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Gemstone-Garnet Fossicking: Fullarton River- Garnets. North Queensland.

Fullarton River- North Queensland fossicking area for Garnet.

Garnets here are a colour of purple/pink.

Garnet Fossicking:  Property Maronan Station.  You do not have to get permission , A Fossicking License is required.

The sign for Maronan Station  is near a tree.

Maronan Station.

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 are 3 gates you have to open and make sure you shut them.

On your way you will pass red arrows, tells you, you’re going the right way.

The dirt road in is about 20ks in.

No Fires.

As you get to the fossicking Area, you will see the designated area set aside for Camping, this is for two nights 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 is good, hate going camping and there is toilet paper everywhere.

Camels-other animals.

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 anything at your camp site, when you go fossicking.

Where to go Fossicking.

Up the hill. From the campgrounds, 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 overgrown, the top is where 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 hill is on the side.
Up the top is Garnets

Pink- Purple.

Small chips Garnets

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.

We carried water up the hill.

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.

Or Contact Me

Happy Fossicking.

Have a great Day.


Stone from Amethyst Castle

Dark Amethyst from Amethyst Castle.
Amethyst from Kuridala light purple crystal.

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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.