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O’Briens Creek Fossicking – Topaz. Smokey Quartz.

O’Brien Creek Fossicking. Topaz

Easter Weekend O’Brien Creek we went to find Topaz.

O’Brien Creek 2017.

O’Brien Creek is about 35 kl dirt road from Mount Surprise. You turn off the highway at the police house. Make sure you get all your supplies before you leave, there is no Shops at O’Brien Creek, and it is a good 1/2 hour drive back to Mount Surprise.

The Camp Grounds.

O’Brien Creek at that time of year, March-April. After rain, lots of insects, and water.

Outside the camp grounds at O’Brien Creek.

There is a camping ground before you get to O’Brien Creek Fossicking Area. The camping grounds have toilets and showers and lots of shady tree. Easter 2016 the creek had lots of flowing water. Really very nice camping ground. Cost was $10 each adult per night in 2016. There was a lot of people there.

The drive to O’Brien Creek fossicking, some parts you do need a 4 wheel drive. The creek did have fast flowing water, at Elizabeth Creek, that the creek that runs through , where the camping grounds are.

Fossicking Area.

Fossicking Area. The creek.

Fossicking there is no secret about finding gemstones, it is the work you put into finding them. We found a few small pieces of topaz. We moved rock in the creek. There is lots of big granite rocks everywhere, that people move or dig under, into the cracks,  to find Topaz.  Some people dig holes everywhere, 1 meter x 1 meter holes. We parked our car under a shady tree, never seen the hole someone dug. It was a close call.  You would think if they are going to move that much dirt, they would put some back.

Finding Topaz  is all pot luck, You just don’t know how many people have dug in the same spot.

I have been fossicking for around 3 years now, I don’t understand people that don’t leave the area the same as they find it.  Why dig a hole and just leave it, think  about the animals, that live there.

Topaz what does it look like.

Some times when you find Topaz, it looks like glass. Finding  topaz  at O’Brien Creek, that has been tumbled down a creek, in  the sand . looks like a dirty piece of Quarts, you  can find coloured ones. Topaz that you find out side the creek beds are like glass. Topaz has 8 sides. Quarts have 6 sides.

Topaz, being a heavy stone, works its way underneath big rocks and gets caught in crevices. So to find them you’ve got to move the big stuff… Lots of hard work moving big stones and lots of dirt.

When we went to O’Brien Creek  at Easter 2017, the creek was flowing, there was some birds, not as many as in the video. And every thing was nice and green.

Map of O’Brien Creek from qld.gov.au.   When you go to the fossicking area, go across the creek and turn Right, have a look around.

Finding Topaz is all about luck, dig a hole and find out.

One lady found one the size of a golf ball. The biggest one we found was 59cts blue.in 2017.

Happy Fossicking, Enjoy your trip to O’Brien Creek.

We have been back to O’Brien Creek. 2019 Keep watch for our latest trip to O’Brien Creek.

Please leave a comment tell us how much Topaz you found. Leave pictures of your Topaz.

Wendy

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Gemstone Size ,Weight and Carat:

Gemstone Size

Weight and Carat:

Carat: Is the weight of a gemstone.

The picture above is a 59carat Topaz. We found at O’Brien Creek.

Weight, Carat and  Size  is important to know when buying and selling gemstones. It is hard buying gemstones with out seeing it, Often the larger the stone the more valuable it is, not the case. You have to take in the colour,  clarity, and inclusions (flaws). Picking up a gemstone, look at it under a light or loupe, If you can see right through it , is a good sign it is a great gemstones. Check  the  size dimensions in millimetres when you are buying gemstone and don’t rely on carat weight alone.

My first gemstone I bought was a green diamond it was .01 carat stone, 01 Carat stone is the size is smaller than a grain of fine sand. The gemstone was a green diamond, cost $10 Australian Dollars, if you look at it under a loupe you can see about 18 faceted cut in the stone. The $10 was a great investment as it is a real eye opener .I don’t know if it was a real diamond, at a guest no.

