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#1

Kyle
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Joined: 02 August 2015
Posts: 2
Newbie
02 August 2015 06:00 pm

1438498687_image.jpgHi all,
I have recently been introduced into fossicking for sapphires mainly. So far I have found a couple of biggish stones or what I may think are big. I took the stones to get looked at today in Canberra and I was told that they were worth nothing.

I'm just after a second opinion, sure it's fun to find the pretty rocks in the creeks but are they worth anything in the long run?

One of the stones I showed the man was my 9 carat parti sapphire as shown in the picture. I know that no one could tell me the value of the rough gemstone from a picture but what are people's opinions on a value?
Thanks everyone1438498782_image.jpg

1 user likes this post: joao garimpeiro

#2

Heatho
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From: Sydney, NSW
Joined: 29 April 2013
Posts: 9,703
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02 August 2015 06:21 pm

G'day Kyle, welcome tro the forum. The one in your hand looks pretty opaque to me and probably not worth faceting. A real gem quality stone will be very clear and a fantastic colour. 1 in every 50 - 100 will be a valuable gem. Stones like the one in your hand can look great as a cabochon cut stone though.

Australia has some of the best quality Sapphires on the planet in my opinion. Large top quality stones can be very valuable, they are also very rare to find but not impossible.


Minelab GPX 5000, SDC2300, CTX3030, Pro-Find-25, patience, lot's of patience.

1 user likes this post: richo966

#3

Heatho
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From: Sydney, NSW
Joined: 29 April 2013
Posts: 9,703
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02 August 2015 06:23 pm

Check out this thread mate. Have a read of the link Wal put up, it should help you a bit.

https://www.prospectingaustralia.com.au … hp?id=8414


Minelab GPX 5000, SDC2300, CTX3030, Pro-Find-25, patience, lot's of patience.

#4

stevepie1
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Joined: 26 April 2013
Posts: 7
Newbie
02 August 2015 06:26 pm

sapphire is graded in different ways clarity,veils,colour and so on, but to cut what could be a long explanation,for someone to look at a stone and say they are worthless is a FOOL.To him then, my 3.5 ct reddestone blue with out a blemish after i cut it is worth nothing.As i say you can't put brains in pumpkins...

#5

Kingsolomon
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Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 489
Member
02 August 2015 06:28 pm

A lot of stones will cut dark , generally darker than the rough. It's hard to come by pale blue ones , got to keep digging . Depending on what cracks or inclusions are in that stone , it may be worth cutting , if you don't mind a dark stone... I like them.if you take another photo on white paper . It will be easier to tell .hope it's a nice one ...inverell ?


Got stuff to dig stuff up .. Got stuff to detect metal stuff .. Got stuff to facet stuff ...

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#6

mfdes
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From: Hobart, TAS
Joined: 18 November 2013
Posts: 585
Member
03 August 2015 10:21 am

Kingsolomon wrote:

A lot of stones will cut dark , generally darker than the rough. It's hard to come by pale blue ones , got to keep digging

Hi Kingsolomon,
I disagree. The colour of the stones changes enormously from one sapphire field to another. There are a couple of spots down here in Tasmania where the stones are pale sky blue to pale grey, and there are few dark stones.


SDC 2300. Tasmanian mad about sapphires and gold.
Check out my blog about prospecting in Tasmania: http://www.appleisleprospector.com/

#7

Kyle
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Joined: 02 August 2015
Posts: 2
Newbie
03 August 2015 10:38 am

This stone was found in grabben gullen creek NSW, right next to the parking area. I have found roughly 120 sapphires but still nothing the man thought was worth anything.

#8

mfdes
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From: Hobart, TAS
Joined: 18 November 2013
Posts: 585
Member
03 August 2015 12:31 pm

Hi Kyle,

I don't know what it's like up there, but down here at most 1 in 50 stones are clear enough to cut, and even less that that have a good shape or colour. It's all about volume, the more you find the more chance you have of finding a good one. A Tasmanian sapphire dug up by an amateur fossicker sold last year for $15,000, or so the rumour mill goes.


SDC 2300. Tasmanian mad about sapphires and gold.
Check out my blog about prospecting in Tasmania: http://www.appleisleprospector.com/

#9

richo966
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Joined: 06 October 2013
Posts: 865
Member
03 August 2015 01:03 pm

some people will only cut the top rate stones and so all other stones are worthless to them I say find a different cutter one who is not so snoby and you will have a different outcome. the white paper test helps to pick out stones that will be possible cutters a lot will have flaws that will reduce the dollar value but will still provide a nice stone for a ring or such you need to keep looking remember that the big one is under the next rock you dig never give up quitters don't find any thing smile

Last edited by richo966 (03 August 2015 01:04 pm)

1 user likes this post: grubstake

#10

fossickeract
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Joined: 16 August 2014
Posts: 87
Member
03 August 2015 01:11 pm

Hi Kyle,
I don't know who told you they are worthless in Canberra but if you bring them to the Lapidary Club in Lyons on a Thursday between 10am and 12 I would be willing to give you an opinion as to their cutting potential and possible value. But as noted if they are opaque or full of cracks or inclusions, which would be as high as 99% from Grabben Gullen, value is the fun of finding them.THe white paper test is a good indication of the colour a sapphire will turn out. I have cut a number from Grabben Gullen,
pics on this site somewhere and seen a 10c cut green that was the best green I've laid eyes on. Now I'm off to North Queensland for August but be back at the Club next month.
Cheers Ted

2 users like this post: Wally69, grubstake

#11

Lefty
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Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 1,026
Member
03 August 2015 01:54 pm

mfdes, here's and article you might find interesting.

http://www.australiansapphire.com/sapph … theory.htm

Like Jim, I've noticed differences between different parts of the same field. At our old claims just behind Rubyvale township, the sapphires were predominately blue and most of those were a bit dark, with a smaller proportion of greens and a few yellows and stars. About 10km away at the Washpool diggings, the stones are predominately green and i've only ever found a single blue up that end of the field. I've heard of places where (small) yellows make up around 50% of the stones and other spots where "fancy" stones turn up with some regularity. And this is all on the one field.

I have seen lighter, sky-blue stones turn up on our field but the Thais seem to buy most of the best stones from our field.

And then take them overseas and re-label them as Thai or Ceylon stones mad

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#12

mfdes
Member
From: Hobart, TAS
Joined: 18 November 2013
Posts: 585
Member
03 August 2015 02:39 pm

Good resource, Lefty,

I think this applies fairly widely.
Down here sapphires have been found associated with basalt flows, mostly. But not always. And 'associated' does not mean 'coming from'. There are areas in NE Tas that have small basaltic pipes. Sapphires have been found surrounding those, but also in places where no basalt remains. Did it weatehr away? Perhaps. I think pyroclastics (ash) carried much of the sapphire, and not so much the basalt.


SDC 2300. Tasmanian mad about sapphires and gold.
Check out my blog about prospecting in Tasmania: http://www.appleisleprospector.com/

1 user likes this post: richo966

#13

Lefty
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Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 1,026
Member
03 August 2015 04:57 pm

mfdes wrote:

Good resource, Lefty,

I think this applies fairly widely.
Down here sapphires have been found associated with basalt flows, mostly. But not always. And 'associated' does not mean 'coming from'. There are areas in NE Tas that have small basaltic pipes. Sapphires have been found surrounding those, but also in places where no basalt remains. Did it weatehr away? Perhaps. I think pyroclastics (ash) carried much of the sapphire, and not so much the basalt.

I think that's now a more widely accepted argument mfdes - the formation zone for much sapphire was the pyroclastics rather than the basalt lava. Examples of sapphire in basalt are very rare on our field. I've never seen any myself and the only confirmed one I know of was a stone a geologist found embedded in one of the volcanic plugs that dot the area.

#14

Wally69
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From: Sydney
Joined: 13 December 2013
Posts: 2,316
Member
03 August 2015 05:58 pm

Try this topic Lefty

https://www.prospectingaustralia.com.au … hp?id=8682

#15

Kingsolomon
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Joined: 16 May 2013
Posts: 489
Member
03 August 2015 06:55 pm

mfdes wrote:
Kingsolomon wrote:

A lot of stones will cut dark , generally darker than the rough. It's hard to come by pale blue ones , got to keep digging

Hi Kingsolomon,
I disagree. The colour of the stones changes enormously from one sapphire field to another. There are a couple of spots down here in Tasmania where the stones are pale sky blue to pale grey, and there are few dark stones.

I'd better get down there for that catchup with you and our matey then:)


Got stuff to dig stuff up .. Got stuff to detect metal stuff .. Got stuff to facet stuff ...

#16

mfdes
Member
From: Hobart, TAS
Joined: 18 November 2013
Posts: 585
Member
04 August 2015 10:00 am

A couple of pictures from two trips to this location with pale sapphires. There is also zircon and estatite in the picture. This area is currently under exploration licence for gemstones, so you need permision. The shallow alluvial is also very worked out, but the licence holder is exploring larger targets of deeper alluvials. The largest sapphire we found is about 17 carats:

1438642661_mlm2014_pa.jpg

1438642661_mlm2014_pa3.jpg


SDC 2300. Tasmanian mad about sapphires and gold.
Check out my blog about prospecting in Tasmania: http://www.appleisleprospector.com/

#17

Wally69
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From: Sydney
Joined: 13 December 2013
Posts: 2,316
Member
04 August 2015 11:56 am

I need to jump on a plane, nice stones cool

#18

Lefty
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Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 1,026
Member
04 August 2015 01:19 pm

Interesting stuff there mfdes smile

I have to say that in 35 years of chasing sapphires I have never found stones as light coloured as some of those. We do get some nice sky blues up here but I've not seen them that light before.

