Rivista Italiana di Gemmologia #2: Available NOW in English - September 2017; See Gemological Articles below for full details!
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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:48 pm 
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Working on more tales. This trip was just a blast. Multiple stops in several states. Some bad news for the artisan miners. MSHA is playing safety games and it's not going to turn out well. Basically you won't be able to run a pay to dig sites. So miners lose, tourists lose, revenues drop and no one wins. Any way busy trying to write down before I forget. I'm getting old, hard to remember what I ate for breakfast.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:49 am 
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Some bad news for the artisan miners. MSHA is playing safety games and it's not going to turn out well. Basically you won't be able to run a pay to dig sites.


Yeah, it sucks :(

So many private pay to dig spots have closed down here due to litigation or fear of it. Apart from the sapphire fields and opal fields which are administered by government, there'll end up being nothing left open.


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:31 pm 
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Hi,. New tales of the roaming prospector.

Here's the link to the file:

https://1drv.ms/w/s!AvveM45G3FkOgUYI3tw3t4aPKtaj

Shared from Word for Android
https://office.com/getword

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:47 pm 
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Hey, Dan - quite the trip! Thanks for the write-up.

Regarding the Emerald Creek garnet - the round stones are great, unless you want to cut them for stars. The silk area for the star is normally in the center of the crystal in the Idaho occurrence, so the broken pieces are much better for cutting.

Allan in Meridian, Idaho

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:28 am 
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That's great info! I would have never thought it would be that way. Figured it was a surface quality but really had no idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Dan&Sally wrote:
Hi,. New tales of the roaming prospector.

Here's the link to the file:

https://1drv.ms/w/s!AvveM45G3FkOgUYI3tw3t4aPKtaj

Shared from Word for Android
https://office.com/getword


Goddammit Dan, I am jealous now! :D Every fibre of my being is twitching to get out on a prospecting trip like that!


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:52 pm 
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Lefty, I really had plans to do prospecting of formations I researched and mapped out. I have a note book full of GPS and map coordinates. I didn't have the time so I did the best I could.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:36 pm 
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This is not my tale but still a rather amusing prospectors tale to tell, one of an eccentric character that went by the name ‘Darkie Garnet’ who was a very success full gold prospector turned sapphire miner on the central Queensland gem fields. I was never quite sure how to put the story down, but his antics always make me smile. But while looking through the national newspaper archive I came across his name. and a further search came up with this 1935 newspaper article. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/artic ... by=dateAsc
So instead of re writing the story I have transcribed this from an article called “Australia is a land of Precious Stones “in the newspaper correcting it best I can. The main article is more than just about ‘Darkie Garnet’ but the gem fields themselves. I thought that some of that article was worth keeping tagged on to the story.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

GEMS ALL THE WAY
While E. L. Mitchell — we had better call him Ernie for short — was wandering between the two capes — York and Leeuwin — he managed to strike all the places where men were digging for gems. Our average Australian does not know that we have gem fields, that some of them are world famous, and that one at least is starred as the world's best. Ernie contrived to see them all — or nearly all — he hasn't seen my Weld Ranges field yet, but hopes to have a look at it when London loosens up a bit on the price of wheat.

THE SAPPHIRE FIELD
It was Anakie in Queensland that blooded Ernie in gems. He breezed in there with his camera prepared to take pictures — with or without the canary and smile — and he found business in plenty. Anakie was up to its neck, so to speak, in sapphires ; money was plentiful, and photographs, this way and that, were not a luxury but a suddenly remembered necessity for the home-going mail.
Anakie was a town 200 miles west of Rockhampton and Ernie reached there just after the prospectors found, not gold for which they were looking, but sapphires. There was the usual prospectors' town with which we are familiar in the West. There was a bush store, a pub, and a tree in the centre of the main street to which any obstreperous and objectionable person was fastened with a bullock chain to await the occasional visit of the far away mounted policeman. Mostly the man who was over the odds was released sick, sore and sorry, long be before the constable arrived.
The sapphire field loomed into notoriety with the suddenness of all rich mineral fields. In one week there were 1200 men there. ' All were busy and many were geting sapphires* The work was what we are accustomed to on our goldfields. The sapphires were found in the alluvial, all on or near the surface, and were recovered by sieving the dirt.
In the first week there were seven German buyers there, not one of whom could speak English and for whom Ernie had to act as interpreter. It was a great sapphire field. Writing in 1922 Isadore Kozminsky, of Melbourne, Australia's foremost expert in precious jems, gave it as his opinion 'that the sapphire fields of Anakie, Central Queensland, bid fair to become one of the biggest in the world.'

