Interesting Forum Links

October 31, 2005

One of the advantages of the internet is the vast amount of information on offer for a variety of topics – a useful way of sifting through this information is finding an authoritative and active forum on your topic of interest. In the course of our travels on the information superhighway, we have found a small number of forums that we return to again and again. We recommend that if you have an interest in gems and/or jewellery that you take a look at these: – this is a brand new forum but one with heaps of activity and lots of very knowledgeable contributors. We certainly dont claim to be experts ourselves but we enjoy posting on this one (as Aussie Sapphire) and are learning a lot about all sorts of gemology matters. Highly recommended.

Australian Gemstones Bulletin Board – this forum has a lower level of activity but it is hard to find a forum that caters to Australian gem-lovers. We post here under the name lonewoodminer so why dont you take a look and join in. There are some keen fossickers here who can give you lots of great advice on where to go and what to look for.

Jewelry and Gemstones on – this forum also does not have a high level of activity but there are some regular posters here who have a wealth of knowledge about jewellery. We only rarely post here (as Aussie Sapphire) but we look in from time to time to keep up with things.

Coloured Stone forum on Pricescope – this forum has a strict no commercial posting policy (rigorously enforced) so, as a dealer in gemstones, we are not able to post on this one. However, for the consumer, it is one of the best forums around for ideas and advice on jewellery using coloured stones (and diamonds). Very active with a number of regular posters who are passionate about gems. If you are considering any purchase or jewellery design job, I recommend that you take a look in here.

Hope this is of interest to you – if you would like to make you own recommendations, please feel free to add your own comments and suggestions.

Cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire


Minor Website Revisions

October 29, 2005

Just announcing a few very minor updates to our website. As previously announced in a recent blog post, we have published our full jewellery catalogue online. Therefore, we have revised the Jewellery section within our online shop pages so they directly link to the new catalogue instead. Please contact us if you have any questions about the new system for ordering jewellery – the catalogue lists our retail prices which are already very low but internet customers can take an additional 10% off the listed price. Trade customers should contact us for wholesale pricing. We intend to put selected items from the catalogue on our Ebay Store from time to time so keep an eye out there for some great special offers.

We have added a couple of new pictures to the Photo Gallery – one of a very spectacular 85 carat dog tooth crystal found on the Wellingrove Creek some 30 years ago – it was recently dug out of the back of the safe by a mining colleague and soon found a new home with a very keen collector. Small version of the photo is at left – follow the photo gallery link to access the large version.

Much of our rough is being offered at our Ebay Store and we intend to revise the catalogues on our main website to cater for the specialist collector type stone with more photos and detailed descriptions on these more valuable items. This job will be done as time permits so in the meantime, please bear with us during this transition period while we reorganise things. We have had good enquiry for these more unusual items and we enjoy unearthing these treasures.

That is all for now – if you have any suggestions for topics of future articles, just let us know and we will do our best to oblige.
cheers from Aussie Sapphire

Jewellery Catalogue now online

October 25, 2005

Aussie Sapphire is proud to present the catalogue of our total range of jewellery featuring sapphire, black spinel and zircon from our own mine. This has been a massive effort involving photographing the whole range and creating the catalogue – just finished the job yesterday. While there will be ongoing improvements, we have uploaded it now so you can start browsing straight away. The catalogue is presented as a website (linked to our main website) or as a auto-running CD so anyone with a web browser will be able to browse through our range.

Photo shows 2.55 carat oval blue sapphire ring in 9k yellow gold.

Prices presented in the catalogue are our normal low retail pricing including GST. As a special offer to our internet customers, an additional 10% discount will be applied to any order placed from the online catalogue. Trade customers are invited to apply for access to our wholesale pricing – just contact us with details of your business (ABN, enterprise type, etc) and we can discuss this with you (contact details are on the catalogue "Contact Us" page).

Due to the large number of items and constantly changing stock levels, we have not set this up with secure online purchasing. To order, simply email or fax us with the item numbers you are interested in and we will return your message promptly. In order to keep our prices down, we do all the work ourselves – photography, web/catalogue design, administration, etc. We have not yet fully integrated the new catalogue into our main website yet but will be doing that as soon as possible. We welcome your comments and suggestions for improvements.

As this has been a huge job, we did not have any time to list new sapphire rough last weekend but this will be our priority for the coming week so keep an eye out for any new bargains.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

Fossicking Success at Glen Innes

October 16, 2005

Last weekend, Aussie Sapphire were very pleased to host some members of the Gold Coast Lapidary Club who had travelled down to Glen Innes on one of their regular fossicking trips. Although we are currently unable to open our property to the general public for fossicking (mainly due to public liability reasons), occasionally we are able to accommodate organised groups who have their own insurance cover if prior arrangement is made.

