A Travellerspoint blog

Day 123 - Wednesday 5 September 2012

Gem Tree

We were up early today as our Zircon Fossicking Tour started at the tool shed at 8:15 am. We were given a spade and a pick, 2 large buckets and a small bucket, 4 sieves, a sorting table, and two 25 litre containers of water. Most important was a small tin for collecting any zircons that we might find. All the other fossickers were going on the Garnet tour, and we were the only ones on the Zircon tour. We followed our guide for 7 kms along the sealed road, then turned off for 10 kms of gravel road to the zircon fossicking area.

Our guide gave us a demonstration of the process of finding zircons – shovel the gravel into a bucket and sieve the gravel while dry to remove all soil and dust. Then transfer the gravel to a smaller sieve and wash the gravel in the first of the large buckets of water, before rinsing the gravel in a second large bucket of water. The gravel was then spread out on the sorting table and we were shown how to recognise the zircons from the other stones.

The Navara at the gemfields

The Navara at the gemfields

Di with all the fossicking equipment

Di with all the fossicking equipment

Di finding treasures on the sorting table with the tin for the collection

Di finding treasures on the sorting table with the tin for the collection

After several tries on the sorting table we were left to our own devices with instructions to be back at the Gem room by 2:30 pm to have our finds evaluated. We kept up the search with breaks for morning tea at about 10:30 am and lunch at 12 noon, before giving up at about 1:30 pm. We had managed to collect quite a few zircons, but in the process we were covered from head to foot with red dust. Back at the Gem room our finds were sorted and classified – we had 1 stone able to be cut into a 5 mm gem, three stones for 4 mm gems and eight stones for 3.25 mm gems. The rest were put in a bag for show and tell.

After much deliberation (Ha Ha) Di decided that the 5 mm stone and two of the 4 mm stones should be set in a ring. The stones will be cut and polished at Gem Tree then the stones will be set in a 9 carat gold ring, before being sent to us by registered mail in early November. David can feel a new camera coming on!

Di's 5 mm Zircon with two 4 mm Zircons and her selected setting

Di's 5 mm Zircon with two 4 mm Zircons and her selected setting

We had such a good time we have decided to stay at Gem Tree for an extra night so that we can do the Garnet Fossicking Tour tomorrow. David thinks that this decision comes with a moderate level of risk!

Frosty, I blame you and Marg for all this - and you too Michelle for egging her on!

Posted by TwoAces 01:05

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Hi David and Di,
I think that you are catching the fossicking bug.
It's great fun, isn't it?
Frosty your Trailblazer twin.

by snowman3195

Yes Frosty, Its already cost me $1,000, goodness knows what it will cost when she moves on to emeralds and sapphires!

by TwoAces

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