the city.