Price:

Gemstone Carat Chart

  1. Carat=0,2 Grams      26 Carat =5.2 Grams   51 Carat= 10.2 Grams     76 Carat= 15.2 Grams
  2. Carat=0.4 Grams        27 Carat= 5.4 Grams    52 Carat= 10.4 Grams       77 Carat= 15.4 Grams
  3. Carat=0.6 Grams        28 Carat= 5.6 Grams    53 Carat= 10.6 Grams       78 Carat= 15.6 Grams
  4. Carat=0.8 Grams        29 Carat= 5.8 Grams    54 Carat= 10.8 Grams       79 Carat= 15.8 Grams
  5. Carat=1   Grams         30 Carat=6     Grams    55 Carat= 11    Grams       80 Carat= 16    Grams
  6. Carat=1.2Grams         31 Carat=6.2 Grams     56 Carat= 11.2 Grams       81 Carat= 16.2 Grams
  7. Carat=1.4 Grams        32 Carat=6.4 Grams     57 Carat= 11.4 Grams       82 Carat= 16.4 Grams
  8. Carat=1.6 Grams        33 Carat=6.6 Grams     58 Carat= 11.6 Grams       83 Carat= 16.6 Grams
  9. Carat=1.8 Grams        34 Carat=6.8 Grams     59 Carat= 11.8 Grams       84 Carat= 16.8 Grams
  10. Carat=2    Grams        35 Carat=7    Grams     60 Carat= 12    Grams       85 Carat= 17    Grams
  11. Carat=2.2 Grams        36 Carat=7.2 Grams     61 Carat=12.2 Grams        86 Carat= 17.2 Grams
  12. Carat=2.4 Grams        37 Carat=7.4 Grams     62 Carat=12.4 Grams        87 Carat= 17.4 Grams
  13. Carat=2.6 Grams        38 Carat=7.6 Grams     63 Carat=12.6 Grams        88 Carat= 17.6 Grams
  14. Carat=2.8 Grams        39 Carat=7.8 Grams     64 Carat=12.8 Grams        89 Carat= 17.8 Grams
  15. Carat=3    Grams        40 Carat=8    Grams     65 Carat=13                       90 Carat= 18    Grams
  16. Carat=3.2 Grams        41 Carat=8.2  Grams    66 Carat=13.2 Grams       100 Carat= 20   Grams
  17. Carat=3.4 Grams        42 Carat=8.4  Grams    67 Carat=13.4 Grams      125  Carat= 25   Grams
  18. Carat=3.6 Grams        43 Carat=8.6 Grams     68 Carat=13.6 Grams       150 Carat= 30   Grams
  19. Carat=3.8 Grams        44 Carat=8.8 Grams     69 Carat=13.8 Grams       175 Carat= 35   Grams
  20. Carat=4    Grams        45 Carat=9    Grams     70 Carat=14    Grams       200 Carat= 40  Grams
  21. Carat=4.2 Grams        46 Carat=9.2 Grams     71 Carat=14.2 Grams       250 Carat= 50   Grams
  22. Carat=4.4 Grams        47 Carat=9.4 Grams     72 Carat=14.4 Grams       300 Carat= 60  Grams
  23. Carat=4.6 Grams        48 Carat=9.6 Grams     73 Carat=14.6 Grams       500 Carat=100 Grams
  24. Carat=4.8 Grams        49 Carat=9.8 Grams     74 Carat=14.8 Grams       750 Carat=150 Grams
  25. Carat=5    Grams        50 Carat=10 Grams      75 Carat=15    Grams     1000 Carat=200 Grams

Meaning of Lapidary–a person who cuts, polishes, or engraves of stones and  gems.

Join your local Lapidary Club

They should  be able to tell you every thing you need to know about Gemstone ,Rocks  and  fossil .Your local club will also have equipment to cut and polish your stones you find.

I love hearing stories about what gemstones other people have found, and where. Write a comment. And tell your story about Gemstones where you go. Your best find.

Thank You Have a Wonderful Day.

Wendy.

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Gemstone Names. From Actinolite to Zircon.

Gemstone Names.

What is a Gemstone

The Definition of a Gemstone is broad, the term can be used to describe any mineral that is highly prized for its beauty, durability, and rarity.

Gems, defined by a specific crystal structure and chemical composition.

