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#1

ktmman
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From: The bush, QLD
Joined: 06 May 2014
Posts: 833
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19 October 2014 08:46 pm

1413711842_20141019_151303.jpg1413710705_jodie_amethyst.jpg1413710762_20141014_202642.jpg1413710860_20141014_203718.jpg1413710890_20141014_205131.jpg1413710954_20141019_151612.jpg1413710979_20141019_181037.jpg1413711016_20141007_191129.jpg1413711041_20141014_203016.jpg1413711192_20141019_151728.jpg1413711234_20141019_181212.jpg

Had heaps of fun digging for these over the last few weeks.
Still plenty to be found if you don't mind finding smaller crystals,which the kids certainly didn't.


X-Terra 705 , Deteknix pinpointer , Tyger digger, Determination!

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#2

Lefty
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Joined: 01 May 2014
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19 October 2014 10:18 pm

Did well there Richard! Good stuff!

I was going to go down for a dig next weekend, definately going now! smile

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#3

richo966
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Joined: 06 October 2013
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22 October 2014 08:22 am

nice stuff mate keep them coming for us working stiffs cry cry cry cry

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#4

ktmman
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From: The bush, QLD
Joined: 06 May 2014
Posts: 833
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22 October 2014 05:59 pm

richo966 wrote:

nice stuff mate keep them coming for us working stiffs cry cry cry cry

Ha ha,don't worry mate,I'm a working stiff like you.
But ya got to have something to do on the weekend and this beats sitting round the house watching the box.


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#5

richo966
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23 October 2014 06:15 am

can hardly walk on weekends still feel the wip marks wink

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#6

Lefty
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23 October 2014 06:27 am

I'm going to head down to Lowmead on Sunday for a dig. Might catch you there if you're there Richard. Trying to convince the missus to come but she is allergic to fun things like that big_smile

Regards
Jason

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#7

ktmman
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From: The bush, QLD
Joined: 06 May 2014
Posts: 833
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23 October 2014 07:18 am

I'd love to get up there again on Sunday but not sure what plans we have yet.
My wife loves going up for a dig,she sits in the dirt with the kids and sieves away.
I always make sure to throw anything I find in the hole into her sieve to keep her interest high lol

Regards Richard


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#8

Lefty
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23 October 2014 12:58 pm

LOL, I'll have to try that one! big_smile

Cheers

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#9

ktmman
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From: The bush, QLD
Joined: 06 May 2014
Posts: 833
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27 October 2014 05:28 pm

Hey Jason

Did you get down for a dig on Sunday?

Hope you did well mate.

Richard


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#10

Lefty
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Joined: 01 May 2014
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27 October 2014 08:54 pm

Gday Richard.

Didn't do real good on Sunday mate. Nothing facettable except a few small pieces of clear quartz. Everything coloured was too cracked and I didn't get a lot of that either. But then, that's fossicking - hit and miss smile

However, while it's too cracked to cut, the colour of this crystal pleased me. First proper crystal of this I've found there.

15014780993_1bc16ec810_c.jpg

I would love a nice big clean crystal that colour or a little deeper. They have to be there somewhere. Few little bits of purple like this...

15448996067_e4e5da5bb2_c.jpg

...but that was about it this time.

I'm interested in better understanding the geology behind the formation of quartz crystals of gem quality, might give me a few ideas. The very coarse sand at Lowmead has to be decomposed granite - the area is surrounded by granite peaks and most times I've dug there I've hit patches of broken granite pebbles. The hard floor that the thin band of quartz gravel is sitting on I guess is decomposing granite as well - you can scrape into the top with a shovel but you don't get far before it is less like sand and more like rock.

Mate of mine has a geology degree (though never worked in the field). He lives in Adelaide and has not visited Lowmead but suggests that the crystals might have actually formed in bands and veins of gneiss criss-crossing the area. My geology isn't well-informed enough to know whether this is the case here. If there are veins of the stuff in reach of surface digging, maybe there are bigger, more intact crystals embedded in it?

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#11

ktmman
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From: The bush, QLD
Joined: 06 May 2014
Posts: 833
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27 October 2014 10:00 pm

I've noticed the same Lefty,I would say at some point in time the crystals weathered out of the granite and mixed with the topsoil.
The underlying granite has continued to weather under the top gravel band into the more solid base,which is the white hard clay substraight.
I found a smokey quartz pocket in the hard white layer a few trips back,there was about 10-12 pieces of varying quality in a 15cm area about 10cm above the hard granite base.

When your in the gravel layer the orange sand seems to hold some of the better pieces,my brother found such a layer last week and he got
maybe 15 pieces of amethyst in a small area.As soon as he exhausted the orange pocket he stopped finding crystals.
Though quite often there will be nothing in that layer,just need to be lucky and find the decomposed pocket.

