Looking for gems, Gemhunting with other people is more interesting than going by your self. Plus it is much safer in groups. There is so many place to go between Mt Isa and Cloncurry, area.
All Year round Fossicking.
In the hotter months of the year, you do not do much fossicking because the rocks are even very hot, having a air conditioners in your cars, and having shade when you go fossicking, make it a nice day out.
You have to start out very early in the morning. Out here it is day light at 6am and it is still day light after 7pm at night, in the summer months.
When there is no rain.
Camping And Fossicking in cooler Months of the year.
I live in Mount Isa. North West Queensland. Only over the past 4 years have I been Interested in Fossicking for Gems- Stone. I am still a newbie. Lots more to learn.
Fossicking is all year hobby. When there is rain, no way do you go on a dirt road, you are asking for trouble.
The roads turn to mud very quickly, plus it a good idea to kept of wet dirt roads. Only destroys the dirt roads, no one come along and fixes them.
North West Queensland Fossicking Area’s.
You have to have a Fossicking Licence, before you can go Gem hunting in Queensland. If you are looking for gems-stones-rocks-gold, you have to have a licence when doing it in Qld.
Out here you can explore the country side, bush, if you have a 4 wheel drive and a good GPS. So easy to get lost.
Remember the land belongs to some one, so you could need permission to go on there land. Find out from the locals Lapidary Clubs. Or go to Government website to find out more..qld.gov.au
No Fossicking- Looking for Gemstones when it rains.
You are stupid if you go out exploring when it is wet. Raining.
We nearly got caught, 3 times in 2016 June, July and October. We packed up quick, we could see the rain coming. We were lucky we did not get stuck in the mud. The clean up took a week to do. Every thing was wet. Not much fun.
Weather. No Phone.
In the North West we do not get very good weather reports, our report is possible showers that never happen. over phone coverage is gone 5 minutes out of town. That is why you show have a good GPS. Ours has bird eye view, so you can see the country side ahead of you. It tracks you where you go, and when you get out of the car, you put it in your pocket. No chance of getting lost that way. If you have not got a GPS mark your trip, when you get out the car mark your track, use rocks, stack them on top of each other.
Take your own water.
Take your own water, most of the creeks beds are dry. Not for drinking.
Water for drinking and washing your hands, must have. Take extra, as much as you can.
Out of Date Books.
There is a lot of books out there that are out of date. Pictures Most Placers are not accessible in the wet. our country is red/black mud. even a 4 wheel drive can not handle it most of the time. Going on roads after flooding only wrecks the roads for everyone else. No one grades the roads we go on, if you check with your insurance company you will find even your car is not insured on these roads.
Want to go Fossicking. Not Sure where to go.
If you want to go fossicking and you are not sure where to go, Ask your Question, I might be able to answer you. Most people out here are very friendly. Best idea is to go into the tourist shop, in the town you are visiting, buy a sample of the stone you are looking for. ( Remember to support these shops they have to make a living).
Places you can go between Mount Isa and Cloncurry.
Have a day out.
Go to where the rest stop is half way between Mount Isa and Cloncurry.
On the right side of the road there is a sign Fountain Springs.
Turn off is 60 km from Cloncurry, Near the turn off is a large Rest area with toilets.
Good road in to the Garnets.
The road in , is quite good, you do not need a four wheel drive.
There is signs to tell you where to go to find the garnets.
There is 3 gates you have to open and make sure you shut them.
On your way you will pass red arrows, tells you, your going the right way.
The dirt road in is about 20ks in.
As you get to the fossicking Area, you will see the designated area set aside for Camping, this is for two night stay only.
You are not allowed to light fires, for cooking, gas is the way to go.
Camping Out In The Bush.
When you go Camping Now days, you should be Self Sufficient. That means everything you might need you have. Be sure to carry lots drinking water and Shower water, sufficient fuel for the return journey, and extra food just in case it rains and you get stuck. The use of a camping toilets are good, hate going camping and there is toilet paper everywhere.
Camels and other animals, the bush is there home. You may be on your own in this location, but sometimes there are animals. Be aware wild Camels ,they are in most area in the bush, you stay away from them, they stay away from you. Don’t leave out any thing at your camp site, when you go fossicking.
Where to go Fossicking.