A few gem types, such as amber, pearl and coral, have an organic origin.

A Gem is a Mineral enhanced in some manner by altering its shape,

Usually by cutting and polishing, this is where you see the beauty of a gem.

Most Gems have  sparkle or shine of there own. I have never found a diamond yet, (ha) but a sapphire looks like nothing, until you put water on it. then it sparkles, like glass.

Opal only show it real colour with light and water.

Below is a some  of gemstones names, most end in ite.

Gemstone Name Starting with A.

Actinolite. Agate, Alexandrite, Allanite, Amber, Amethyst, Ammolite, Andalusite, Anglesite, Apatite, Apophyllite, Aquamarine, Aragonite, Axinite, Azurite, Amazonite, Ametrine, Almandine Garnet.

Gemstone Names Starting with B.

Barite, Benitoite, Beryl, Brazlianite, Burma Ruby, Bytownite.

Gemstone Name Starting with C.

Calcite, Celestine, Celestite, Cerussite, Chambersite, Chrysoberyl, Chrysocolla, Chrysoprase, Cinnabar, Citrine, Coloured Diamond, Conch Pearls, Coral, Crocoite, Cuprite.

Gemstone Names Starting with D.

Danburite, Datolite, Diaspore, Diopside. Dumortierite Quartz, Druzy Azurite.

Gemstone Names Starting with E.

Emerald, Enstatite, Epidote.

Gemstone Names Starting with F

Fluorite

Gemstone Names Starting with G.

Garnet, Gold, Gold in Quartz.

Gemstone Names Starting with I.

Iolite. Imperial Topaz, Idocrase Gems.

Gemstone Names Starting with J.

Jasper, Jadeite, Jade Gemstones.

Gemstone Names Starting with K.

Kashmir Sapphire, Kunzite, Kyanite, Kornerupine.

Gemstone Names Starting with L.

Lapis Lazuli.

Gemstones  Names Starting with M.

Malachite, Moissanite, Moldavite, Moonstone.

Gemstone Names Starting with O.

Opal.

Gemstone Names Starting with P.

Peridot, Phenakite

Gemstone Names Starting with Q.

Quartz

Gemstone Names Starting With R.

Rhodochrosite. Rainbow Moonshine, Ruby, Rubellite Tourmaline, Rutile Quartz.

Gemstone Names Staring with S.

Sapphire, Scapolite, Sphalerine, Spinel, Sugilite, Sunstone. Sodalite, Serpentine, Sillimanite, Seraphinite.

Gemstones Names Starting with T.

Tanzanite, Titanite, Topaz, Turquoise, Tiger Eye.

Gemstone Names Starting with W.

Wulfenite.

Gemstone Names Starting With Z.

Zircon.

There is a lot of gems out on the market, by finding your own helps you understand a little about the gem, I live in a Mining Town, that has a lot of copper, lead and lots  of minerals.  One of my favourite gemstones is Chrysocolla, beautiful colour in this gemstone. Not very popular because it has lots of fractures in the stone.

This gem is not popular because when you cut it, the stone crumbles. Have a go.

Got something to add. Leave me a comment. Tell me about your favourite Gemstone.

Enjoy my website. I love looking for Gemstones.

Camping out at night under the sky full of stars , and going fossicking in the mornings  is a great relaxing weekend.

Wendy.

 

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Old Mine Towns

Thomas Died 15/21912
Thomas Tame died 15/02/1912

Old Mine Towns.

To hot to look for Gemstones, we went exploring Old Mine Towns. Thomas Died on 15/02/1912, he  was from England (click on the picture to make it larger).

On valentine’s day 2016, we went for a drive, for something to do. We both like the open country side, Made a picnic lunch, lots of drinks . The temperature was going to get up around 42 degrees, so we were not going to be able to do much gem hunting.

We started out at 7am. McDonalds  was our first stop for coffee and hash browns. Left Mount Isa and headed towards Cloncurry, The turn off is nearly half way between towns. 58 kl east of Mount Isa And 60 kl west of Cloncurry. Next to the turn off, on the other side off the road ,there is a camping ground. In the winter month it is full off caravans. Free Camping. Summer months no one camps.

