As Christmas time approaches and the accumulation of gifts occur, it reminds me of the abundance of lapidary material we had to choose from in the early days of lapidary. This, of course, was in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Now fossicking is quite different from those early days as many of the deposits have been dug out or closed to fossicking because of housing developments, National Parks and ‘no go’ areas.
The varieties of gemstone material in those days, within a few hours drive of Brisbane, included Petrified Wood along with Agate from Ipswich, Tweed River, Nerang River, Beerburrum Creek and Redcliffe Peninsula to name a few. Then there was multi-coloured Jasper from Wongawallen, Kenilworth and the deep green Jasper from the Tweed Valley area.
Thunder-eggs were gathered in various sizes from both north and south of Brisbane. A couple of hours north we could dig Thunder-eggs outside Eumundi. To the south the variety of spots were numerous, such as in Perch Creek, Cedar Creek, Canungra and Doon Doon Creek.
If you wanted to make a weekend trip for fossicking, there were places such as Hervey Bay for Uranganite, Proston for Garnets, Murgon District for Agate and Jaspers, and Monto for Blue Agate.
Most of these spots are now just a memory, and we seek our lapidary material from commercial sources or friends who have excess material to dispose of. Commercial mining plays a big part in the supply of lapidary material to rockhounds. It is these people, who have set up a business of mining gemstone material by taking out leases of known deposits, who now supply the lapidary hobbyists with their lapidary material.
Much material is also imported from overseas and sold locally by Lapidary/Gemstore businesses. Also, with the assistance of online suppliers, material can be purchased from far off countries which was never available in the past.
Our clubrooms will be closed over the festive period for repairs and maintenance and to give the members who open the workshop every week a well earned break.
If you require any more information about the Mitchelton & Districts Gem Club Inc. please contact John on 3351 1038 or Lloyd on 3351 2093.