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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:04 pm 
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Is there any chance you could take a photo of the green stone in reflected light?


Still waiting for better light, will do that as soon as I have some.

We all estimated what we assumed to be a sapphire at about 5 carats - it is in fact, bang on 5 carats.

I've just had a close look through the 20X with strong backlighting. I can't see anything resembling a cleavage plane. It looks a bit pistachio-coloured in the photo but I think that's because of the stripes - the stripes are green-yellow colour zoning.

The opposing axis is very definitely a deep blue.

There appears to be only one tiny fracture inside, not big enough to easily see with the naked eye. Apart from a bit of rubbish around the outside, it's pretty clean and the "crack" across it in the photo is not a crack, just a small step-down in the surface. It's crying out to me "facet me into a nice square" :) but I want to be more certain of what it is first.

If it is in fact a sapphire and we are in fact looking face down on the c-axis in the photo, wouldn't that make it the reverse to the common (as far as sapphires go) "blue with a green cross"? As mentioned in another thread, I have seen a greater than insignificant number of green-on-green, lots of blue-on-green.....but I'm not sure I've actually seen green-on-blue. I might have but I've only been faceting for a bit over a year and it's only now that I take particular notice of that feature in every single sapphire I look at.

If you aren't greatly concerned about preserving every last point of weight because you didn't pay for something and don't really intend to sell it, I wonder if it's possible to come up with a design to overcome that almost closed blue axis? I see there are designs specifically for closed c-axis tourmaline, with very steep sides. But all the ones I have seen are rectangles. I guess that's because tourmaline commonly comes in the shape of long crystals but that would be a waste with this stone. A steep pavilion and crown square with a fairly wide table?

But I'm jumping the gun here - atm my money is on sapphire but still not 100% certain.


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:07 pm 
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Obviously if it is corundum it should be dramatically harder than either pyroxene or epidote.


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:21 pm 
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Sorry Stephen, I don't think I'm going to be able to get you a better photo than that :( . There's definitely a bit of an art to getting the camera to see what the eye sees.

Holding it up in either natural or artificial light, there is a definite colour-shift as you tilt it away from the green face. Nothing at first, then as you tilt further and further over, a bluish shade starts to wash through the green. By the time you have brought it right over to the other axis, it is a very distinct blue, without any hint of green.


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:28 pm 
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Specific gravity? Or did I miss it?


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:38 pm 
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drsue wrote:
Specific gravity? Or did I miss it?


I haven't had much luck getting consistent results when trying to do specific gravity tests drsue :( .


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:44 pm 
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Ok - the specimen scratches both known quartz and known garnet with ease.

The specimen also scratches a known sapphire, though more force was needed. I scrubbed the scratched sapphire - it has definitely left a scratch, not just a trail of powder from the specimen.

The little projection on the specimen was unchanged after scratching the quartz and the garnet but was noticeably blunter after scratching the sapphire - I would say they scratched each other.

I know that's a bit crude but it's about as good as I've got.


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:50 pm 
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The definite blue cross-table was the nail in the coffin, though the hardness test is good too. Congratulations! You have made a significant find! With any luck it will be even more significant in producing high quality stones, but I imagine at the very least you will be making the landowner very happy.

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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:24 pm 
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Image

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:08 am 
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Another specimen from the site, a piece of garnet matrix. Odd thing is, it doesn't really look to have come out of one of those rocks that have garnet "capsules" in them. They look to be in several different kinds of host rock all at the one site.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:40 am 
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Hey Lefty, I dug good garnet in the Proston area years ago, facetted some, and had most of it degrade over a period of a few months. Ended up giving it away for fish tanks.LOL. It all started cracking, and literally fell to pieces.
Hope your stuff is better.
Have you checked the situation with mines dept regarding mining the stuff?
Better stay under the radar my friend, you never know who reads these posts.
Baz.


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:07 am 
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Lefty, I just re-read the relevant fossicking/prospecting laws, and say to you, better check them for yourself!!
If you are using any equipment/machinary to mine, and don't have approval,the fines are staggering.
Under the radar buddy.
Only admit to pick and shovel.lol


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:40 pm 
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Cheers Barry. I'll need to study them in depth but it does appear that our laws here in Queensland are so stupidly draconian beyond all belief, with no fathomable good reason behind some of them that it's a wonder any prospecting occurs at all.

It seems the property owners would have the right to dig the deposit out with a bulldozer to build a dam but do not have the right to allow anyone to dig there with even the tiniest of portable generator driven machines - or rather, they can give their permission but giving their permission for other people to carry out an activity on their own land means nothing to the state government.

