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Fossicking-Rockhound- what do they do.

Fossicking/Rockhounds.

What is Fossicking.

What is a Rockhound.

Rockhound and a Fossicker are the same thing. People that look for Gemstone -Rocks- Stones-Minerals.

They search every where for gems.

What you need. How do you start looking for gemstone.

Finding Gemstones.

What to look for when collecting rocks/ gemstones .

My Story plus things I have learnt while looking for gemstones.RocksMinerals.

I will tell you different things and places to go to look for gemstones, this is my Website, my Story, if you want to add something to it please do.

Contact Me or leave a Comment

Fossicking Means Or Rockhound Means.

1:      To search for gold or Precious stones in abandoned workings , rivers  ect.

2:       To search for something amongst other things.

Fossick Means

To search for minerals for a purpose other than commercial gain to a depth 2 meters by.

  1.     digging by hand
  2.     using hand held instruments

Fossicking is a unique and fun way to see and explore some of the most scenic out back landscapes where ever you live. Just love to go out on weekend trips, do nothing. but digging holes.

Queensland Fossicking Laws

In Queensland Australia, the government has dedicated fossicking area’s, they are located throughout the state. There is a lot of places you can go fossicking outside these dedicated area’s. A lot of stations/ mining company will have camping area’s , some times you have to pay camping fees.  You always have to get permission before going . Ask lots of Question before you go.

Fossicking Laws are Different in All States in Australia and overseas. Do your Research, before you go.

Fossicking Licence. For Qld.

First thing you need is a fossicking Licence. go to  www.qld.gov.au

I live in Queensland I  buy  my fossicking  Licence monthly, as you do not go out every month fossicking, If you are going out fossicking it is to easy to get a licence on line before you go. Send yourself a  receipt to your e-mail account. Other wise most tourist shop sell them.  One month Fossicking Licence is around   $11.

Have your Licence on you.

I have been out fossicking in Queensland and a mining department employee came and ask us if we had a licence. We were 200 kl from a town. So It pays to have a  Fossicking Licence.  In Australia every state is different.

Lapidary Club.

Join your local Lapidary Club.

Lapidary clubs have field trips and they show you what  gemstones to look for. They take you to some great spots. Our club have a lot of stones on display at there club house,  from all over the world, None of  them have much valuable.

Going out by yourself,  which we do all the time is ok,  Try to get enough information about what to look for and where to go. It took us two years to find a easy way to get to one fossicking area, everyone told us different stories on how to get there. That is why field trips, tag along tours are great way to find and learn about Gemstones.

Secret.

When we first started looking for Gemstones everyone, sort of did not want to tell you where to go. Even now they all tell you different stories.  So it is a good idea to do research before you leave.   One place we went to was O’Brien Creek, there is a lot of stories there to find topaz. We dug in the creek, unsuccessful. The other people we were with went over the other side of the hill and found a nice blue Topaz Three times Fossicking to O’Briens creek we found a nice blue 59ct  topaz, plus a lots of  smaller ones.

Field Trips Take along tours. Contact Me

Field trips is a group of people that go out together looking for gemstones. Day trips or overnight. It is good to go out with a groups of people. Showing of your finding  is great fun. Tag along tours is great when you do not know what to look for and if you do not have any equipment. We did a tag along tour for Sapphires, so we could learn and understand more about how to find them, what to do, it was a great help.

What you need To Fossick:

Sunscreen and shade.

When going fossicking make sure all of your own needs are catered for first. First off you need to cover up from the sun. Sun screen and shade is a must have items. We put a shade cover up over our dig.

A chair, Lots and lots of water drinking and washing water, food. Safety  Kit  for injuries like rock splinters cuts . Safety Equipment  and safe tools are a must have items. Safety Goggles ,Gloves, closed in shoes. Tools  Every year rock collectors are injured – including being blinded, by using the wrong hammers.

Hammer and Hammers.

Geologists hammers are made of special steels, and the striking ends are bevelled to prevent steel splinters from flying of them. Special geological chisels are made for the same reason.

Where do I dig.

When starting of in Queensland , designated fossicking areas,  you can get a map of the area on the internet at Queensland Department of Mines and Energy, ( Or Stop at the tourist  shop in the town nearest to where you are going to dig these people are very helpful) It  will show you tracks where you can dig. When arriving you will see a lot off holes every where. If the hole has a bucket , pick, or  some thing else in it, it is a no go area. You can do the same to your hole when you start digging. It is a known rule with fossickers. But be careful because there are people out there that steal equipment. So you have found your hole.

  1.   Know were to dig.

Move a lot of dirt.

sieve

You have to move a lot of  dirt , to find a Gemstone .most/sometimes you wont find what you are looking for. We use a sieve . We look through most of the dirt we move. Sieve come in all sizes. We have a  steel stick about 5 feet tall, that holds our sieve, so we fill and shack.

How dip to dig.

The dirt at the Top/Sides of your hole you  are in you have top soil, which is were grass grows/what we walk on. Then you have another layer which is  called sub-soil, you will see the different colour or grit/dirt of the soil. All that soil  has to come off.

You can find gemstone on the surface too.

Next layer off soil is called the wash, this is where you find the gemstones. The next layer is clay that you don’t have to move. Using sieve is a good idea when first starting out. Some gemstones like sapphire do show there colour/shine , until they have wash on them.  Opal is the same.

Virgin Ground.

Some areas the soil that has not been worked,  it is virgin ground. Meaning it has not been dug up.

I can remember digging  a hole 2 meters deep, and in our sieve was a one cent piece.

2  Known were to dig. Luck.

Tumbled Amethyst From Amethyst Castle
Tumbled Amethyst From Amethyst Castle

Amethyst Castle.

At Amethyst Castle there is Amethyst everywhere.  The mine has graded  the roads and have a very nice camping area. We found a nice shady tree and started our own hole. Very easy work. You just have to pick a spot and dig, the soil is very rocky with amethyst.  Amethyst Castle you need permission to go there. The mining company only want to make sure you return home safely from your trip out fossicking.

 

Crystals from Crystal Mountain

The hardest thing is climbing up the hill.  It again is rocky soil,  just dig softly, you don’t want to brake that cluster of crystal. There  is 3  ways to get to Crystal Mountain.

Toms Mountain.

Toms. mountain again you have to Climb. Lots of different Rocks/Gemstone to pick up in this area.

 

 

 

One of My fossicking trips

Fossicking for Agate July 2015

My first gemstone is The Agate. We did a day trip to Agate creek in Central Queensland.  July 2015. The road is dirt,  It has lots of ups and downs, ( creek/gullies, and hills) This is one road not to be on in the wet season.

Camping Grounds.

After travelling for a good hour we came to a camping ground on our right. Because we did not know,  what or where to go ,we decided to follower the road to the end .( we did have a map of the area) At the end of the road was another camping ground. We turned around and turned off, at the first turn to right, drove in as far as we could, got out and had a look around , there was smashed rocks everywhere.

Tumble the rocks.

I picked up a lot of small whole agates. knowing I can put them in the tumbler. when I get home.

Moved On After Lunch.

Had lunch and move on, We did the next turn to right, stopped at the creek bed first , there was agate in the creek bed, drove on where there was a lot of cows,  we had a look  around picked up a few more agates.

First turn Right.

Our next turn to the right was a long drive in. You have to stop and look around all the time, this  is where we found most of our agates. There was diggings everywhere, smashed agates everywhere. The different colours were everywhere. I picked up a lot of broken agates the colours were beautiful, they can be used for everything, like jewellery , cladding pot ,soap container and more, beautiful colours.

Going Back to Agate Creek.

Agate Creek is must go back to places.

Second time we went to agate creek 2017.  We camped at the first camping grounds. The people there are very helpful. Spent. a week there, at the camping grounds, there is toilets and showers. Cost was $7.50 a night each.

We will be going again one day.

Lake Moondarra Mount Isa.

