Gemstone stories

Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2012 at 16:05
ThreadID: 95562 Views:1509 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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Hello again
I just want to hear any stories people have on finding gemstones(not necessarily exact locations but round abouts would be good). But mostly the shock finds would be interesting to hear. Has anyone got a story?
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Reply By: Member - Josh- Monday, May 14, 2012 at 18:00

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 18:00
Hi Dirt Princess, We have never found anything overly valuable. A few opals in adamooka, noodling amongst the mounds. We spent hours looking through piles of dirt to find a few special peices we kept.
At the gem tree near Alice Springs we found quite a few garnetts around 40-50. We had a good system set up. Our 6 yr old loosened the dirt, I put it through the seive, my wife wet it and our 8 yr old found the garnetts. Why we trusted our 8 yr old to find them. Well she had better eyes and often found them in dirt we had already looked through, we never found any in the dirt she looked through.
We had 4 or 5 that were worth putting into earings or pendants.
For us it was more about the looking/finding than the dollar value, mind you, I would not have complained if we had found the big one lol.

AnswerID: 485808

Follow Up By: Dirt Princess - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 00:00

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 00:00
Lol Josh. That's the kind of set-up we will go with. One of my grandies that I'm taking with us to do the kimberley and pilbra in July does not miss a thing. She has eagle eyes too. As for the other one she'll be too busy spinning out cartwheels and hip hop on the rocks. Hubby will do the shovelling as that's what he does best:) and I'll do everything else 'cause that's what I do best ;). I tell a good yarn as well.

I'm not in it for the $$ just the fun of it and it would be lovely for the girls to find something on their trip that could be made into a piece of jewellry that they can remember our time together when they grow older. My daughter can design jewellry and my son can polish them. Well it will be a real family heirloom for them.

Thanks for the info
FollowupID: 761087

Reply By: Ron N - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 21:08

Monday, May 14, 2012 at 21:08
Dirt Princess - There's a gemstone spot just North of Norseman, either side of the highway, at Mt Thirsty.

Back in the mid 1970's, a crowd roared in and dug a big hole alongside the railway line, between the pipeline and the railway line on the RHS, heading North.
They dug up quite a few tonnes of moss-opal, that was lying in thin horizontal sheets only about a metre to about 3 metres down.
I stopped when I was going past once, when they weren't working, and fossicked around in their hole and picked up a few chunks of moss opal.

The rock was quite pretty when fractured, and would probably polish up beautifully. The crowd dug out what they wanted in a few weeks, and filled the hole back in and left.
There's probably some chunks left lying on the surface. The spot is just North of Lake Cowan, about 2-3kms after you leave the causeway over Lake Cowan.
Mt Thirsty is on the left and I know that around the Mt is a popular gemstone fossicking area.

Cheers - Ron.
AnswerID: 485827

Follow Up By: Dirt Princess - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 00:04

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 00:04
Thanks Ron a piece of that will go nice with my Dentritic Opalite that my son found.
FollowupID: 761088

Reply By: wendys - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 16:04

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 16:04
To be certain of finding something - zircons or garnets - the Gemtree area is probably your best bet. We have found good cutters of both there.
Some shock stories: 1. Fossicked at O'Briens Creek for topaz, in the main area, probably digging up what had already been dug over. Then went for a drive up rough track to Blue Hills area. A bushfire had been through few weeks before. I picked up a big chunk of "quartz" that would have been well under a bush, till the fire. It turned out to be blue topaz and cut some great stones.
2. Noodling on the old heaps at Opalton without luck. Saw the sun flash a coloured reflection on the heap. Was a lovely little piece of pipe opal, which cut into a ring and pendant. Must have been lying there on the surface for a very long time. I was just in right place at right time.
3. Fossicked in creek bank on private property that friend was caretaking, out of Rubyvale. Pulled out big piece of parti coloured sapphire - but too fractured to cut. That place is now a machine mined claim!
4. Husband was working on construction site in Pilbara. Picked up a good chunk of topaz off the ground in the camp carpark. Turned it into a very nice ring.
On reflection, the "surprises" have yielded a lot more than the hard work.
AnswerID: 485882

Follow Up By: Dirt Princess - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 22:18

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 22:18
lol Wendy,
1.oh wow!
2.what a beaut find!!!
4.That girl's got all the luck:) and a nice hubby:)
Good on ya for sharing. I'm looking forward to my trip in July and hope I get a surprise. It sounds like a lot of fun. I'll probably have my eyes so peeled to the ground that I won't see anything else. Including the branch that'll swing back and wack me:(
Thanks Wendy
Keep safe
FollowupID: 761166

Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 23:18

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 23:18
I was driving a taxi while a student back in the 70's and one of the other drivers decided to sell his house, pack up the kids and do the lap (I thought he was nuts at the time). While up in Queensland somewhere he did a little fossicking and found an unusual blackish rock. He let the kids have it as a souvenir. A year or so later he's back on the cabs and his kids decide to take it to school for show and tell type of exercise in class. The teacher looked at it and advised that they should get it checked out. It turned out to be an emerald of considerable size which he sold for $45,000. It was enough back in those days to buy another house. The guy couldn't believe what the kids had put that rock through throwing it around etc....pretty lucky and alls well that ends well I suppose. True story.
AnswerID: 485934

Follow Up By: Dirt Princess - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 00:35

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 00:35
That's so funny Mikehzz.
My hubby found a thunderegg of Amethyst. A beautiful speci and I put it on the back verandah to deal with in the morning(out in the country) and my daughter at the time was aged 3 years had seen her father use a hammer to break the rock open and in half so she decided it was a good idea to smash them to smitherines. Struth was I annoyed with her and I didn't hear a thing. I couldn't believe it. Not one stone was salvigable. Kids gotta luv em. Good thing he was able to sell for that amount. So ignorance is not bliss after all...mmm...better study up before I go on my trip.
Thanks Mikehzz
FollowupID: 761168

Reply By: SDG - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 00:06

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 00:06
A few years back I was at a friends house while her inlaws were visiting on their yearly trip.
On the table was close to a hundred stones that they had recently picked up after getting cut. (apparently someone in this town is very good at cutting stones)
These stones they told me were called Rose Diamonds, which they told me they found at a place called Tomahawk somewhere in the middle of Queensland. Exact location they would not tell me, and to this day I still don't know.
To amass this amount they camped and fossiked for about a month.

The friend recieved in the mail a couple of weeks later a pair of earings made with a couple of these stones.

This was the biggest find they had ever come across.

I was informed later by the friend after her inlaws left, that the stones were worth an averge of a grand each, or so she was told.

Hence why I want to find this place, not that I would know what this stone looked like uncut anyway.

AnswerID: 486003

Follow Up By: Member - Dirt Princess - Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 00:35

Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 00:35
Unbelievable. It's great to know there is still gems to find out there if we're vigilant when travelling. I just hope I'll be one of the lucky ones. And like you I probably wouldn't know one thing from another. Well except for Amerthyst. My mum and dad went fossicking out of Roebourne in the 70's and mum found a stone that was "pretty" and gave it to dad and asked if he knew what it was. Dad said it was more than likely glass and promptly threw it away. They thought they were looking at an old gold mine but was later told it was an old diamond mine. Well poor ole Dad was in the bad books for quite some time.
FollowupID: 761254

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