Up the hill. From the camp grounds, look directly up where a large elongated hill will be seen, anywhere along it you will find Garnets. It is this hill that is impregnated with Garnet . Some time you will see tracks up the hill , every time I go, to Fullarton River, it is over grown, the top is were you find the Garnets, dig along the schists and in between the rows of rocks. You should be able to find lots of Fractured Garnets on the surface also.
The Garnets in this area have a mulberry tinge to their colour. Pink- Purple. The larger ones are desirable , but hard to find. Small ones are great to tumble and use for a lot of different things.
Hard to find Large Garnet
Finding that Large Garnet without Fractures is not easy work.
By cutting the stone in half, and faceting each side, good matching stones can be achieved.
The Queensland Department of Mines and Energy has designated tracks of land where Gemstones can be found. Many fossickers who have been there previously have dug holes in productive areas. Choose a hole not occupied by others and clean it out or extend the hole leading toward virgin ground. To know if the hole is occupied, it is common practice to leave a bucket or similar in the hole. If you are the only ones there it all yours to dig in.
Dry Sieving , Wet Sieving.
Sieving is a Method when trying to find Garnet, we used dry and wet. Filling your sieve up with dry dirt is very dusty. Using your Sieve wet, means you put it in water or use a spray bottle to water your stones in the sieve. your garnet will look like glass when wet.
Sieve the dirt and pebbles by holding the sieve up to the sun and looking through the bottom you should also see colour.
Want more information Please leave a Massage in the comment Box.
We went on a one week holiday to a Zircon field, up near Gem Tree in the northern Territory in the cooler months of the year. June.
If was cool, it was bl…y Cold. 1 Degree first morning then, 0 degree the next.
We were self sufficient, we had every thing even the kitchen sink. Some of us had caravan, camping trailers and tents.
Yes we had our own toilet, there was a toilet on the Zircon fields.
We were all excited to find Zircons.
We just had to start digging to see who found the first Zircon.
Finding Zircon, First you put the dirt in a sieve, then you put it in a Willougbhy, under that is a bucket of water,
you can put your sieve into and wash your stones, in a large bucket(tube) of water.
You can see Zircons, better when they are wet.
You can buy water at Gem Tree Shop.
Where do you start.
Some of the people that were, already digging were in big holes. Lots of holes.
There were five groups in our group, so we all went off to areas, were someone else had started digging.
Yes we were finding zircon, nothing great but we were finding them, some of our group were in big hole and small holes.
One of our group found a great cutter in a hole he started himself.
Yes we dug holes for 5 Days, we all found some good cutters, lots of bombs, to many fractures in the stone.
to do anything with. They do look good on display, or use them in planters.
Have a look at the picture.
One of the stones we sent away to get cut. (To buy this stone click on the picture.)
In June it was so cold, We never had waterproof gloves, which we really needed. It did warm up during the day.
We went to a few other fossicking areas.
Went and found dodecahedrons, They are all sizers and a like a garnet and has 12 sides.
That all for Zircons
You can always go to gem tree in the Northern Territory and stay in there camping area, and go on tag along trips.
Amethyst is purple, all different colours of purple.
Where I live in North West Queensland, there is lots of shades of purple Amethyst.
Found green amethyst, it colour, was because of the sun. Purple was burnt out.
Amethyst is February Birthsone. My Birthstone.
Amethyst comes in all colours of Purple. Pictures of Different Amethyst Quartz Crystals. is above.
Amethyst owes its colour to a trace element ( iron) in combination with natural radiation from its host rocks. It is the most valuable of the Quarts Gemstones with rich purple stones being the most prized.
A variety of vitreous quartz with purple, violet, or red-purple colouration, amethyst derives its name from the ancient Greek Amethiustos, meaning literally “not drunk” as it was believed to guard against drunkenness. Traditionally associated with purity and piety, amethyst has also always been favoured by royalty as purple is considered a regal hue.
Where to find Amethyst.
Found in most countries where granitic rocks are exposed, amethyst occurs in alluvial deposit and geodes. Its colouration is principally due to traces of iron, and it is sometime colour-zoned due to twinning or preferential absorption on the rhombohedral faces. Major commercial sources of amethyst are Brazil, where it occurs in geodes that are frequently human-sized. Uruguay, Siberia, and North America, Crystal from Brazilian and Uruguayan deposits are most often found as radiating masses with individual crystals appearing as pyramids, Lower grade Brazilian and Uruguayan amethyst is frequently turned into citrine by heat treatment, which changes its colour. Where both amethyst and citrine occour naturally in the same stone, the name ametrine is some time used.