Fountain Springs.

A small bush near road
Two birds in a bush

Rosebud Station- sign when you go over the grid This road takes you to Fountain Springs. This road was used when  they filming the movie Crocodile Dundee. The road is dirt and it is around 26 kl, 4 wheel drive country. lots off wash out, along the road. The copper prices are low, so there no mining companies working out this way a the moment, so the roads  are not getting graded.  Do not go on this road, if it is going to rain.

This area has had a fair bit of rain this season, so we thought that the springs, water would be flowing  down the mountain, at least wash out the creek, nice and clean water. No sign of water. There were people camping in the creek, so there was no water to be seen. The waterfall was not to be seen , the whole area is really  over grown, not nice at all. We did not stop at Fountain Springs.

About Fountain Springs. I have not seen the falls flowing. I have only seen water seeping out of the hill, lower down.  Fountain Springs( was) is the main waterhole for the station owners  and mines in the area, Plus the animals. A Huge gash in the Fountain Range marks the entrance to Fountain Springs. This is where a geological faultline allows the watertable to come to the surface, providing a year round spring. Very nice place when we have a lot of rain.

Rough Roads Rough Roads[/caption]

Highville

Highville: We took the first turn to the left on our way back from Fountain Springs. At the start of the track there is a sign post about the area. This track takes you along a creek bed. There is a big stone-cement walls along the creek bed, how much work went into it and it is still standing today. This track is for 4 wheel drives only. There was no creek crossing with boggy conditions because we have not had enough rain, just slow driving over very rocky country roads.. Along the way there is evidence of a railway track. Highville Cemetery we stop and had a look around and took pictures. Lots of big pieces of mica lying around every where.

Highville was established in 1913 as working quarters for the Wee MacGregor Mine the other side of the ranges. The town was connected to Ballara by 2′ gauge tram line. The MacGregor Hotel and post office operated in the town from 1909 to 1914. A school also operated here and catered for the children of both Highville and Ballara. Ballara water supply came from Fountain Springs

Ballara Cemetery.

Next stop  on our way up to the Wee MacGregor Mine was Ballara  Cemetery. Local Councils have put sign up. The town of Ballara was established in 1913, After originally being named “mineral” Ballara was located  on the railway line from Malbon  in the south to the Wee MacGregor mine in the mountains to the north.(.Malbon town is still  there. It has a railway line, a couple of houses, and a phone box, in the only street through the town.)The last train pulled into Ballara in 1927, soon after, the rail line was dismantled due to a decline in copper prices.

The track up the hill to the tunnel has  ( road is marked with red poles) some very bad washout, slow driving big drop off, The car tilts to 20 degrees plus in some spots. It is mountain country

Beautiful Tree
This tree is on the road to the tunnel

Look down , lock out, what a beautiful sight. My partner jokes about if he had to turn around on this road, but them we came to a open spot on the hill (mountain) where you could turn around. We were not at Wee MacGregor mine, we were at the tunnel above the mine.  There was bats in the tunnel , I did not go through, On the other side of the tunnel you look down on what used to be the Wee MacGregor, over the years it has open up a number of times. there used to be a road around to the mine, but it just to rough now days, even for a four wheel drives because, it is all mountains rock country.

Update 2019, there is a mining  company working in the area and you can drive to Wee MacGregor Mine the road has been graded.

Early Miners
Miners when there was no car or trucks only trains and trams.

The tunnel is the only railway tunnel in the north west of Queensland. to see it ,to think, how they did it, The stone work-cement work. Picture on right is the men working on the tunnel in the old days.

Wee MacGregor Mine. You can still get there, by going different ways. You can go around the hills and come out at Cattle yards. Do not follow directions  to turn of 48kl out of Mount Isa, the Mount Frosty Road. (Picture On top of this  page is Mt Frosty water hole all dried up). This road is for 4 wheel drivers only, there is very rough spots. 2019 yes. (Gutsack hill ) is very rough, We have heard of people freezing because this hill is very rough.Lotsof wash outs, and big holes.

