Gemstone fossicking in Queensland
What to do.
Where to go.
What to look for.
Gem Fossicking Qld.( Rockhounds ). Looking for “that” natural gemstone.
Love to go Fossicking for Gemstones.
Hi, one of my many hobbies, (love to do in my spare time) is to go out fossicking for gem stones. Sunday afternoon don’t wont to do anything at home , we will get in the car and go for a big drive. We stop a lot off times, to look around, walk around looking at the ground. We are always bending over then walking again. Up Down Up Down . Always looking down for that sparkle on the ground.
What to do when looking for Gemstones in North Queensland.
When you are about to go looking for gemstones, it is a good idea to do your research before leaving. In Queensland you need a fossicking licence when looking to find gemstones. There is a fine if you are caught with out a licence. I have been out in the bush, miles from anywhere and was asked for my Fossicking licence.
Make sure you are allowed on the property you can find out information if you visit fossicking licence , if it is designated fossicking land. you are. Are you allowed to camp there, Is there running water, Some have toilets and showers. All this information you can find out buy visiting here
What to look for.
Looking for Gemstones , yes you do need to know thing like different in the soils . What is the different between a crystal and a topaz, when you find a Gem. Why some Topaz are rounded and others have 8 sides. Gemstone fossickers dream, is to come across the shining/sparkling rock, that nothing sticks to it because it is to hard. That Diamond. Wouldn’t it be nice.
We went with our local Lapidary Club , looking for topaz in June 2017, There was lots of different people there, we were all looking for the same things like- Topaz- Aquamarine. Smoky Quarts , and more. Every one has different ideas, finding topaz.
We went to a place called O’Brien Creek. it is in Central North Queensland. To find a piece of Topaz , you will have to move a lot of dirt to get a Topaz Gemstone. Topaz is every where you just have to be lucky to dig in the right place. The idea is to find a spot and start digging, you have to use a sieve to look for topaz. Topaz looks like a clear stone in you sieve. Pick it up and it feels cold, lots of people put them in there mouth. It is like a quarts crystal, but when you pick it up it feels cold. The Topaz we found were in the river so they were mostly rounded stones of all shapes and sizes , when you put them in your month, or wet them they become clear.
Old Stories about Topaz at O’Brien Creek.
Years ago Topaz was every where at O’Brien Creek. (find out about the camping at O’Briens Creek.) People tell stories about digging into the sand , throw a shovel of sand out of a hole and the topaz, you used to watch them jump out of the sand,
A golf Ball.
While we were there a local found a piece of Topaz the size of a golf Ball. Never got to see it. This person just dug a 2 foot hole and found it. Lucky.
O’Brien Creek Old Tin Mine.
There was a tin mine at O Brien creek, the Topaz was dumped with the other unwanted minerals.
Aquamarine is at O’Brien Creek, you Have to be very luck to find that Gemstone. Years ago it was every where. We bough a nice piece in town at Mount Surprise.
Mount Gibbson – Topaz and other Gemstones
Another place to find Topaz is Mount Gibbson.
I am going to take you to find Chrysocolla.
It is a copper bearing mineral found wherever copper deposit occur. Chrysocolla is a gemstone. It is a beautiful skyblue to bluish – green colour. Copper is its chemical structure. Is multi-coloured with inclusion or veining of black & brown matrix material. It is not a popular gemstone because of it hardness, when cutting it, the stone has lots of fractures and falls to pieces.
I have a piece of chrysocolla that has native copper in it. Native copper is like copper wire everyone uses for there electric cables. My piece has lots of colours, copper, silver, quartz, veins , skyblue, a light green brown & black. It is a very pretty gemstone. Find some and give it a go, you will find such beauty, in one stone.
Chrysocolla is found worldwide, though significant sources include the Congo (Zaire), Israel, Australia, Peru, Chile, Mexico, and in the U.S. in Arizona. In North West Queensland, Australia , it is everywhere.
What you are looking for is a greenish, skyblue, dark blue rock . Pretty colours. Use you fingers to see if you can brake the rock. You don’t want something that crumbles keep looking. It is easy to find. At lot of rocks have the white quartz through them, You don’t want a stone that has to much quarts more blue, green, greenish, greys, and blacks in the colour of the rock.
Out here we have a lot off old mining company that have closed down. Two mines Wee MacGregor Mine & Mary Kathleen. They are pretty close together. Mary Kathleen is a old uranium mine, Lots of Copper mineral out there. Wee MacGregor Mine is ,was copper.
Is 64 kl from Cloncurry, Nearly half way between Mount Isa & Cloncurry in north west Qld. That road is the highway so it is bitumen. There is signs up saying Mary Kathleen. Watch out once you get of the highway it is quite a rough road so slow down. You can explore all the roads left and right. If you go straight ahead you will see the open cut the mining company just left, everyone reckons poison water.
In the Late 70s we use to go to Mary Kathleen for social days. As you go over the grid of the highway, to your right was a dirt golf course, I can remember playing golf there, down the road a bit more to your right was the township, shopping centre. Mary Kathleen had a fruit tree farm, always went and bought oranges on our way home to Mt Isa
There is a lot of different rocks/stones, you can find at Mary Kathleen. Copper Ore, Fouls Gold is everywhere. You find the Peacock Ore, which has all the colours of a rainbow. Very nice stone. Your copper rocks that have a greenish sky blue to dark blue colour, with quarts and other minerals in it. Make sure you pick some up and cut them. If they hold together you can get a really pretty stone. This your Chrysocolla stone.
On this website you will read more about looking and what to do with certain gemstones , in North West Qld.
If you have any Question, Want to know where to go , what to look for, anything leave me a comment and I will get back to you.
Have a Great Day.