They have given us their verbal permission to fossick on their land - it wouldn't have occurred to them (or us) that it is meaningless to the state unless written and signed by them (and that I can only use a pick and shovel). That's of course where a lot of it just falls over - Australia is such a stupidly litigatious country that giving written permission is dangerous for the landholder because they then become legally liable for your safety while you're there. So very few would ever give it.

I wonder if there's any legal precedent for any of this shit - are there examples of people being massively fined or even imprisoned just because they stuck a jackhammer pick in the ground on a private property, even with the owners verbal permission? A national park I can understand - but this?

So guys, if you come to Queensland don't even think about combing our rich igneous geology for a few coloured pebbles - consider trafficking heroin and ecstacy instead, looks the penalties are more lenient :shock: All Ic an say is that whoever drafted these laws must have had the most burning, bitterest hatred for rockhounds.

Our state flag should have a f*****g swastika on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:51 pm 
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The more I think about it, the more stupid this stuff is and I can think of lots of people breaching these rules constantly but can't think of any examples of harsh penalties being handed out.

People are always digging for amethyst on a private property not far from my place - it's a well-known spot locally. The legislation seems to say these people are acting illegally and can be severely fined but I've yet to hear of an example.

From memory, Wal and Liz Krete have made many fossicking forays into remote, non-designated fossicking areas in Queensland and have quite a few videos put up on youtube for all to see over the years. They don't seem to have fallen foul of any law.

I've even seen photographic evidence of a guy - what he did pisses me off a bit - removing several tonnes of opalized wood with an excavator and dump truck. He did this on a private central Queensland property, without the owners permission and actually photographed himself doing it. The owner then withdrew permission for the public to access the site (but was he ever able to give such permission?). Anyway, nothing seems to have happened to this bloke.

Consider this: Dave from Brisbane goes out to visit his Uncle Fred on his cattle property. He asks his uncle if he can take some hand tools up the back of the property where he has heard that topaz was found years ago. Uncle Fred says "Yep, no worries" and decides to go with his nephew. Together they scratch around in the ground and find a few bits of topaz, which they take. So what happens now? They didn't seek a permit from the mines department - have they both committed an offence for which severe penalties apply?

As they appear to read, these rules are wildly out of step with community expectations of fair and reasonable (very few people would even be aware that such a punitive regime exists for such a ridiculously trivial act - I think most landholders might be surprised to find that they themselves don't seem to have any legal right to take a pick, shovel and seive to a spot on their own property without permits from the mines department) - this is 21st century Australia, not Hitler's Germany. Why should we need special permission from the state to scratch for a few coloured pebbles if the person who owns the place gives us their permission?

Going on what I know so far, I expect that processing the application would probably take at least a year or something equally ludicrous, rendering the whole excercise pointless.

I'm wary but at the same time I'm a bit sceptical of the likelyhood of these rules being enforced to the letter, if at all. There would be thousands of people who have been fined out of existence.

That said, I guess I'm never prospecting again, just in case.


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:50 am 
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Lefty, it's not a big deal to be "legal".
A fossickers license, and permission from landowner.
Easy, you are now covered by the intent of the legislation.
The problem comes if you use machinary, and only then if there is an accident of some kind.
As I've already said, "fly low".
Baz


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 Post subject: Re: Garnets
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:58 pm 
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Am I talking to the same bloke who works a claim/lease at Graves Hill? Your experiences would seem drastically different to mine.

Barry - in June it will be passing the three year mark since I first applied to be legal at Reward. I'm still sitting here waiting. They were happy to take our money off us and then told us to sit in the corner for an unspecified length of time. Most people would have told them to shove it and walked away by now.

I have zero faith in the mines department and far from being no big deal, I've been caught up in the most extraordinary deal I've ever come across in my life. I have near three years of my time gone, a filing cabinet overflowing with paperwork written in indecipherable legalese, a hundred phone calls to different officials who interpret the same legislation differently from each other, a hole in my wallet - and still nothing.

No big deal getting a fossickers permit for inside the designated fossicking areas, they are already set up to dispense them for tourists - I'm just not game to front the office and ask for one for this, my experiences to date with them have been so bad I'm just not sure what I would get served up. The owners would have to first be willing to draft a formal letter of permission and I'm sure it would be legally required to be witnessed by Justice of the Peace, even though they don't tell you that. Then when you submit the application, who knows what sort of process it will have to go through or how long it will take - I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that most DMNR officials have never actually handled this particular kind of fossicking application. If the area in question is not a designated fossicking area with all the particulars on the departments record - well, who knows how long it might take just for them to say yes or no. I don't know, but I do know what a shit sandwich tastes like, I've been force-fed one for the past three years.

Unless you can tell me that you have actually tried this for yourself outside a designated fossicking area and it was no big deal, then I would have great reservations about going near that office again.

Rant over :)


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