Australia. In North Queensland. They have a Crystal Cave Man Made for the tourist. You can see a lot the Crystal Geodes there, mostly from Brazil. There is one over 6feet tall- dark Purple Amethyst, very beautiful. We bought a small Geode, that they cracked for us, but it only had very small crystal forming inside..
Below is the Small Geode, They cracked it open, to reveal small crystals inside. Buy This.
Amethyst Geode from Brazil.
Amethyst Gemstone History.
Amethyst has a long History as a Gemstone.
In the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia amethyst was highly valued and was used to create cylinder seals, engraved with a religious design and the owner’s name. The engraving was transferred to legal documents in the form of clay tablets by rolling the cylinder over the tablets. The ancient Egyptian amethyst came principally from Nubia, once a province of Egypt.
Today amethyst is both faceted, Cabochan and cut and shaped in to , Tumbled and Polished, and it is widespread use as a carving material.
Amethyst most valued shades are a deep, rich purple, and a deep purple with a reddish tinge.
Prismatic Crystal worn uncut as pendants.
Heat treated Amethyst .
When Heated, some Amethyst crystals change colour to a yellow-brown. Many crystals sold as Citrine are heat-treated Amethyst
Amethyst North West Queensland.
Amethyst is a beautiful gemstone in Queensland Australia there is a lot of places to go to find Amethyst.
Finding that Great stone is not easy. Large amount of Amethyst we have found are not clear, lots of flaws.
Amethyst Clusters are lots of Amethyst Points stuck together, as one stone.
Amethyst Flower are buried deep within a layer of basalt. They are carefully and tediously worked with small hand held tools until the basalt and other matrix minerals are removed, exposing the beautiful Amethyst Flower.
Chevron Amethyst displays v-shaped chevrons of deep purple to light purple and white Quartz that seep into beautiful layers. One place, It is found easy is, In the North West Qld. Australia.
I love the colour purples we have found fossicking for amethyst. So many things you can do with your stones that are not quality gemstones. The chevron Amethyst cut to a shape and put in a tumble, come out beautiful. Where we get the chevron Amethyst, we get the dark purple Amethyst, again very hard to find that piece without flaws.
At amethyst Castle in Queensland, it is not hard work finding Amethyst it is everywhere. You need Permission to go they as it is owned by a Mining company. There is camping ground that cost nothing.
Find out more places you can find Amethyst.
Need help or information please leave me a comment.
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.
Colours – Agate come in lot of different beautiful colours. Blue, green, red, yellow, orange, browns, purples, whites so on.
Agate is found in lots of different place around the world. Australia, North West Queensland there, is several places to go different colors, 5 minutes from where I am no you can get Gooseberry Agates.
Around the world, some of the places you can get agate are. Austria, China, India, Brazil, Mexico, California, Botswana, Madagascar
Agate is a form of chalcedony quartz that forms in concentric layers in a remarkable variety of colors and textures. Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. It was said to quench thirst and protect from fevers. Collecting agate bowls became common among European royalty during the Renaissance and many museums in Europe, including the Louvre, have spectacular examples..
Agate is a form of chalcedony quartz that forms in concentric layers in a remarkable variety of colors and textures. Agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet in ancient times. Geodes are rock cavities or vugs with internal crystal formations or concentric banding. Cut in slices, agate geodes are popular with collectors and jewellery designers.
Amazonite.Hardness is 6-65 Classification-Silicate
Color – The Color is green.
Found in – USA, Russia, Canada, Brazil, India, Mozambique, Namibia, Austria, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Australia.
I have never found Amazonite, I have watched the prospectors show on TV, finding Amazonite all the time. Here in Australia you can find it around Broken Hill in New South Wales.
Amazonite is a gemstone variety of green microcline, a feldspar mineral. It is named after the Amazon river in Brazil, though surprisingly no deposits have been found in that location. The lively green or blue-green colour is extremely attractive. Amazonite, cut en cabochon, with a rounded and convex polished surface, is a classic stone to be set in silver or carved in imaginative forms. In fact a fine quality amazonite can be mistaken for precious jade. Amazonite does not undergo any kind of treatment. Amazonite is gaining popularity but is still an affordable fine gem for its carat weight.
Amazonite is said to calm one’s emotions and soothe nerves, and to enhance creativity and the ability to express oneself. Perhaps the strongest recommendation for its metaphysical power is that Amazonite is said to makes your married life happier.
