panning for sapphires.

Discussion in 'Prospecting & Detecting' started by shinymetal, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. shinymetal

    shinymetal Well-Known Member

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    hey everybody :)
    thought i would write a little post about my first prospecting trip,
    me and a mate were traveling back from QLD towards VIC and we stopped at Grabben Gullen Ck.
    a little bit out of the way, but we spent 3 days camping by the creek in the middle of nowhere.
    having never done any prospecting before had no idea what we were doing, and pretty much rocked up with a few pans and a kitchen strainer. (ok laugh it up.. it is pretty funny.)
    thank Jebus that there were other people down by the creek that gave us some valuable advice and also lent us some gear.
    on our second day we drove back to goulburn to see if we could scrounge us up some sieves so we didn't have to borrow other folks gear.
    looked around a few shops, disposals had 2 new metal sieves for $80.. different sizes so big rocks in the top one and smaller in the bottom. that seemed ok. it was what everyone else was using with success.
    but we also checked out a second hand shop to see if they had anything.. we ended up finding this big old wooden sieve that belonged to a woman who lived around the area a long time ago. the woman who they got it from died at the age of 87, and the sieve belonged to her mother. and has a local family name "DUFFY" painted in black on the side.. probably not going to be as easy to use or as successful, but we decided to buy it regardless. and called it "big duffy" can't resist old stuff..(goulburn seems to have quite a few really good antiquing shops.
    we found a few little blue and green sapphires, nothing very impressive, the biggest we got is about 2ct. bit of a bomb. but never the less, i was quite happy sitting by the river digging holes.
    my friend and i, both being 27 years old found our selves quite a bit younger than the other folks down there, everyone was nice thou. we did get some funny looks when we pulled up with a surfboard on the roof though. lol
    as far as the trip goes. well :) worth the detour for a few days of washing rocks. i look forward to going out to other places and finding other stuff in the near future
    (if anyone wants to drop some hints in here about different places to sieve / pan for gold / shiny rocks... that would be appreciated. i'm a bit of a noob and need to be pointed in the right direction)
    thank you.
    shiny
    edit to change post name.
     
  2. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Thanks for sharing.

    I'm not sure if people would tell you their private fossicking spots.

    I've done that once and what a disaster...so much for friends (Ex friend) that can keep a secret. :( "Never Again"

    My advice would be...if you do discover a location that yields stones...keep-it-to-yourself.

    And...don't be scared of trying to work-out potentially new locations that no one has ever tried; if you can read a topographical map and a soil / geology map you could find some decent stones or even gold...I have. :D

    There's plenty of public fossicking reserves to try your luck.

    To find more info, try to get a book from your local library called:

    How & Where To Find Gemstones by Bill Myatt - ISBN 0 7254 0837 5

    The book has plenty of advice of how to sieve for precious stones and best of all... locations. :)

    Also, try google some of the government departments as they can help you find locations...here's an example:

    http://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/mining/fossicking
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  3. boston

    boston Active Member Silver Stacker

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    Whilst I have not tried it, I have heard from a geologist that I used to work with many years ago that Emerald, Gembrook and Cardinia have emeralds.

    And Mt Eliza, both sides of the Nepean Hwy has gold and sapphires(?) from memory.

    Good luck with the fossicking. :)
     
  4. menotcrimex

    menotcrimex Member Silver Stacker

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    IIt was along time ago but I drove to Emerald and then to Sapphire.

    The internet wasn't big back then but the town names gave me a big clue. I was young, on my own and not a care in the world. Most of the hitch hikers I had picked up driving north were going to party in the Whitsunday Islands but I had my heart set on having a bit of a dig.

    I only spent a week prospecting but I got up early and dug all day. I met up with an local and a french fella and
    We would enjoy a few cold beers in the evening after getting cleaned up.
    I got an awesome sun tan and found lots of tiny stuff and one pretty big dark blue sapphire.

    I had the stone cut about 5 years later and set into a ring for my wife to be. The girls think its very romantic!

    Over the years that sapphire has flown hundreds of thousands of miles with us as we used to travel a lot....all from a little hole in the ground from almost the middle of nowhere.

    Good luck
     
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  5. ScottyRS

    ScottyRS New Member

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    That is amazing. I'd love to have a go at this... in the future i'm going to give it a shot!
     
  6. silversearcher

    silversearcher Active Member Silver Stacker

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    Try Eldorado Victoria - Reedy Creek. Plenty of gems and gold panning. Find the right spot plenty of gold can be found. Best to use a sluice box ( non mechanical ). As for gems there are plenty to be found, from Citrine, Smokey Quartz, Agates and topaz. Best time is when it rains. Just walk the gravel banks and stones mentioned will sparkle and shine when wet. If your into metal detecting try rock crevices, but you'll pull more grams per day wheelbarrowing material through a sluice. Don't use a pissy little sluice. Mine is over 6 foot long and a wide mouth, the name of the game is the more material moved the more gold. Lots of shoveling is required usually in sweltering heat ( so I hope you are fit, this is not for the faint hearted ). No dogs or guns allowed, as it is a national park. A real shame, now I have to hunt elsewhere. There is a caravan park located in the township of Eldorado, and the owner Doug is a great bloke. Or you can camp near the creek beds...Hope this helps.

    Cheers....
     
  7. shinymetal

    shinymetal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads up! I'm still recovering from an injury from this winters snow season..
    Probably will be for a few more months, once I'm mended i'm keen as mustard to get some dig on.
    Probably retire big Duffy as a wall hanger and get some new gear.
    I've spent enough time looking at videos.. Reckon I'm an expert now!! :p
     

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