Gem Fossicking Australia
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Gemstone Information Links
Opal Info Garnet Info Peridot Info
Sapphire Info Zircon Info Moonstone Info
Topaz Info Quartz Info Prehnite Info
Gemstone Facts
What are Gemstones?
There are more than 3800 minerals known to exist, with only a very small proportion, about 20, of these suitable to be cut and polished into gemstones. Barcaldine QueenslandFor a mineral to qualify as a gemstone, it must be hard enough to survive abrasion, which immediately eliminates a great number of the minerals known today.
A gemstone must have some feature of beauty; usually colour, clarity, surface patterning or distinctive feature.
Identifying Gemstones
There is more to a gemstone than meets the eye. Gemstones come in many colours and have varying characteristics, therefor using visual identification to identify gemstones can be unreliable. When identifying a gemstone it is sometimes difficult to know if the stone is genuine or synthetic. The only reliable method of identifying gemstones is to take it to a qualified Gemmologist, they have the expertise and specialised equipment required to give the best advice. The Australian Museum has further information about identifying gemstones, and they also provide a Gemstone Identification Service
Fashion and Gemstones
Gemstones may come in and out of fashion, but the new wave of television shopping channels and Internet sales such as Ebay have stimulated a fashion for gemstone items. The popularity of gemstones such as Sapphires, Amethysts, Topaz and Quartz have increased. Opals again have become highly popular with a surge in Opal mining in Australia. If you have an interest in wearing or even making your own gemstone jewellery, then take a look at the Gemstone Jewellery section. You will find examples of gemstone jewellery and lapidary, and tips on where to get started if you want to begin making your own.
Gemstone Description
Precious Opal
Opal is Australia's National Gemstone; it is highly prized by many and is extremely valuable in monetory terms. Opal is best described as... read more
Australian Sapphire can be found in many locations on the East coast. The main fossicking areas are in the New England area of New South Wales around...
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Topaz can be pale amber to clear prismatic crystals with a perfect basal cleavage on 001. Common natural colours in Australia are clear, pale honey yellow, pale blue... read more
Garnets come in a colours ranging from the palest yellow through orange to deep red. These colours are known as hessonite garnets, and can be found... read more
Zircon has the same reflective properties as diamond; colourless forms of zircon are commonly used as imitation diamonds. Zircon comes in two... read more
Quartz is one of the most common semi precious stones found throughout Australia. It is usually associated with... read more
Peridot / Olivine
Olivine is green to olive green, yellow brownish-red when oxidised. It occurs in basic igneous rocks low in magnesium and silica. In Australia two main locations...
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The gem variety of Feldspar called "Moonstone" is characterised by the sheen effect it exhibits; this silvery white... read more
Prehnite occurs a green to yellow crystalline rock about 10cm thick-opaque to translucent pieces may be found-the translucent variety facets beautifully...
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