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Start A Rock Collection.

Start a Rock Collection.

Giving a sample of rock specimens, can be a good start for a child interested in geology. ( Rock Collecting).

They’re handy and everywhere, small, and not too expensive.

The rock above is Pyrite.

These rocks are called fools gold when they show shinny bits of gold.

Peacock Ore when they show colours of a peacock feather.

All you need to start

Books, maps, a good rock hammer, a magnifier, and the guidance of local experts will take your interest  further.

Starting Collecting Rock/Stones.

Start your Rock Collection  , buying a pamphlet/book about rocks/gemstones and a few basic tools, is all you need to begin. 

Going on holidays in the car, stop and have a look around, on the side of the road, there is  lots of places where you can find all different types of  rocks.

  Yes you can buy them but you don’t know if they are real.


My first rock was from a creek bed. I liked the colour of the rock I picked up. 

First thing I did was cut it in half, I wanted to see more colour. Then I tumbled it, to make it shinny.

Next I put a hole in it, so I could where it as a neck lace.

crystal cleaned

Is  Your Rock Real.

Crystals straight out of the ground.

How do you  know if your rock is real or not.

Well if you go to a tourist shop and buy something packaged in a beautiful boxes or card, you can guest they are made by the millions, for shops.

Don’t buy collections that are glued to a card—that discourages close examination of the rocks.

Your rocks should still be dirty and have  it’s own personality-look.

Shinny Rocks, Rock with Colour. Some rocks are the same size but one might be  heavy, than the other rock.

This is where you get the interest in being a rock-hound/Fossicking-means looking for something.

Understanding and finding out Why the different. Colours.

Slices of coloured rocks


The blue rock at the back is Lapis Lazuli.

Click here to find out more

Lapidary Club.

Joining your local Rock (lapidary ) Club Is a good idea. They will help you out, where to find rocks. Most of the time the clubs have tag along tours, and they show you what to look for.

There is a lot of shop that have samples of rocks, never buy ones that are  clean and pretty/shiny. Buy dirty rocks and clean them up your self. use washing up detergent and a brush. to clean the dirt off. Again you local Lapidary club has the equipment to make your rock shine. Parents will most likely have to do all the work, because most clubs wont let children under 12 years use there machine.

Lapidary Equipment.

Another away is to buy your own equipment. To clean and polish small rocks is to use a tumbler.

Tumblers are used to put a high polish on stones, they round of the corners, come out pretty shinny. Takes up to 6 weeks.

The best  way is to go to your local Lapidary Club and join, they have lots of equipment to use, and show you how to use the equipment and cut and polish your stone.

There is lots of interest things to see on the internet.

My First tool.
When I started out I used a Dremel to clean my rocks. I had to wear a mask because of the dust.My first stones I tried to polish was a opal, opal is mostly sandstone, so it was quite easy to shape a stone.

With harder stone like a Amethyst, that are not clear, hit them with a hammer to make them smaller, then go and shape them. using a tumble to polish  these stones are much easier way.

Use Wet and Dry Sand Paper.

Using wet and dry sand paper to polish a stone. Have a flat piece of glass, put your sand paper on the glass, wet if and start rubbing, it does take a long time. ( Do it while watching TV.)

You can join your local lapidary and use there equipment.

Happy Fossicking.

Please leave a comment.

Have a great day.




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Three main oxides of iron-Minerals.

The three main oxides of iron

Iron(III) oxide or ferric oxide is the inorganic compound with the formula Fe2O3.

Iron(II) oxide (FeO), which is rare,

Iron(II,III) oxide (Fe3O4), which also occurs naturally as the mineral magnetite.

As the mineral known as Hematite, Fe2O3 is the main source of iron for the steel industry.

Fe2O3 is ferromagnetic, dark red, and readily attacked by acids. Iron(III) oxide is often called rust, and to some extent this label is useful, because rust shares several properties and has a similar composition. To a chemist, rust is considered an ill-defined material, described as hydrated ferric oxide.[

Rust is an iron oxide, usually red oxide formed by the redox reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture.

Standard Tumble Polish for Rocks and Glass Aluminum Oxide (1 lb)


A very fine powder of ferric oxide is known as “jeweller’s rouge”, “red rouge”, or simply rouge. It is used to put the final polish on metallic jewellery and lenses, and historically as a cosmetic. Rouge cuts more slowly than some modern polishes, such as cerium(IV) oxide, but is still used in optics fabrication and by jewellers for the superior finish it can produce. When polishing gold, the rouge slightly stains the gold, which contributes to the appearance of the finished piece.

Rouge is sold as a powder, paste, laced on polishing cloths, or solid bar (with a wax or grease binder). Other polishing compounds are also often called “rouge”, even when they do not contain iron oxide. Jewellers remove the residual rouge on jewellery by use of ultrasonic cleaning. Products sold as “stropping compound” are often applied to a leather strop to assist in getting a razor edge on knives, straight razors, or any other edged tool

More to Come

Leave me a comment and help me add to this story about oxides of iron-Minerals.

Have a great day.


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Lead Rock-Lead Mineral.

Lead Rock-Lead Mineral.

What does a lead rock look like.  Images of a beautiful lead rock.

Out in the sun it looks like, it has millions of  shiny silver sparkles

Lead it a very soft material, cutting this big rock was a easy cut, using water.

There is other minerals that show up in this beautiful Lead Mineral Rock.

You can see native  copper  running through it.

This rock is beautiful, If is a very shiny rock.


Image of a lead rock that I cut in half.

Lead rock

Lead rock cut in half.

This  lead rock has natural copper running through it. Has sparkles of the Peacock ore.
To touch and hole this beautiful rock, if is a beautiful Rock. The inside of the rock show other minerals, and is not as pretty as the out side.

When cutting this rock, Lead rock  was so soft the blade just went through it  with ease.. The rock it self is very heavy to pick up.  Lucky the rock is so shinny, as it would be impossible to polish it being so soft.

Sources: Of Lead

Lead exists in its native form, though it is rare. Lead may be obtained from Galena (PbS) by a roasting process. Other common lead minerals include Anglesite, Cerussite, and Minim.

More pictures of this beautiful Lead Rock/Mineral, I found.



I Hope you Enjoy these pictures.

I live in a mining town, where lead dust is. They have TV adds, about what you can do to avoid getting lead poisoning.

How bad is it.?.

Lead toxicity, also often referred to as lead poisoning

Have a great day.


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What are Macrocrystalline- Crypocrystalline Quartz


What are Macrocrystalline- Crypocrystalline Quartz

How are Macrocrystalline- and Cryptocrystalline Quartz Different?

How is Macrocrystalline Quartz different from the Cryptocrystalline Quartz ?

Macrocrystalline Quartz like Amethyst and Rose Quartz are generally transparent-translucent. Clear crystals are so beautiful.

Cryptocrystallines like agates are more often opaque. Agates and Cryptocrystallines can be slightly softer than Macrocrystallines, 6.5 on Moh’s scale rather than a full 7.

Cryptocrystallines have a duller, wax-like luster while Microcrystallines have a shiny, vitreous luster.

Cryptocrystallines have a higher water content as well as other non-quartz ingredients, up to 20% more.

Because the Cryptocrystalline Quartz can include several Non-Quartz minerals, many of these Quartz are considered Rocks.

Macrocrystalline Quartz– like.   Amethyst, Citrine, Tigereye, and Smoky Quartz, which are more likely called Gems, Gemstones or “stone due to their Purity, Bling, shine.

Cryptocrystalline Quartz  can look like a Coloured Rock or a dirty rock until it is broken, smashed or cut open.  Picking one up, the colours get your attention.  Check out Agate. Lots of beautiful colours.

These are my Agate From Agate Creek in Qld.

Small Different Colours Agate

Agate from agate creek Qld

Cut Agate Stone

Agates from agate creek in Qld





Agate come in lots of colours have a look at these agate pictures .  Are they Real?

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Garnet Gemstones

Finding  Garnet . Red-Pinkie- Purple Colour.

Fossicking for Garnet in the area in North West Queensland Australia , there is a lot of different places to find Garnets. Out side Cloncurry there is a hill where we go, and there is garnet everywhere , only trouble, they have all mostly got flaws in them. They do come out nice and shinny out of the tumbler. Mine you, you can find good ones, that can be faceted Garnets.

Check out the video below and find out about finding garnets at Fullarton River. Fullarton River turn off is on the Winton road.

Garnets come in all colours. In addition to these six species, there are a number of other garnet varieties that are distinguished in the gem trade, based on their colour or other special properties. Altogether there are at least 17 different varieties of garnet.

In real life I have see a green garnet that had that many fractures.  Also a red garnet until you put it in the light, it is more pinkie to purple. These Garnets are from Fullarton River outside Cloncurry. The area is a Qld Government fossicking area.