After a successful outing at Minerama this year (2005), Len who is the field trip organiser for the club was keen to return to try his luck again. He must have the luck of the Irish (or maybe just good eyes), as he made another great find. This "blue-on-blue" Reeddestone sapphire weighed 7.6 carats with fantastic colour – definitely as good a stone as you will find anywhere and better than anything we found in the plant all week. Unfortunately our photo of the stone was a bit too blurred to publish but I think everyone will agree that the smile on Len's face says it all – this one will cut a spectular gemstone. Although the weather was a bit grey, it didnt actually rain and hopefully other members of the club had an enjoyable visit.

That's all for now from us. Remember for fossicking information, please contact the Glen Innes Visitor Centre or see our previous post on this topic. And for all those who miss out on that lucky find, there are always lots of bargains at our online shop.

cheers from Aussie Sapphire

Large 44 carat SOLD

October 12, 2005

Just announcing that the large 44 carat crystal pictured in the previous post has been sold to an overseas specialist cutter. I'm sure it will cut into a spectacular gemstone. Thank you for your interest.
Cheers from Aussie Sapphire

New listings of sapphire rough online now!

October 9, 2005

We all had a great week off at the beach and since returning last Monday, we have been flat out catching up on recent mine production and picking out some nice pieces of rough to list online.
Sapphire mining is progressing well, with a new area proving up well with some excellent quality. Much exploration ends in disappointment so when you win, it's pleasing. We have just listed a range of new sapphire rough on the Ebay store – just follow the link to view these new items. There is a range of nice Reddestone blues as well as some good quality parti sapphire from nearby Kings Plains. They are going fast – some lasted just an hour before being snapped up by keen buyers so make sure you check out these great bargains before they disappear.

One particular item is of interest for its sheer size. This 44 carat crystal is a one-of-a-kind piece as it is very unusual to find sapphires this large and clean on the Reddestone Creek (you may click on this photo to see a larger version or follow the link to see the detailed listing). These ones dont come along very often so make sure you check it out – the price tag reflects the absolute rarity of a gem like this one which would be a real steal for a keen collector.

As a reminder, much of our stock never makes it to the listing stage as we have standing orders for certain types so if you have a particular requirement in rough or cut form, just let us know and we can pick some out before it goes to our various outlets. We have made some good sales into some new markets for us such as Japan and Germany which is great!

Since the opening of our retail outlet – Schmidts Jewellers in Glen Innes – we have increased production of our fine jewellery in both handmade gold and sterling silver so if you have a need for a special piece at reasonable prices with a guarantee that you are getting the "real thing", please feel welcome to discuss your requirements. There are just a few pieces listed online at the moment as we try to keep up with the demand for rough but we have a large range of some designs manufactured exclusively for us in stock right now (200 different designs and counting).

The photo at left shows two black spinel (with and without rainbow moonstone) cabbed bracelets set in sterling silver. These are available at Schmidts Jewellers – we have not yet listed these online but if you are interested in this limited edition design, just drop us a line and we will work something out. Please see our article on black spinel if you would like to learn more about this excellent black gemstone.

Cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

Glenreagh Mountain Railway

October 6, 2005

While we were on holiday last week, we spent a fantastic morning at the Glenreagh Mountain Railway – located between Coffs Harbour and Grafton in NSW. Please see their website for more information on timetables, the trains and the work of the volunteers.

While we were admiring the train, some of the fantastic volunteers offered Patrick (our resident train fan in the photo on the left) a look in the cab where he was thrilled to see the controls up close and pull the whistle. We cannot thank these people enough for making this the experience of a lifetime for Patrick who is still talking about how lucky he was – we really appreciate your generosity.

We had a very enjoyable ride on 1919 or “Betty”. This locomotive is currently 127 years old and was built by the Beyer Peacock Locomotive Company in Manchester, England in 1878. 1919 arrived in Australia in December 1878 and entered service for the NSWGR as No. A114 of the A93 Class. This loco worked at various locations including the Glenreagh to Dorrigo line from 1953 to 1958 – great to see this train working again on one of its old routes. Coincidentally, 1919 spent a number of years working the Oberon to Tarana line where Patrick’s grandfather grew up – as he knew the driver and fireman quite well, he used to be given rides many times as a small boy.

We recommend a visit to the GMR for anyone visiting the area. Working steam trains are not easy to find these days and a ride on this one is a very enjoyable outing (good value for money as well). We hope the volunteers of the GMR achieve their dream of repairing the line all the way to Dorrigo. We will certainly be back to see the progress.

However, we had to come back to work eventually so am in the middle of grading up the last few weeks of mine production and cataloguing some new jewellery just received. Please check our our websites in the next week or so to see the new additions online.

Cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire.