Sapphire Journals

Searching for Sapphires

A March 2002 trip to Sapphire by spaceout

The daily routine Photo, Sapphire, Australia More Photos
Quote: We started our journey with the idea of fossicking in Sapphire. What seemed like “hillbilly” county, with horses and bovine walking around in town with no fence holding them back, was actually the center of the most interesting people we had ever encountered. Read on for more on this adventure...

Searching for Sapphires

Overview

The bovines Photo, Sapphire, Australia
Quote:
We entered Sapphire asking ourselves what the heck we were doing there!! The roads were narrow and bad. The houses and most edifices were finished with aluminum sheets. Cows, bulls and horses were gallivanting without fences. I somewhat feared getting out of the car, but they seemed mild-tempered. And we didn’t encounter any problems with them. We drove in the labyrinth of Sapphire until we found what we were looking for. Our first stop at DownUnder Gems was where it all began. Large signs greeted us, advertising B-B-Q, Gem Cutting, Fossicking Patch and Learning all about Fossicking. This was exactly what we were looking for as we didn't know how to begin looking for gems. They greeted u...Read More

CD Down Under Gems

Story/Tip

The Gem Store! Photo, Sapphire, Australia
Quote:
Their motto is "A great find? You bet'cha!!" and I must agree with it. When we got here we had nothing but the best service. We felt part of the family. The owner showed us how to start fossicking. --First one can buy either a bucket of dirt for 6$ or a wheelbarrow of dirt for 35$. --Then one must wash the dirt in a "double strainer", until all is left are medium size rocks in the first strainer, and small rocks in the second strainer. --Then we check the first strainer for sapphires, which could be from light yellows to dark blues in shades, by turning the strainer upside down on a table with a cloth on it. --The owners were there at all times to help us out. They of...Read More
The daily routine Photo, Sapphire, Australia
Quote:
One can go on a wild trek and fossick for Sapphires on his own. Although a lot of equipment is required and the working conditions aren't that great. One can purchase a fossicking license at C.H.T.O situated in Emerald. They have fossicking maps and all other information required. As per the equipment which would include shovels, strainers, picks, large water containers to wash the rocks, water, etc.... the whole idea can result in being very costly and not very satisfactory. Unless of course one just wants the adventure of being under the scorching sun of Queenlands for hours on end, being covered in red dirt, and not finding anything but fool's gold and rocks. One never knows though, y...Read More
Quote:
We were taken on a tour from the CD Down Under Gems to one of Coolamon's mining sites. Most of the population of Sapphire and Rubyvale work in the gem mine. They are like a big family, and no one is trying to top the other. They are helping each other. I was quite impressed to experience how these people lived in harmony. Truly an example to many parts of the earth. As we were driving to the mine, we got a slight history of the development of center Queensland and the mining industry. A few years ago, it seems that the Russians were giving their recognized soldiers lots of Queensland, which of course consisted of slightly deserted land, as we can witness as we drive thr...Read More

About the Writer

spaceout

spaceout
SJ, New Brunswick