Another place I went to for Agates. Lake Moondarra near Mount Isa. These we call Gooseberry Agates. Over time I have picked up a lot of broken ones, They have a lot of fractures in the stone, so they just crumble when you cut them, I don’t know if there is a chance of getting a whole one. But again There is  lots of things you can do  with them. They have lots of colours like greens, red, dirty yellows and browns.

Gooseberry Agate.

They are call Gooseberry because the outside of the stone looks , is like a lot of small berries stuck together.

There is a lot of different agates across our beautiful country. The colours are just beautiful.

Please leave a Comment.

I would love to hear about your fossicking trips, love hearing about other people finds. Need any help please leave  a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thank  You Wendy

Contact Me.

 

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Gemstones-Agate-to-Azurite-gemstonefossicking

Gemstone Names and Images.

Agate.

Colours. Multicolours-Green-Red-Oranges-Yellow-Blue-Pink and more.

Agate

Agate is a variety of chalcedony that forms in concentric layers in a remarkable variety of colours and textures. The crystals vary in clarity from opaque to translucent to transparent. Agate quartz was highly valued as a talisman or amulet during ancient times, and to this day, are still one of the most popular jewellery gemstones

Agate Geode.

Agate geode gemstones appear to be nothing but ordinary rocks on the outside, but take a quick peek inside and you’ll surely be amazed at the stunning growth and clusters of chalcedony quartz crystals inside them.

 

Garnet.

Garnets comprise a family of complex silicates with widely varying chemical composition but similar structures. The most common garnet is almandine (or almandite), which is dark brownish- or purplish-red. Garnet is very popular for its excellent hardness (7-7.5) and its brilliance due to its high refractive index.

Amazonite

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 rings or carved in imaginative forms. In fact a fine quality amazonite can be mistaken for precious jade.

Amethyst

Amethyst is a variety of crystalline quartz in colours ranging from pale lilac to deep reddish purple and ranging from transparent to translucent is known as amethyst. Green amethyst is known as prasiolite, and is produced by heat treatment

Amethyst Geode

Amethyst geodes are rock cavities or vugs with internal crystal formations in colours ranging from pale lilac to deep reddish purple and ranging from transparent to translucent. Amethyst geodes can be small nodules cut in half or pieces of larger geodes sold as crystal clusters

Ametrine

Quartz which occurs in bands of yellow and purple has been given the name of ametrine (amethyst + citrine).

Ammolite

Ammolite is a rare gemstone of organic origin that is fairly new to the market, with commercial mining beginning only in 1981. Ammolite is the fossilized shell of ammonites, which are composed primarily of aragonite, the same mineral that makes up nacreous pearls. Ammolite’s main attraction is a remarkably vivid play of colour.

Andalusite

Andalusite is a strongly pleochroic gem, which means that is has different colours when viewed from different directions. While it is a strikingly beautiful gem, it is largely unknown by the gem buying public. With a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Moths scale, it is very suitable for all kinds of jewellery

Andesine Labradorite

Andesine is a member of the plagioclase feldspar group, which also includes labradorite and sunstone. All the members of this group are a mixture of albite and anorthite, with andesine being 50-70% albite and 30-50% anorthite.

Apatite

Apatite, a stone seldom found in jewellery stores and virtually unknown to the general public, is beloved by collectors for its many different colours and forms.

Aquamarine

Aquamarine is best known for its breathtaking range of blue colours and belongs to the same family as emerald (beryl).

Aventurine

Aventurine is a type of quartz frequently used for carvings and cabochons. Aventurine is mainly dark green sometimes with a glittery metallic appearance caused by included green mica

Azurite

Azurite is an intense blue gem that gets its bright azure blue colour from copper, and is related to malachite, which is also a copper carbonate mineral

Please click on each gemstone to read more my favourite is the Ammolite,  The feature Image.I have to save up to buy this stone. Love the colours.

Please if you know more names of stones that start with A. Please leave me a comment. Love reading about different stones.

Contact Me

Have a great day.

Wendy

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Citrine Gemstone.

Citrine Gemstone.