Hope to get out there again in about 4 weeks and continue the research smile

Regards Richard


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#12

Lefty
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27 October 2014 10:23 pm

I found a smokey quartz pocket in the hard white layer a few trips back,there was about 10-12 pieces of varying quality in a 15cm area about 10cm above the hard granite base.

Interesting, I've come across a couple of pockets in the hard floor filled with quartz, though I can't recall getting much good out of them. Sounds like they might have been vugs that have weathered and broken down and the crystals are still sitting there in situ.

I was a bit closer toward the creek this time and there was no orange sand in this hole at all. In the last hole up near the road I found crystals all the way from the surface to the floor but in this hole there was nothing at all but pure sand until just above the hard floor when the shovel began to make that distinctive crunching, grinding noise that lets you know there's suddenly plenty of gravel in what your shovelling.

In a couple of spots I've come across, the gravel is mainly composed of small pieces of broken granite. In such spots I've generally found nothing. As long as what what you're sieving out of the sand is comprised mainly of pieces of quartz, I think you stand a chance. Follow the quartz seems to be the rule. Which makes sense I guess seeing as that's the stuff we're after in it's nicest looking form.

No fossicking this weekend. Next weekend I'll be down your way at the Bundy gem show, dad wants to buy a trim saw. Might catch you there? smile

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#13

ktmman
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From: The bush, QLD
Joined: 06 May 2014
Posts: 833
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27 October 2014 10:32 pm

I will definitely be at the Bundy show, not sure which day or time yet.
Let me know what day you are going and will see if we can catch up there.
This weekend it's off to Kingaroy to visit the parents and Windera on the way home for some (Hopefully) moss agate.


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#14

Lefty
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10 November 2014 01:56 pm

Called in at the Bundy gem show. Dad picked up his trim saw, I bought a few blank silver findings.

Went down to Lowmead yesterday. Finally found something that I reckon has a facettable stone in it - a smokey amethyst crystal a bit larger than the end joint of a man's thumb. Like almost all of them from Lowmead it is cracked but there's enough clean material in it for a decent stone I think. Will post a photo when I can get my home computer internet functioning again.

I shifted to a new spot after digging in the last hole I dug for a couple of hours and finding nothing. The quartz layer in the new hole was mainly orange quartz rather than white. The smokey amethyst popped up on the end of the shovel - most of the bigger bits I've found there were spotted as they fell out of the quartz layer rather than finding them in the sieve. Also got a flat piece of ametrine - not too cracked but too flat to do anything with unfortunately.

#15

ktmman
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From: The bush, QLD
Joined: 06 May 2014
Posts: 833
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10 November 2014 03:58 pm

Sounds like you did well mate.
I'm heading up on Sunday for one last dig for the year.Hoping to find a decent size Amethyst crystal to go with all
the smokies I've found.
Looking forward to seeing your pic's smile


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#16

Lefty
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11 November 2014 08:13 am

Cheers mate. I'm gonna try and be there on Sunday - I think we've been pretty lucky with the temperatures so far. The real nasty heat has pretty much held off for us, it would normally be scorching by now.

Good luck, might catch you there smile

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#17

Lefty
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13 November 2014 06:44 am

Smokey amethyst crystal from last Sunday.

15589521478_42b8e7873c_c.jpg

It's badly cracked but I showed it to one of the faceting teachers at the club last night. He said he would be able to facet two stones from it. Like Barney's green quartz, the stones retrieved would only be fairly small because of all the cracks but there is definately facetable material in it nonetheless. Now I have a better idea of which crystals from Lowmead are just specimens and which ones might ultimately be able to be cut and set.

Going back again on Saturday - in fact, the only thing that will really stop me is rain. It's been remarkably mild here in central QLD thus far, we're only a couple of weeks from what is normally the hottest month of the year and it really hasn't been all that hot. Bought a bunch of those cooling scarves yesterday, you soak them in water for 10 minutes and they absorb it and swell up and when you wear them around your neck they sit up against the spots where you have major blood vessels close to the surface and help dissapate excess heat. I'll keep them in a little esky with frozen water bottles to keep them cold and just keep changing hem over as they start to warm up. Anything to allow me to keep fossicking as temperatures rise out of the comfortable zone smile

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#18

Dedicated luck
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Joined: 16 February 2014
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26 November 2014 01:55 pm

Gday guys,
Iv never been to lowmead and recently after the missis left iv found my self needing a hobby and have taking up prospecting. Im located in gladstone and was thinking of going to lowmead for a try. I have no idear where to go, what I should take, what I'm looking for, and how to do it as iv never gone gem prospecting before. Any help is muchly apprciated
Thanks nath

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#19

Lefty
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Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 1,103
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26 November 2014 11:04 pm

Hi Nath. Sorry to hear that mate.