Wee MacGregor mine Tunnel 2016
The Tunnel Wee MacGregor mine 2016

Overall it was a very nice day out, with my better half. The only stones we picked up was some mica (big Pieces). There was a lot of coloured glass lying around.

Not Gemstones Coloured Glass
Coloured Glass

This is my story about exploring old mines.in 2016. I will  add to it another time if you want to go to Wee Mac Gregor mine or look for Maltese Cross, Crystals, and more gemstones. Leave a  comment, and I will get back to you

Make sure you zoom in on the pictures. And have a look at some other picture in the  image post.  Have a nice day.

Please leave me a comment and share this page. Do you know who Thomas is, and how he got to Australia in the early 1900.

2019 update.

The road to Wee MacGregor mine has been graded. (Fountain springs) going the back way, is not as rough. Explore the old mine towns and the tunnel, follow the signs. Right will take you up to the tunnel, Left will take you to the old mine Wee MacGregor.

Bye For now.

Happy and Safe Exploring.

Wendy

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Megagems.

Names and images of some of the most famous Gemstones, Megagems and more.

The United States National Museum was founded in 1846 as part of the Smithsonian Institution.topaz 1.htm

 

Smithsonian Museum.

Megagems.

In the USA, the Smithsonian Institutions National Gem Collection Contains some of the Largest, Finest and most Beautiful Gemstones Ever Found. The Megagems  are Housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

The two large stones in the picture above are two of the largest high-quality topaz crystals ever found, also from Brazil.

 

 

The American Golden Topaz. 200px-Americantopaz

At 22,892.5 Carats, the 4.6kg (10.1lb) topaz was cut from a Brazilian cobble in the late 1980s.

 

 

The term MEGAGEM although not an official one, nonetheless represents a group of gemstones that stand out from others of their type in size and beauty. Many gems in the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection take their name’s from people who donated them to the collection.

 

Peridot peridot

This 311.8- carat Peridot from Zabargad, Egypt, is one of the largest Peridot gems known. Peridot is the gem-variety of mineral forsterite. The green colouring is caused by iron, the more iron, the deeper the colour.

 

Heliodor.beryl-gemstone-info

The Common name for Heliodor is golden Beryl. On of the world’s largest cut beryl Stones 2,054 carat flawless golden colour Beryl.

 

 

 

Grossular Garnet.garnet1

Just one of the 15 minerals known as Garnet, Grossular may be pink, orange, red orange, yellow, brown, or green.

 

 

Tanzanite

122.70-carat tanzanite
122.70-carat tanzanite

 

Tanzanite weights 122,7 carats, Tanzanite is pleochroic, which means that it shows different colours depending on the viewing angle.

 

 

blueheartdiamondBlue Heart Diamond.

Paris cut this heart shape, which weighs 30.82 metric carats and is of a rare deep blue color, sometime between 1909 and 1910.

 

 

hopediamond12Most Famous Diamonds.

Three of the world’s most famous blue diamonds. Left to right: The Heart of Eternity,
the Hope, and the Blue Heart Diamond; 27, 45 and 30 carats, respectively. The Hope
looks larger than 45 carats because it is a rather flat stone. The Heart of Eternity
is Fancy Vivid Blue, the Hope is Fancy Deep Grayish-Blue and the Blue Heart’s color
grade is still unknown. (Probably Fancy Vivid or Fancy Deep.)

blueheartdiamond
Blue Heart Diamond
heart of eternity
Heart Of Eternity
hope dia
Hope Diamond

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                              Maharani Cat’s Eye

Cats Eye
Cats Eye

Found in Sir Lanka, The Maharani Cat’s Eye is a variety of cheysberyl and is named after the bright, vertical band of many specimens, caused by light reflecting off titanium oxide crystals. The 58.19 carat honey coloured chrysoberyl cat’s eye discovered in Sri Lanka is one of the finest gems of its kind.  It is currently displayed in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

 

 

Quartz Sphere

Fashioned in China in 1923-24 from a crystal probably found in Burma, this is the worlds largest hnown, flawless quarts sphere. It is 33cm (13″) in diameter.

Hope you enjoyed this story about Mega Gemstones.

Leave me a comment, help me find more.

Wendy.