Natural Citrine Crystal From Zambia AAA Grade W-550g, Size 13x6x5cm $190.00
Natural Citrine Crystal From Zambia AAA Grade citrine gemstone

Citrine is the yellow to red-orange variety of crystalline quartz. Image of Citrine Colours.

Majority of Citrine on the market is produced by heating smoky quartz (which produces light to medium yellows,and Amethyst (which produces stronger yellows and orange-red to orangey brown shades).

Due to its abundance, it would “get no respect,” as it were. In recent decades this perception has changed, due in part to fashions that emphasize earth tones. Home shopping networks have been marketing the various shades of Citrine aggressively with catchy adjectives like “butterscotch” and “whiskey.

Little Citrine is Actually Mined.

Very little Citrine is actually mined. The vast majority of Citrine on the market is produced by heating smoky quartz (which produces light to medium yellows) and Amethyst (which produces stronger yellows and orange-red to orangey brown shades). Natural stones tend to be pale yellow, often with smoky tones. Citrines range from light, lemon yellow to a rich, orange colour with red flashes referred to as “Madeira.” (This refers strictly to a Citrine colour, not a locality, and is an accepted description. However, the use of the term “Madeira topaz” to refer to Citrine is incorrect).

Citrine’s yellow colours are due to the presence of ferric iron. These colours have been traditionally associated with topaz.

Confusion between these gemstones does occur, even though quartz and topaz are distinct gem species.

Unfortunately, this is a common story. A little history will explain why. Before the 20th century, all gems in the brown, orange, and yellow color range were called topaz. Modern gemology was only recognized as a science in the 1930s. Now, we recognize topaz and yellow or brown quartz as separate species. However, many jewellers have continued to use the old names. For example, “smoky topaz” is much more likely to be smoky quartz than brown topaz.

Citrine gemstones (yellow quartz) are less frequently confused with topaz gemstones, but it does happen.

Quartz and topaz are different gem species. They’re composed of different chemicals and have different physical and optical properties. They’re also valued very differently. The quartz family of gems is much more common than topaz. So even though they may appear similar, the more common quartz varieties are less valuable than topaz. Despite what your appraiser told you, topaz and citrine gemstones are definitely not “basically the same.” (See our List of False and Misleading Gemstone Names for more examples of quartz referred to commercially as varieties of topaz).

Some jewellers can perform accurate appraisals. Others cannot. Consumers need to be aware that there are no qualifications or regulations for writing a gemstone appraisal. To protect your investment, contact an independent gemology lab that specializes in identification and appraisal.

Citrine makes a fine jewelry stone. With no gemstone cleavage, a hardness of 7, stable colors in light, and no special care requirements, it can be used for any jewelry application. Like most quartz, it’s available in large sizes, so custom gem cutters can use this stone for dramatic and intricate cuts. This gem is a wonderful option for a large, beautiful stone for an engagement ring. Citrines can also be used for carvings.

Citrine Value

At the top end of the scale are prime specimens of the most saturated yellow, orange, and reddish tones. Those with less intense colour fall into lower value ranges, with pale or smoky stones at the bottom. As with any gem material, custom cutting increases value. Inclusions decrease it. There is no exponential increase in value per carat with increase in size, as larger sizes are readily available. In many fancy cut or carved specimens, most of the value is due to the artistry of the cutting.

Synthetics

Citrines can be grown hydrothermally in labs. Although natural quartz is common and inexpensive, synthetic quartz can be manufactured in sufficient quantities and at low cost, which makes the practice economically viable.

Enhancements

Turning natural smoky quartz and amethyst to Citrine via heat treatment is usually done right at the mine. This is a stable treatment and is fully accepted within the gem trade. Colourless quartz stones have also been irradiated and heated to produce a neon, slightly greenish yellow colour. These stones are called lemon quartz.

The prized “Madeira” colour is created by heat treating Citrine that possesses the proper iron content. Since there is no simple way of testing the iron content of Citrine, this process must be monitored carefully.

Sources

Virtually all natural Citrines come from Brazil.