Amblygonite color- White/Greyish, Light yellow, pink or lilac, Greenish.
Country found Sweden, France, Australia, Brazil, USA.
Amethyst. Hardness–7 Classification– Silicate.
Amethyst come in a lot of different colour purples.
Amethyst is found in a lot of different places around the world. Some of the largest is from Russia, Namibia, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, USA, Australia.
Ametrine. Hardness–6 Classification– Silicate.
Ametrine –Colours are Purple to Yellow.
Found in Bolivia.
Quartz which occurs in bands of yellow and purple has been given the name of ametrine (amethyst + citrine).
Initially cutters favored windowed emerald shapes with a 50/50 split of colors, and much of the rough is still cut this way. More recently, however, some cutters have begun to cut a variety of shapes, many of which create internal reflections that blend the yellow and purple into attractive shades of rosy gold and mauve, or create mosaic-like flashes of both yellow and purple.
Found in Ireland, Russia, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Afghanistant, Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Australia.
Aquamarine is best known for its breathtaking range of blue colors and belongs to the same family as emerald (beryl). The name derives from the Latin expression for seawater. Aquamarine is colored by trace amounts of iron that find their way into the crystal structure. A dark blue is the most desired color. Aquamarine possesses a durable hardness (7.5-8 on Mohs scale), which qualifies it for any kind of jewelry.
The favored cuts are emerald (step) and brilliant cut with long or rectangular shapes. Turbid stones get a cabochon cut.
Aquamarine is a decorative gem that complements almost any skin or eye color, which makes it an all-time favorite for women the world over. It is a popular gem, universal to wear, readily available and moderately priced, but growing in popularity.
Found. Spain, Russia, Namibia, Madagascar, Pakistan, Colombia, Brazil, USA, Australia.
Beryl in its purest form is completely colourless (goshenite). Trace impurities and colouring agents are responsible for the many different colors found in gemstone varieties of beryl. Beryl is one of the most important mineral groups and also one of the biggest gemstone groups. Although the mineral is abundant, it rarely occurs in transparent gem-quality material. Transparent gem-quality beryl is referred to as ‘precious beryl’. The most famous beryl gemstone is green emerald, followed by blue aquamarine. Golden beryl is not very well-known by the general public. Other popular beryl gems include pink ‘morganite’ and white, or colourless, ‘goshenite’. Red beryl is the rarest variety of beryl and it is known in the trade as ‘bixbite’.
Bloodstone. Hardness 7. Classification Silicate.
Colour. Dark Green/Grey, Flecked Red.
Found. India, USA, Australia.
Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, is a green gemstone dotted with bright red spots of iron oxide. A form of chalcedony quartz, the name heliotrope comes from the fact that polished stones were once thought to reflect the sun. Bloodstone is the original Birthstone for March. In the Middle Ages the red spots were thought to be the blood of Jesus and the stone was believed to have miraculous powers.
Boji Stone. Hardness 7.4 Classification Mineraloid
Chrysocolla is a hydrous copper silicate with that is found in several places in the world, including Russia, Nevada in the USA, the Congo, Chile, Israel and Mexico. Often confused with turquoise, chrysocolla is often found in unusual multi colour combinations as well as in blue or green.
Found. Spain, Russia, France, Madagascar, Brazil, Australia.
Citrine is one of the most affordable yet durable gemstones. Named from the French name for lemon,”citron,” many citrines have a juicy lemon color. Citrine includes yellow to gold to orange-brown shades of transparent quartz. Although the darker, orange colours of citrine, sometimes called Madeira citrine after the colour of the wine, has generally been the most valued colour, in modern times, many people prefer the bright lemony shades which mix better with pastel colours. Citrine is generally more inexpensive than amethyst and is also available in a wide range of calibrated sizes and shapes, including very large sizes.
Danburite. Hardness 7. Classification Silicate.
Colour. Colourless, White, Rose, Yellow, Lilac.
Found. USA, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar.
Diamond. Hardness 10. Classification Element.
Colours. Colourless, Sometimes Tinged with Yellow, Blue, Brown or Pink.
Found. South Africa, Russia, Brazil, Australia, USA.
Emerald. Hardness 7.5-8 classification Silicate.
Found. Colombia, Egypt, India, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Brazil, Madagascar, Russia.