THE SAPPHIRE FAMILY
Ernie becomes enthusiastic when he recalls Anakie and sapphires. And there is good reason. William Rands and B. Dunstan, Government geologists of Queensland, reporting on the field said: 'The field is a large one; the extent of the sapphire wash is second to none in the world, and a constant supply of stones can be maintained. Stones the equal of those from Burma have been found, but' the stones do not get fair treatment overseas. Most of them are sent to Germany. The best are there sold under foreign names, and the inferior ones traded off as 'Australian.' '
Large sapphires are more frequently found than large rubies, and an expert, Dr. Chambers, mentions one sapphire discovered in 1653 in alluvium a few miles from Ratnapoora, in India. It was sold for over £4,000.
Another, three inches long, was noted as being in the possession of Sir Abram Hume, of Britain. The 'Hope Sapphire,' exhibited at the London Exhibition of 1857, was blue by daylight and amethyst color by night light. The last heard of this gem was that it was in the possession of the Czars of Russia. Heaven and the dealers only know where it is now.
Other large sapphires known in history include one of 950 carats in the King of Ava's treasury in 1827 ; the 132 carats Raspoli rough sapphire in the Jar din des- Plantes, and a Duke of Devonshire's gem weighing 100 carats..
The sapphire, which is generally found in alluvial wash, has a big family. In association with it are found some of all of the following : — Diamonds, sapphire (blue), Oriental ruby (red), Oriental topaz (yellow), Oriental peridox (green). Oriental chrysoberyl (vellowish green), Oriental amethyst (purple), cat's eye (smoky), Oriental moonstone (pearly), spinal ruby, pleonsate, garnet, pyrope, zircon varieties, jargoon (white and yellow) . hyacinth . - (brown and red), quartz varieties, rock ' crystal (colorless), amethyst (purple), cairngorm (smoky), Chalcedony_ varieties, cornelian (red and yellow), jasper varieties: black (lydian stone) and red and brown, Rintile in quartz pebbles, topaz (white), magnetite, titanic iron magnesite, tourmaline and hornblende.
When you read through that list. you think you have about exhausted Mr Mitchell's list of precious stones. But you haven't. It is certainly remarkable that so many gems are found in association with the sapphire. Ceylon, Siam and India and Australia are the homes of the sapphire and it is around the Asiatic countries that most of the legends of the stone centre
Among the ancients the sapphire had ascribed to it many virtues and magical influence. The very old writers said that he who gazes into a sapphire will charm away all threatened Injury to his eyes and one Marbodus recommended that a sapphire dissolved in milk would take the sting from dimmed eyes. We have opticians in Perth who are skilled in their game, who have cheaper remedies for the rectifying of our disabled eyes than the application of dissolved sapphires !
So much by the way . of discursive talk on the main group of precious stones and my good friend Ernie tires of Anakie and sapphires and wants to push along'. He lingers long enough, however, to mention that on that 'field was found a golden yellow sapphire that went to Russia to be incorporated in the imperial crown of the Czars. Where it is today, Ernie does not know and only the gem dealers of Europe could tell us — if they would !

Attachment:
Men and children sieving for sapphires at Anakie Queensland 1913.jpg
Men and children sieving for sapphires at Anakie Queensland 1913.jpg [ 97.01 KiB | Viewed 55 times ]

Men and children sieving for sapphires at Anakie Queensland 1913 courtesy of the 'State library Queensland'.

THE LUCKY MAN
Anakie had many lucky men, as, indeed, all fields where gold or precious stones are found must have. Perhaps the' star among them was the man who banked £12,000 in three month's'. His
name? Even Mitchell does not remember, and says that he doesn't think he ever knew. The man was known as 'Darkie.'
'Darkie' was an old gold prospector. He knew all about gold, but nothing about gems. He heard of the Anakie discovery and thought it was up to him to give it the 'once over.' He made a barrow for himself, with an old mine pulley wheel for motive traction— a one horse vehicle common in old Coolgardie days. On his barrow he loaded his swag and his food supplies and he footed the 60 miles that lay between his gold mining proposition and the gem field. He got to Anakie and the alluvial mining was pie to him. His luck was phenomenal. He struck gems straight away and became known as 'Darkie Garnet'— the darkie was for his sun-tanned complexion and the garnet for the first big stone he found. -
After a few months of prosperity 'Darkie'? took a trip to Sydney and spent his money right royally there. Each day, among other extravagances, he hired a German street band to play for him while he took around the hat among the listeners, to supplement his hiring fee. He must surely have been the forerunner of the storied New York and Chicago gangsters, because while in Sydney he hired a hefty ex-policeman as his bodyguard while he went around the slums by night. One of his favourite diversions was to go into a bar and shoot into smithereens a row of bottles and pay on the spot for the damage.


That’s one story of quite a few of ‘Darkie’s’ rather eccentric behaviour that I have come across over the years. One version of his Sydney trip mentioned he had so many musicians following him from bar to bar that even the salvation army struggled to get a band together.
And as far as I know, even today they hold a biannual wheel barrow derby held on the Gem fields in memory of Darkie Garnet.


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