Garnet Colour

Garnet is available in a veritable plethora of colours, such as yellow, orange, peach, green, red, purple, blue (rare), brown and pink. However, the most commonly occurring colour is red and the rarest is blue. Garnet also rarely occurs in colour-change varieties, which have a different colour depending on whether they are viewed in incandescent or natural light. The rarest colour-change garnet appears blue in daylight, and changes to purplish-red under torch light. Other colour-change garnets are green, beige, brown or grey in daylight, and change to reddish or purplish-pink under incandescent light. The colour of garnet is the most important quality factor.



Identifying Garnets

Garnet can be identified by its occurrence in metamorphic rock, its hardness (6.5 – 7.5 on the Mohs scale), colour, refractive index and cubic crystal structure. However, the quickest way to identify garnet is with the use of strong neodymium magnets. Garnet is attracted to neodymium magnets because it contains high concentrations of iron and/or manganese.

Garnet Cut and Shape

Rhodolite Garnet
Rhodolite Garnet

Garnets are extremely versatile and can be cut in any fashion and shape. Red garnet tends to be cut into standard shapes, whereas valuable garnets that are not often found in large sizes, such as Tsavorite and Demantoid, are cut into shapes that retain the most carat weight.


Garnet are very common.

Garnets have come in Many Colours.

 They also have many names: Almandine, Andradite, Demantoid, Grossularite, Hessonite, Pyrope, Rhodolite, Tsavorite, Spessartine, and Uvarovite, to quote but a few. But let us restrict ourselves to the most important and begin with the red garnets.  See the colour chart at the bottom of the page.

Green Tsavorite Garnet


Almandine Garnet
Almandine Garnet

Pyrope Garnet.

 Fiery red pyrope. Its spirited red, often with a slight brownish nuance, was a gemstone colour much in demand in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Pyrope is an individual member mineral of the Garnet group. Its dark, blood-red color is distinct and attractive, and makes a fine Garnet gemstone.

Almandine Garnet.

Almandine is perhaps the most common garnet. Gemstones always have some spessartine and pyrope components, and this creates a wide range of colours, including brown, red-brown, purplish red, wine red, purple, and deep red. Inclusions of asbestiform minerals (pyroxene or amphibole) create a chatoyancy that yields, in cabochons, a 4-rayed star.

Almandine Valuegar

It is also a popular gemstone and the most widely used Garnet in the gem trade. More gemstones are faceted from Almandine than any other type of Garnet. Only a small amount of Almandine crystals are transparent and light enough for gemstone use; most of the Almandine found is rough and opaque and not gem quality. Some Almandine Garnets display asterism ( star pattern) when polished as cabochons, and are known as “Star Garnets”.

Mica Schists

Almandine is often embedded in a mica schists, and forms very nice matrix pieces with perfectly formed symmetrical crystals. The schist matrix often breaks up due to weathering, resulting in the Almandine crystals breaking loose into individual, perfectly formed floater crystals which may be quite large.


Almandine, an iron- rich Garnet, is a minerals often found in metamorphic rocks such as gneiss.

Metamorphic Minerals.

In Mountain-forming areas, heat and pressure change existing rocks, and new minerals grow. These metamorphic minerals usually have a good crystal shape. Some Minerals, such as garnet, form over hundreds of thousands of years as heat and pressure gradually alter the rock

The Garnet can grow as large, eye shaped grains called Augens

Garnet Gneiss: A coarse-grained gneiss composed mainly of hornblende (black), plagioclase (white), and garnet (red) from Norway. Public domain photo by Woudloper.


Gneiss is a foliated metamorphic rock that has a banded appearance and is made up of granular mineral grains. It typically contains abundant quartz or feldspar minerals.





Garnet colour Chart.





 Looking for Garnet at Fullarton River outside Cloncurry north Qld.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog about garnets.

Have a nice day

Wendy. Please leave a comment.

Thank You.

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Rock Identification

Rock Identification.

Finding a stone that shines like a big piece of glass. Is it Glass or a gemstone. some gemstone don’t sparkle until you put water on them. The Sapphire is a rock in dirt until you put it in water, then it looks like glass.

Find a rock with shinning gold sparkles. Is it gold or fools gold.

The price of gold today.

Sand that has so many shining glitters in it.

Any good Rockhound/ Fossicker is bound to come across a rocks that he or she has trouble identifying.

The location of where the rock was found, can help Identify it, some times.

How to Look at a Rock.

People don’t usually look at rocks closely. So when they find a stone/ rock that intrigues them, they don’t know what to do, except to ask someone what it is, or they just forget about it.

Your local Lapidary Club.

I never new about our local Lapidary Club. The Members there can help you.

This is what you need to know before you can identify rocks and give each one its proper name.

