Experienced, passionate, committed, caring - these simple words define the Altmann + Cherny family and team.

The whole team at Altmann + Cherny are a close and supportive group. The outstanding family spirit this company exhibits is not only for the staff but also extends to the clients. The experience and knowledge that the team share every day make it a pleasure to be a part of. 

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John D. Altmann founding partner.
1919 – 1997      

Rudi Cherny, founding partner.
1924 – 2010.

In 1948 John and Rudi formed an enduring partnership as gem cutters, gem merchants and manufacturing jewellers, specializing in Australian Opal.


Fiona Altmann - General Manager
commenced 2001.

There was never any doubt that Fiona would join the family business. She has mirrored her grandfather’s passion for Australian opals. Learning the jewellery trade from her Mother and Grandfather, Fiona quickly established herself as an enthusiastic supporter of both the Opal industry and Australian Tourism. Fiona leads by example maintaining the family’s exemplary standards and values.

Fiona continues the family tradition of travelling to the Opal fields to buy directly from the miners. She is the head designer and works closely with the goldsmiths to ensure the highest standards. Fiona’s love of Australian opal is evident in her captivating opal presentations. Fiona is always available to assist clients with any queries or concerns.


Peter Cherny –    Managing Director
Commenced 1976


Claire Altmann Managing Director
Commenced 1984


Stephen Cherny Managing Director
Commenced 1979


Matthew Morin, FGA, FCGma - Lecturer, Buyer, Designer, Gemmologist & Snr Sales consultant

commenced 2010.

Originally from Canada, Matthew’s impressive credentials include a Diploma of Gem Studies, Canadian Gemological Association and the Gemological Association of Great Britain.  He is the President of the Gemological Association of Australia, New South Wales and also a lecturer with them, where his specialty is Australian Opal.

Matthew is involved in all aspects of the Opal industry from buying opals from the miners to designing unique pieces of jewellery.  He travels regularly to the opal fields where he loves to hear the remarkable tales of life at the outback camps and the miners’ search for this elusive gem.


Susan Swain - Marketing
& Snr Sales Consultant
commenced May 1988.

Susan is our most senior staff member, having been with Altmann + Cherny for nearly 30 years.

Susan was the Sales and Marketing Manager for 25 years and has been involved in all aspects of the business. Her patience when assisting clients in finding that very special piece is always apparent,
as is her love of this beautiful gemstone.


Michelle McDonald - Office Manager
& Snr Sales consultant
commenced 1999.

Even though Michelle has worked with Opals for nearly 20 years she is still in awe of this fascinating stone. She loves how the colours and patterns are constantly changing as the stone moves. She has great respect for the opal miners, the harsh conditions they endure and their heavy workload.

Michelle is delighted that her daughter recently designed an opal pendant and it seems her love of opal is being passed down to the next generation.


Elena Zolotarev - Sales consultant
commenced 2006

Elena loves to work with people from all over the world. The happiness which she helps to create, knowing that the special opal will be passed on to future generations. She admires the bright colours, organic textures and interesting shapes of all opals.


Satomi Jacobs - Sales consultant
commenced 2009

Satomi has worked in the Opal industry for over 12 years.  Her love of Australian opals has evolved with her hobby of crafting. Her eye for artistic detail assists her clients in their selections.  She delights in the colours of opals and their unique characteristics.


Kurt Steffens - Sales consultant, Opal Miner
commenced 2016

Opal mining is in Kurt’s blood, his grandparents started opal mining in Western Queensland in 1970. His first time down an opal mine was when he was only 2 years old. His love of the opal industry from such a young age led him to a Bachelor of Geology and an Honours Degree focusing on the exploration of precious opal within Australia. Although Kurt has handled thousands of stones he is still in awe of their natural beauty.


Judith Matthews - Sales consultant
commenced 2016.

Judith is our newest member of staff, with many years’ experience in sales and marketing she can now add Australian opals to her resume. Judith is amazed that nature can create a gemstone reflecting all the colours of a rainbow and that the jewellery appears like a work of art.  She loves the intense blue green opals as they remind her of the ocean.