That's what threw me when Wal identified as a sapphire a stone that I had decided must have been a zircon - the shape of the surface looked like a sapphire with the "stepping down" appearence but I hadn't seen such a light colour before.

Maybe if fortune is kind enough to us both, at some stage in the future we might be able to trade - central Queensland greens and yellows for some of those intruiging light blues smile

#19

Lefty
Member
Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 1,026
Member
04 August 2015 01:22 pm

The palest stone I've found up here was at Glenalva, a beautiful light, bright green bordering on light aqua coloured.

I found a blue with a completely colourless end on it once but it was pretty small unfortunately.

#20

mfdes
Member
From: Hobart, TAS
Joined: 18 November 2013
Posts: 585
Member
04 August 2015 02:16 pm

Hi Lefty,

My friend tests them by measuring the specific gravity, the colour ranges of our sapphire, chrysoberyl and zircon can overlap. Particularly pink stones can be either corundum or zircon, evidently much more valuable if corundum.

This locality was pretty much worked out as soon as it was discovered, but was not in a known sapphire-bearing area. The stones in the pictures came from working a couple of cracks in the granite bedrock that everybody else had missed.


SDC 2300. Tasmanian mad about sapphires and gold.
Check out my blog about prospecting in Tasmania: http://www.appleisleprospector.com/

1 user likes this post: Chewy

#21

Explorer385
Member
From: Canberra, ACT
Joined: 02 December 2013
Posts: 345
Member
04 August 2015 05:51 pm

Hi all,

I actually met Kyle at Grabben Gullen a few weeks ago and he showed me the stone in pic 1 & 2 above.

I held it toward the sun and it was not transparent that I could discern. It is a lovely deep blue and in my view would not cut as a gem quality stone but would cut into a nice pendant stone or a cabochon.

I found Kyle to be a nice young bloke, eager to learn and I think that he will make a great addition to this forum.

The stone is not "valuable" as in gem quality but would make a nice stone for a collection and should have some sentimental value as one of his first finds.

I encourage him to make contact with the Lapidary club as invited to do by FossickerACT.

Terry


Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to fossick in the rain

#22

Heatho
Moderator
From: Sydney, NSW
Joined: 29 April 2013
Posts: 9,703
Moderator
04 August 2015 06:53 pm

mfdes wrote:

A couple of pictures from two trips to this location with pale sapphires. There is also zircon and estatite in the picture. This area is currently under exploration licence for gemstones, so you need permision. The shallow alluvial is also very worked out, but the licence holder is exploring larger targets of deeper alluvials. The largest sapphire we found is about 17 carats:

https://www.prospectingaustralia.com.au … 014_pa.jpg

https://www.prospectingaustralia.com.au … 14_pa3.jpg

They look similar to the colour of Montana Sapphires to me mfdes, would be keen to see some more Tassie stones.

Although the ones in the pic below are quite dark they are my favouite sapph colour, Inverell Royal Blue........ They are only about 4ct each but they should hopefully cut very nicely. Barney has another one of mine the same colour, hopefully he cuts it soon and I'll post a pic of it.

1438675087_20141007_155806.jpg

Another of my fav colours is the almost electric Blue at the bottom of this pic, it's only small but a real stunner.

1438675367_20140913_122242.jpg

Last edited by Heatho (04 August 2015 07:03 pm)


Minelab GPX 5000, SDC2300, CTX3030, Pro-Find-25, patience, lot's of patience.

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#23

Heatho
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From: Sydney, NSW
Joined: 29 April 2013
Posts: 9,703
Moderator
04 August 2015 07:10 pm

Here's a really light one from Inverell, pity about the Iron staining on it though.

1438675713_20131120_173821.jpg

Love this too.....

1438675797_20131120_173449.jpg


Minelab GPX 5000, SDC2300, CTX3030, Pro-Find-25, patience, lot's of patience.

3 users like this post: grubstake, Twapster, silver

#24

mfdes
Member
From: Hobart, TAS
Joined: 18 November 2013
Posts: 585
Member
04 August 2015 07:32 pm

Heatho wrote:

They look similar to the colour of Montana Sapphires to me mfdes, would be keen to see some more Tassie stones.

Not that I normally like to blow my own trumpet too much, but here you go: http://www.appleisleprospector.com/gallery/sapphires/

All from NE Tasmania


SDC 2300. Tasmanian mad about sapphires and gold.
Check out my blog about prospecting in Tasmania: http://www.appleisleprospector.com/

1 user likes this post: grubstake

#25

mfdes
Member
From: Hobart, TAS
Joined: 18 November 2013
Posts: 585
Member
04 August 2015 07:34 pm

Hi Kyle,

In summary after all the discussion: don't get discouraged, some Australian sapphire is world class. But like anything else, killer ones are few and far between. I find I enjoy the fun of fossicking more than what they might be worth, but everyone is different.

Best of luck!


SDC 2300. Tasmanian mad about sapphires and gold.
Check out my blog about prospecting in Tasmania: http://www.appleisleprospector.com/



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