Where did you find it.

There are simple clues all around. Does your area contain coal mines? Volcanoes? Granite quarries? Fossil beds? Caverns?

Birds Like Gemstones.

Birds carry some gemstones miles away from where the bird first seen that sparkle. You have glass, gemstones that sparkle like glass that I have come across are opals, sapphire, crystals, topaz. Plus there would be more.

Fossicking Trips or Going Rock hounding

When you go on a  Fossicking trip or Rock hounding  you normal plan where you are going and you know what you are looking for.  I have picked up rocks that I like, and I still don’t know what they are called. Learning more about rock will help me identify that Stone or Rock.

Make Sure Your Rock Is Genuine.

If you find your rock your self it has to be real/genuine , it is your stone.

Buying rock/stones you do not know , there is to many cheats out there .

If it is a crystal or sparkling rock to see straight through it is great. no lines or cracks.


Magnifier Glass.

You’ll need a magnifier.  You want a lightweight, powerful magnifier (also called a loupe) that has impeccable optics and is easy to use. Get the best magnifier for demanding jobs like inspecting gemstones and crystals; in the field, for quick looks at minerals, buy a decent magnifier you can afford to lose.

Your local Lapidary Club.

Join your local Lapidary Club.

Most of the information I have got about rocks is from my local Lapidary Club, most of the time you have to ask .

The members are full of information about where to find different rock/gemstones,  And most clubs have day trips  and weekend trips to find gemstone.

Clubs have rock/gemstones so you can see what you have to look for.

Plus the club have equipment to use to clean/cut/Polish your gemstone/rocks you find.

Rock Information.

Our planet is like a onion, made up of a number of layers.

In the centre is a solid core, which is surrounded  by Mantle and the crust.

We live on Earths surface on top of the crust, the tin outer layer that carries oceans and continents.(countries).

During earths formation, denser materials  such as iron, sank to the centre, while lighter materials such as silicates and other materials, rose to the surface.

How old are rocks.

Rocks formed when earth was cool enough for them to become solid.

The first rock on earth solidified around 4.2 billion years ago.

Rocks and Minerals have been forming ever since, and are still forming today.

At Earths Surface, In the Crust, On The Ocean Floor, and in the Mantle deep below.


4.2 billion years ago.

The oldest type of rock is Acasta Gneiss, which first formed 4.2 billion years ago.

Rock Identification

Finding that Gemstone is a great way for you to do rock  identification your self, understanding all the information out there about different rocks/stone, you never stop learning.

Lots Of Books out there.

There is lots of books out there, about Rocks, Stones and gemstones. Then you have all the different minerals. To kept it interesting and to learn about stones go to your local library and lend books.  Then again you can get a lot of information on the internet, and from your local Lapidary Club.

I love going out finding all sorts of stones/rocks, I am lucky I do not have to got far to find something. Camping out under the sky and counting the satellite that pass over a night. So peaceful.

Fossicker- Rockhound love what you do.  Enjoy have fun.

Have a great day.




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Boulder Opal From Opalton.

Fossick for Opals.

Gem of a holiday, Camping in the Bush Park at Opalton.

Search for opal, by Noodling. Patience and a good eyes.

Opalton, Queensland’s Capital of Boulder Opal.

Offers visitors the opportunity to fossick for opals.

Finding a bit of Sparkle in a rock and then making something from it is very rewarding. Opal is Beautiful

Opal from my Collection not polished.

22.51ct Boulder opal 26.47mm x 19.55mm x 6.13mm

Boulder Opal From   Opalton in Queensland.


Boulder Opal
Boulder opal is the second most prized form of opal, after black opal. The name derives from the fact that boulder opal is found embedded in ironstone boulders. The opal usually forms as thin veins within these boulders, and most stones are cut to include some of the host ironstone matrix. Boulder opal is sometimes referred to as opal in matrix for this reason. Boulder opal is especially attractive because, like the black opal, it has a dark body tone which adds vibrancy to the play of colour. Boulder opal also has a higher density because of the ironstone content, and can be more durable as well.

Opalton is 120kl From Winton


4.65ct Boulder opal 16.86mm x 7.22mm x 4.71mm

Boulder Opal is found at Opalton. Opalton is about 120 kl From Winton. The road is a dirt road  is pretty good. You have to watch out for the animals crossing the road.There is a bush Park at Opalton, they like people to camp there. Toilets and shower .

