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 Post subject: Ultimate prospecting
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:31 pm 
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another story of the Dutch going down under...

The year before my mate had found the spot in the creek. The washing plants of the miners of the past had been sitting along side it up stream. Back in the day when the Russian aristocracy was still alive and kicking the newly discovered Central Queensland Gemfields near Anakie were a real hot spot for prospectors. With the rich Russians and the rest of Europe's 'new industrial money' being grateful buyers, the Rubyvale sapphire miners did good business. News of the new wealth made many a man cart his wheelbarrow to the area by foot, sometimes over several hundreds of kilometers. The locally known wheelbarrow way still testifies of the perseverance of these men. Most of them had tried to make their fortune by gold prospecting down Victoria way or came from goldfields from up north. There's stories of thousands of Chinese diggers as well that tried their luck at the sapphire fields of central Queensland. The first fever was short lived, turmoil in Europe buggered up the market, leaving the miners no place to sell.

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Remnants of the past miners, revealed by metal detecting an old camp, a watch, half a spoon, a glass jar and some tobacco tins.

Working with shovel and pick they dug the earth in search of corundum. Donkey driven puddlers where built to separate the dirt from the goodies. Since water was a necessity, these wash plants were erected near waterholes in the creeks. Waist must have been chucked into the creek, my mate found out…

He found this spot, a little step up in the bedrock crossing the creek from left to right, in front of which he pulled out really good amounts of smaller stuff, up to 5 ct being the usual, but sometimes bigger bits. The step up had acted as a natural sluice and concentrated the corundum and zircon really nicely. We happily joined in and shared the fun. Then the summer came and visas expired. We returned to Europe, leaving our trusted Cruiser behind with an old bushy that promised us to look after our car and so we went, back to Europe to work and save as much money as we could. Five months later, just after the heat and rain had disappeared we were back.

Now, there’s something I have to tell you about miners rules in Australia. If you are working a hole it’s yours. Even though there is ‘designated fossicking areas’ where everybody can dig as long as you are not on somebodies claim, your hole is your hole and nobody should jump in it. The way to tell people the hole is being worked is to leave a bucket in there. If you leave for two years, put a stone on your bucket and there is a fair chance that you’ll find your hole the way you left it. (unless I passed by needing a bucket, but rest assured, I’ll leave your hole alone ;)) Now it was the same with my mates spot. He found it so I’m not jumping in there without him next to me. He was still up north digging for topaz at O’Brians creek and would arrive within a few weeks. So we simply checked it out one time briefly, all was good, the creek had been running during the Wet and the holes where filled up again. We found a different spot to dig out bush and pulled out some nice stones.

But then he returned. After a cheerfull night on the rum we went to the spot in the creek with our Ladies. Both of us jumped into the creek immediately and walked up to our old diggings. The ladies weren’t far behind and while they walked over the ground we just ran over, Bea (my better half) cried out with her australian-dutch, sometimes mistaken for Canadian accent: “I found a gud stone”. “What?”, my mate asked, “you found a good stone?” “No!” she yelled, “I found a cut stone!!!” We had just walked straight past a 1.7 ct yellow sapphire cut to a pear…

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This stone is nowadays hanging off B’s Mums neck on special occasions.

That’s pretty lucky ey? Well… a few months later I was specking the leveled diggings of the past and wasn’t finding all that much that day. We were house keeping the place of a local cutter in town instead of staying at our bush camp so this whole area was pretty new to me. The sun was burning on my back, an army of flies was after my eye juices. I knew my mate was digging in that very creek mentioned above and I decided to walk there to have a yarn and get out of the sun. It was a kilometer away and when walking through sapphire country you better keep your eyes on the ground! So there I went, walking slow and giving my eyes the chance of picking up any color and well known flash of high lustre materials. While walking the computer up stairs suddenly said: “one step back, take one step back!” So I did and sure enough: blue… I could only see two millimeter of it and went to scratch it out. The product of my scratching was a blue sapphire, cut in a pear shape…


Last edited by Tim on Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:48 pm
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Location: florida
Hi


TEHEHE :smt082 , when you told that story in the chats , i laughed and thought about the people that found cz's coming from heaven , and thought you may of had one too many

Now hearing your story :oops: ,i never thought of someone losing a stone and you finding it :roll: :lol:

WOW thats so cool only lucky people find rough gems and you my friend find cut stones :smt033 LOL

you are a great story teller keep em coming :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:42 pm
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well, I found a cut cz once too... Metal detecting a camp site in the dark, caught the dispersion with my head torch. Got excited for a bit as well, thought I found a 9mm diamond SRB. but that's not really worth a story...


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:19 am 
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Location: Rome, Italy
Hey Indi, Nice story!! :smt025
ciao
alberto

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