Wednesday, July 09, 2008

New England Sapphires - a note

Photo: Sapphires in the rough from Australian Sapphire.

Did you know that New England is the biggest producer of sapphires in the world? The estimates I have seen vary from 50 to 80 per per cent of world production.

I was digging around trying to find out some background information on New England sapphires. Then I had to stop. When I came back and tried to find the site I had been looking at on Google, I could no longer find it through search. Frustration!

To avoid this happening again, I decided to record some of the web sites relevant to sapphires in New England. I will update this from time to time.

I have also established two pages on New England's History, one to record historical material on sapphires, the second to create a working bibliography on the history of New England mining.

Turning now to web references.

Australian Sapphire is an industry wide site containing a range of useful material on Australian sapphires.

Aussie Sapphire is a family run enterprise involving Andrew and Leah Lane and their two young sons who have been mining sapphires on their property on the Reddestone Creek in New England for over 25 years. You can buy direct from them.

An abstract of Sapphires – Processing, Grading, Characteristics, Heat Treatment and Marketing of Sapphires by A.D. McIntyre and C.C. Sorrell from International Ceramic Monographs, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 826-34 contains some interesting industry discussion.

Gem fossicking provides some general information. The Gemmological Association of Australia site provides a useful overview of the New England and Central Queensland fields.

The 7 Oaks Fossicking Property is located 20kms from Inverell and has been producing sapphires since the 1960s.

The Inverell 0n-line site provides a range of general material on Inverell and includes some links through to sapphire attractions. The Glen Innes Tourism site also provides useful information, including links through to some of the fossicking/sapphire attractions.

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