Watch Out For Animals





Opalton is a Small place, People do live there, that have got claims. Such  a very friendly place to visit. Most of the claim sites are, tin shacks and caravans. When you dive to Opalton from Winton which is 120kl, it  is a dirt road, yes you would be able to drive a normal car there, the first thing you come to, is the  sign for Opalton. A little ways up, you will see buildings on your left. Kept  going and on your right you will see a sign saying bushpark. This is where you camp, it has toilets and showers. Hot water if you light the donkey.  Cost in May 2016 was $2.50 each per night. When you set up camp the locals come down and talk to visitor., very friendly people.


Lots and lots of flies, make sure you have cream and a fly net.

Opaltons Bushpark

Opalton is the centre of the largest and most extensively worked opal deposits in Australia. The opal fields are within a belt of deeply weathered cretaceous rocks known as the Winton Formation and they mainly produce ‘Boulder Opal’ – the second most valuable opal after the  Black Opal.

Opalton Discovered.

The field was discovered in 1888 by George Cragg, a stockman from Warrnambool Station. The first claims were worked in 1894 and the township was started in 1895 following a rush to the region. By the end of the century the township was supporting about 600 people and the usual commercial activities were established including two hotels, stores, blacksmith and saddler’s shops, as well as a police station and telegraph office.



Working Claims.

Now days there is a hand full of people working claims out at Opalton. One claim owner has been moving a lot off dirt, and has not seen any colour for 6 months, ask why, you never know what tomorrow will bring, plus once you see the colours of opal, it is addictive,

Opal Fever.

A Wall Underground

When visitor go to Opalton they fossick in dirt piles around the camping grounds, or ask the locals where to go. Just remember these people are very helpful and go out of there way for visitors. Ask if they, have opal for sale, support these people.









Fossicking Licence.

Opalton, Queensland’s Capital of Boulder Opal, also offers visitors the opportunity to fossick for opals. You do have to have a fossicking licence, they are only around $10 for a month. Most tourist shop have them or go online to buy one.

Spray Water Bottle.

Fossick through the piles of dirt at Opalton,  To see Opal easy it is a good idea to have a spray water bottle on hand, when you see a flash of colour, spray water the brilliant colours shine , just makes you want to find more. So So Pretty.

Looking for Opal

It Is rugged, in the Australian out back.

Dirt tracks every where, it is a good idea to have a navigator, to leave sail tracks so you can get back to where you come from.

Some places like Opalton have tracks go every where.

Equipment For Noodling.

Equipment for Noodling, The only equipment you require is a small pick ( a prospector’s pick is ideal). Patience and a good eye.  Another item is your spray bottle of water, and a container to put what you find in.


When it Rains.

If it rains you don’t go anywhere, even to leave your camp to go for a walk is a big effort, Mud. Off cause you have some people just because they have a 4 wheel drive they can go through the mud, they just wreck the roads. Stupid.

No Phone Coverage.

There is no phones coverage.  If you can afford a satellite phone is great. The locals have phone lines and TV’s. Batteries, Generators, Solar Panels .They Just have got a great life style. Nothing to spend money on. Once they have set up camp.

This is our third time back to Opalton. Why?  Because of the Opal you find , and there is not any digging, Peace and quite. Love Opal and Love Opalton

                                   The Opal.

                Born in the dark and depths of time,

                Taking Millions of years to form,

                 Coloured with silicon rainbows fine

                  Lies the opal with Heart so warm.

                  Entombed in beds of hardest clay

                   Many a foot from the top,

                  It’s very hard work, the miners say,

                  But the prize is the best of the lot.

                  The pick rings out on the hard, white bed,

                  The hope rise high in the miner’s breast,

                  The sparks fly off past the miner’s head

                   And a river of light is exposed to the test.

                   He holds the candle close to the vein,

                   Red, Green, Yellow and flash bright,

                  Now taken from mother earth where it has lain

                  Treasured by mankind, born to the light.

                  This was Written By.

                  Michael Lynn (at the age of 14 years).


Need more information about Opalton . Please leave me  a comment. and I will get back to you soon.

I fossick on the surface when we go to Opalton , I do have some stone for sale, it is pot luck, if you find opal in the stone, most stone show signs of opal. Postage will cost more than the stone. Contact me.


Have A great day.


Opal stones I have for sale.  Postage is extra.

Large Opal Stone 27cm x 15cm x 11.5cm $300.00
Large Opal Stone 27cm x 15cm x 11.5cm $300.00


Boulder Opal with half of its shell. Priced $50.00 8cm x 3cm x 4 cm

Boulder Opal $50.00 9cm x 4cm x7cm

Opal Matrix $15.00 each

Stones that have signs of Opal Small $2, Large $5 each