Malachite is named from the Greek, Malache, in allusion to its green colour, which is indeed its most striking feature.
To the Geologist, it is a rich ore of copper.
To the mineral collector, A splash of vivid green, pretty colour mineral.
For Lapidary it is an easy worked and handsome gemstone. The rock below has been cut open to see what colour is inside.
A Base of copper Carbonate, it is heavier than most of the carbonate family. but with a specific gravity of only 3.9 , it could not be call a heavy mineral. It is a soft mineral, with a hardness of 3.5 to 4 Moh’s scale, it is tough and takes a good polish.
This mineral some time occurs as a bright green acicular crystal incrustration, forming splendid velvety specimens. The Mount Isa and Cloncurry area of north Queensland you can find some really great specimens. Mining company dig large holes all over our country side, this is the best place to find Malachite, easy pickings. beautiful Gemstone/rock.
Visit Malachite and read more about this gem/mineral.
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.
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 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.
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.