If you want to try for a few amethyst/smokey/citrine crystals, the Lowmead digginsg are easy to find and the digging is relatively easy.

If you can find a map to Clarkey's petrol-head paradise (you would have seen the signs up around Gladstone recently for the big extreme 4WD bash they just had there) then you're set - you have to drive right past the diggings on either side of Clarke's road to get to Clarkey's. If you can't just let us know and I'll post directions here. It's only around 30 minutes the other side of Miriam Vale on a road coming off the old back road to Bundy (the one that goes past Baffle creek way).

The crystals are not hard to find but most will be badly cracked. There are definately a few facetable ones there though.

Cheers.

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#20

Dedicated luck
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Joined: 16 February 2014
Posts: 27
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27 November 2014 11:44 am

Thanks for that lefty muchly appreciated.
Are the diggins easily identified?
I read somewhere on the net permission is needed is this true?
Are there any other spots around the area with in couple hours of gladstone where you can try your luck?
Thanks again nath

#21

Lefty
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Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 1,103
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27 November 2014 10:10 pm

No permission needed for Lowmead, it's a general permission area even though half of the diggings are on private property and the half on the other side of the road is in state forest.

To get to the diggings, go to Miriam Vale and head down the Fingerboard road to Agnes-1770. At the end of the Fingerboard where the service station is, where you would turn left to go to Agnes, turn right instead and head toward Baffle creek/Bundaberg, you will see signs to Lowmead. Turn down Gorge road.

The bitumen runs out and you drive through mountainous country. Eventually, you come to a T-junction and on the corner is the little Lowmead school. The town (about 8 houses and a pub) is a few km past the school to the left but you will turn right at the T-junction. After a few km you will see a railway bridge going over the road and just before it is the turnoff - Clarke's road. There should be a sign for Clarkey's petrol-head paradise from memory.

Continue down Clarke's road a short distance and look carefully - you will see diggings everywhere on either side of the road, most of them are old. If you get to Clarkey's, you've gone too far.

The crystals are in a thin band of broken quartz (mixed with sand) between half a metre and a metre down, resting on a hard basement. Digging is easy, you can do it all with a shovel pretty much. A throw sieve is a good idea.

Another place is Riverslea crossing, on the Fitzroy west of Rocky. Go out through Gracemere, out past Westwood and turn off the highway at Gogango and cross the railway line, you will see signs to Riverslea. It's about 15km down the road from Gogango. When you see a property sign for Riverslea station, don't go straight ahead to the property. Follow the bend in the road to the left and the river crossing is not far away. You can find petrified wood and agate on the gravel banks at the river crossing.

Hope that helps smile

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#22

Lefty
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Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 1,103
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06 December 2014 05:48 pm

I guess the weather scuttled your plans for a Lowmead dig this weekend Nath? sad

If it fines up and you go by next weekend - Capricornia forecast is for showers and storms every day for the next five or six days - I would definately reccomend taking a drum of washing water, the gravel will surely have a coat of fine, wet clay.

#23

Dedicated luck
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Joined: 16 February 2014
Posts: 27
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07 December 2014 10:01 pm

Gday lefty
I accually did manage to get down.. didnt do to glash but was happy with first ever trip. Got the idear need to get to ghe hard botom and they will be above that! Will yhey be in that harder base aswell? Enjoyed my self and cant wait to get back up there.

Ps. Not sure how to opload photos haha smile

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#24

ktmman
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From: The bush, QLD
Joined: 06 May 2014
Posts: 833
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07 December 2014 10:25 pm

Good to hear you got down there for a dig.
We found that there are crystals in the harder white material that sits on the granite,though not as many to find.
I found the easiest way to upload photos is to use an app on my phone to reduce the picture size to under 1024Kb.
Then load the reduced photo onto my desktop and upload from there.
Hope to see some photos of your finds.

Richard


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#25

Lefty
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Joined: 01 May 2014
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08 December 2014 06:43 am

Dedicated luck wrote:

Gday lefty
I accually did manage to get down.. didnt do to glash but was happy with first ever trip. Got the idear need to get to ghe hard botom and they will be above that! Will yhey be in that harder base aswell? Enjoyed my self and cant wait to get back up there.

Ps. Not sure how to opload photos haha smile

Good stuff mate. How lucky you are at finding gemstones has a lot to do with how persistent you are at going out looking for them. Just keep at it and you'll start turning stuff up smile

Hey Richard, have you seen the big crystal on the display shelf behind the bar of the pub? I've only been inside once and not noticed but I've been told there's a very large one on display there.


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