Stone Sizes

Citrines in the thousands of carats are known. The Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.) has Brazilian stones of 2,258, 1,180, 783, 278, 265, and 217 carats. Most large museums have similar baubles.

citrine
This citrine vug is in a crate about 9′ tall

Citrine Information

Gemstone Citrine.

Data Value
Name Citrine
Is a Variety of Quartz
Crystallography  Hexagonal
Refractive Index  1.544 – 1.553
Colours  Yellow to Red-Orange
Luster  Vitreous
Polish Luster  Vitreous
Fracture Luster  Vitreous
Fracture  Conchoidal, very brittle
Hardness  7
Toughness  Good
Specific Gravity  2.651 (very constant)
Birefringence  0.009
Cleavage  None
Dispersion  0.013
Heat Sensitivity No
Wearability  Very Good
Enhancements  Amethyst can be heat treated to change it to citrine. Not common. “Madeira” citrine with red flashes is a result of heat treatment.
Transparency  Transparent
Absorption Spectrum  Not diagnostic
Formula SiO2
Pleochroism  Very weak, different shades of yellow or orange.
Optics  o = 1.544; e = 1.553 (very constant). Uniaxial (+)
Etymology From the old French citrin, meaning yellow.
Occurrence Generally in pegmatites and veins. Found in geodes in alluvial deposits.
Inclusions Natural quartz stones, including citrine, may have liquid, bread crumbs, zebra stripes, two and three phase inclusions, and negative crystals

 

Citrine

I have found Citrine where there is lots of Amethyst. Now that I have did this post, I understand that what I have is yellow Quartz.  Heat treated buy the sun. In the same area, there is green amethyst. So with long exposer to the sun can colour your Quartz Gemstone.

Yellow topaz, I have not found, Clear I have. There is a big different to Quartz, Topaz has 8 sides and is like clear glass, very clean glass, like it has already been polished.  Topaz you find up the creek, that has been wash buy the sand is different again, it is rounded and is not clear.

In June 2018 we are going to go to Gemtree to find Citrine. read more later this year, about this gemstone.

I hope your have found this interesting about citrine.

Have a great day.

Wendy.

Please leave me a comment.

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Lapidary Machine Must Have.

Lapidary Machine— This is it, must have.

Need to shape and polish your gemstone, this is the number one machine to own.

CabKings are the easiest cabbing machines to use. You’ll enjoy great performance, minimum maintenance and low cost of ownership. With so many ingenious features, it’s no wonder CabKings rule.My personal product / review:
CAB King 6″ Lapidary Rock Grinding Polishing Cabochon Machine

This machine can grind and  shape, such as oval, circles, rectangles , squares and  hearts and polish your gemstone to a shine.

Price From $1399.00

Video: lapidaryRockGrcabbinginding@twitter.com

Owners:Cab King

Website: Amazon.com

Rock Grinding Machine

Introduction:  Lapidary Rock Grinding Machine.

I call my machine a  Cabbing machine.   It is a no mess machine what it does to a gemstone/rock is the number one machine to own.  I love my cabbing machine, it is a joy to use, gets the job done.

Using a cabbing machine:  My cabbing machine sits on a table in my spare room. It has it own power box. It has a water pump that has to be covered with water all the time. another bucket collects water from the wheels basin (dirty water) .When you use a wheel ,water runs over the wheel you are using. It has a on/off nob that lets the water run over the wheel in use. Water keeps your stone from getting hot and lubricates your wheel . this helps the wheels to last longer. Each wheel cost to replace is over $100, so you have to look after them. You have splash shields and hand rest, and a bright light that moves to where you want it.

Why 6 Wheels    All your wheels have different grits. The idea is to start with diamond wheel with a rough grit,lower numbers, which shapes your stone and gradually work your way up to a fine grit, removing scratches as you progress.  Some of the different wheels you use are, 100 hard, 280 hard, 600 hard, 280 flexible wheel,600 flexible wheel, 1200 flexible wheel, 3000 flexible wheel. These wheels are not cheap to buy. For my final polish I use a polishing pad with cerium oxide on my flat lap machine.

