Here I am at Sapphire…a place Facebook cannot seem to locate when I add photos….a small town where tourists are busily washing bags of dirt searching for seeded scraps of Sapphire.
I have now spent a full day sitting in the flooded Retreat creek washing rocks and finding not a hint of color or ironstone which is an indication that sapphires are around. Then I washed a $10 bag of wash at Moniques mine and found a few slivers of green sapphire. Yesterday I spent at another one, name starts with A… where I got a miserable collection of what was identified as Garnet from Hasts Range in NT despite the owner telling me they did not seed their wash buckets when I was disappointed with the few stones I found. I then went to Pats Gems where I found even fewer stones in their $8 bag. The floods have lost the stones it appears, in the wash buckets as well as the river.
Last week the area was totally flooded….as high as the Caravan Park and many small homes under water
All was fun though…I had a hamburger, fed the birds and went back to where I was staying
Peter and Debbie Chalmers welcome you to the sapphire fields of CentralQueensland, Australia. Our mine is located near Sapphire, on the easternside of the “Big Bessie” fossicking area. Using the links (to the left) youwill be able to find out everything you need to know about fossicking forsapphires and zircons at the Gemfields, see some of the truly Australian gemstones mined and faceted at Blue Hollow Mine that we have for sale in our Jewellery Shop, learn about sapphires, our local events and history, wildlife in the area and much more. If you have a particular area of interest you would like to know about, use our on-site search facility.
Sapphire is approx. 950km, by road, from Brisbane. (Capital city of Queensland, Australia)
To visit the Gemfields, follow the highway up the east coast from Brisbane to Rockhampton, then the Capricorn Highway west from Rockhampton to the Anakie intersection (42km west of Emerald). Sapphire is 10km to the north
With a name like that you can only guess what can be found. There is a sense of fun and adventure fossicking for your own sapphires, and absorb the history of this fascinating area. Mined since the late 1800s, the moon-like landscape is as much a part of the lifeblood of Sapphire as the rich treasures in the earth.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Sapphire Gemfields: tours also provide the opportunity to fossick for your own sapphire. Half and full day tours are available. Fossicking areas include ”Graves Hill” and ”Big Bessie”.
The Big Ring, Big Spanner and Big Pick and Shovel can all be found in and around Sapphire.
Sapphire, originally called Sapphiretown, has developed into a commercial hub offering a variety of facilities and services including a medical centre, multi-purpose centre, mining equipment sales and tyre service. Visit the Piano Tuners Grave at Retreat Creek.