Fluorite. Hardness 4. Classification Salt
Colour. Wide variety, from clear to Black, via Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink, White, Brown.
Found. England, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, India, USA, Mexico.
Found. Brazil, USA, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Australia.
Hardness 6.5-7 Classification Silicate.
Found. Russia, China, Burma, Japan, USA, Central America, New Zealand.
What was traditionally called jade is in fact two separate and distinct minerals: jadeite and nephrite. The term ‘jade’ can also be loosely applied to materials that contain jadeite or nephrite, such as maw-sit-sit and other materials. Jade has been treasured for centuries by cultures around the world, including the Mesoamericans and the Chinese, who consider it to be an auspicious gem. Choose jade gems from various shapes, sizes and colors, including green jade and lavender jadeite.
Hardness 7 Classification Silicate
Colours. Green, Red, Yellow, Brown, Blue, Purple, Black. and lots of different mixes of colours.
In its natural environment Jasper, a Form of Chalcedony, is dull stone, but once polished, it is a glistening, opaque crystal whose colour ranges from red, to brownish, yellow to green. It was widely used in the 16th century in Mosaic work.
In the image above the prehnite is a cloudy green.
Prehnite Gemstone often appear Cloudy or velvety, and rarely fully Transparent.
The prehnite here was found in the N.T. Australia.
Picture below you can see the Cloudy green to yellow colour.
You can make nice Cabochon to make Jewellery, with this stone.
The most popular shapes include traditional oval, cushion and round shapes. Fancy shapes are not as popular, but can be found, including hearts, trillions and pears.
Prehnite may also be tumbled or beaded and it is a popular ornamental material used for decorative carvings.
When polished, prehnite has a vitreous to pearly luster. Prehnite may be confused with Apatite, Jade or Serpentine.
Prehnite .It was discovered in 1788 in the Karoo Dolerites of Cradock, South Africa.Prehnite was later named after its discoverer, Colonel Hendrik Von Prehnite (1733-1785). he was a Dutch Mineralogist and an early governor of the Cape of Good Hope colony.
Prehnite was the first mineral to be named after an individual, and it was also the first mineral to be described from South Africa, long before South Africa became one of the most important sources for precious and semi Precious gemstone. .
Until recently, Prehnite was a rare collector’s gemstone, but new deposits have now made it more readily available. In China, prehnite is sometimes referred to as ‘grape jade’ owing to nodular formations which often resemble a bunch of grapes. Its colour is usually a soft apple green which is quite unique to prehnite, but it can also occur in rarer colours including yellow, orange and blue.
Mohs Scale. Prehnite is considerably hard with a rating of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
Prehnite; Origin and Sources
Prehnite occurs in the veins and cavities of mafic volcanic rock. It is a typical product of low-grade metamorphism. Primary deposits of prehnite are sourced from several locations around the world. Some of the most important deposits come from Africa (Namibia, South Africa), Australia (Western Australia, Northern Territory), Canada, China, Germany, Scotland, France and the United States (New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia).
Rare, orange colored prehnite has been discovered in South Africa. Quebec, Canada is known to produce prehnite with distinct, individual crystals.
Buying Prehnite and Determining Prehnite Value
Prehnite occurs in a range of green colors, including pale green to dark green and yellow- to brown-green. Prehnite may also occur gray, blue, orange, white and colorless. A soft apple green color is most desirable, while blue, pink, colorless, white and orange are considered the rarest occurrences and are highly sought after by mineral collectors.
Prehnite: Related or Similar Gemstones
There are no closely related gemstones, but there are several gemstones which can have a very similar appearance (colour and lustre ), including jade, apatite, serpentine, brazilianite, peridot and more.
How to identify a gemstones you are going to go Fossick for. (dig)
New to Looking for Gemstone.
First Question what am I looking For.
When you are new to looking for gemstones, one of your first Question will be what am I looking for. You can look up the internet for pictures or go to a gemstone shop near where, your going to fossick ( or dig) is the best way .
I always stop and usually buy a natural rough gemstone, that I will be looking for. PLEASE Remember these people have to make a living so do buy something. Most of the time they have maps of the area and give advise to where you should start looking, and what to look for.
I must say the best is the tag a-long tours, they are a great way to find out a real lot of information. Last on we did cost only $40 each.
If you need some help or do not understand about finding Gemstones contact me.
Sometime the directions are really bad, we have gone out several times, not been able to find a spot.