Using your wheels  After cleaning and cutting your stone, you are ready to use your cabbing machine/rock grinder. Lets say piece of Quarts clear crystal. You work out what shape you wont., Say round, square or cabochon stone .It does not take very long before you have your shape.

A Round Gemstone     On your First wheel start to shape your stones. Watch out for your finger nails, this machine grinds anything down. Once you have shaped your stone do the same on your next wheel, looking all the time for marks or scratches on your stone. Rounding a gemstone for the final polish you can us a tumbler. Or keep using your different grits.

A cabochon have more to do with shape, it is flat on one side and domed or rounded on the other. So you have your gemstone. Look at it work out what side you wont to be the bottom. On my machine , using the first wheel I would  shape my stone, working it into a egg shape, the bottom of the stone flat. Put your stone on two finger lightly roll it back and forth. Then I would repeat that on the second wheel. Your machine has a good light ,dry your stone and see if there is scratches on it. If there is keep going until you don’t see marks ,nice and shinny  You should only have to use one more wheel and you finished the bottom. Next Step put your stone on a dobbing stick ( piece of dowel a stick )with wax. This saves the finger nails.  Now work your wheels , kept drying your stone and checking for marks you wont a doom shape. Practise.

Cabbing

Cabbing or cabochon cutting is probably the most common form of gem cutting. Cabochons or “cabs” are gems that are cut with a flat bottom and a curved or domed top. If you’ve seen opal or turquoise  you’ve probably seen cabs. Cutting cabs can be profitable. Depending on the material they’re cut from, cabochons can have significant resale value. This can make cabbing a very rewarding hobby, especially if you’re cutting materials you’ve found yourself. Cabbing is more complex than tumbling, and a cabbing machine is a bit more expensive, but you can become proficient with a little practice. A word of warning: cabochon cutting can be highly addictive!

CabKing cabbing machines are warranted by the manufacturer to be free from defect for the period of one year from the date of purchase. Our warranty covers all parts of the CabKing  cabbing machines, including the motor and water pump (light bulb and wheels excluded).

This is a complete machine.

You start out at 80 grit and finish on the polishing pad with cerium oxide at about 30,000 grit

1/4 hp, 110v, 1800 rpm, 60hz motor,

A 605 GPH, 110/115 volt pump.

A powerful 12 volt, single bayonet lamp.

This Machine Features:

Direct drive motor and separate submersible pump to reduce maintenance.

Individual on/off water shut off valves above each wheel, also for right and left hand grinding/polishing pads (no cross-contamination of grit) allows easy movement from wheel to wheel to disc.

A drainage system to eliminate having to constantly discard pan water.

Heavy-duty base board, aluminum splash hoods with adjustable clear splash shields, plastic pad with drain holes, comes with four side splash guards, and two front hand metal rests.

One (1) each 6″ x 1-1/2″, 80 grit and 220 grit metal bonded diamond grinding wheels,

(4) 6″ x 1-1/2″ diamond resin bond wheels, (1) each 280 grit, 600 grit, 1200 grit, and 3000 grit,

a 6″ x 360 grit no hole 1/4-20 right hand threaded diamond flat lap and

a 1/4-20 right hand thread canvas polishing pad

Plastic apron, wrench, clear plastic goggles, complete instructions. + 3 piece jewelers set

One year limited warranty on motor and parts.

Size is 27″ long x 13″ deep x 12″ high for easy transport. 56 pounds

Overall I can not say enough about this machine, It gets a 11 out of 10 from me.

Please note Australia prices are not the same as US. I Paid nearly $2000.00 for mine.

Looking to know more about this machine leave me a comment or Question  below and I will get back to you.

Have a great day.

Wendy

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Gemstones North Queensland- Gems -Fossicking Area’s

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Copper ore

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.

Designated fossicking

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.

Field  Trips.

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.

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.

Find Aquamarine.

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.

 

Chrysocolla.

I am going to take you to find Chrysocolla. 

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Falls to Pieces

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.

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Cut chrysocolla

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.

Mary Kathleen.

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.

Wendy