Search This Blog

Sunday, 25 August 2013


Quartz crystals turn up in the wash at Pretty Valley all the time. Many of them are hardly waterworn; the occasional piece is. The majority of the schorl tourmaline and topaz is hardly worn either, and together these represent a suite of minerals which has a different origin from the sapphire, zircon and black spinel.

We can speculate all we like about the origin of the second group of minerals, which have no doubt come from a basalt source somewhere not far distant. The origin of the first group is probably the Kingsgate-like pipes which occur on the hill to the north-west. It is possible that the topaz and tourmaline have another source as they are not typically found with quartz at Kingsgate.

The reference from which the map is derived is titled “Crystal Report No.14 Kingsgate Crystal Field (Part 1)”. The DIGS reference is GS1943/013. It is part of a group of reports relating to the search for quality quartz crystals during World War II. If there is a Part 2, I haven’t found it yet.

From the map it would be reasonable to assume that there are other, undiscovered quartz pipes upstream from the fossicking location since the pipes shown are over the hill in the drainage area of a tributary of Bladey Grass Creek. This stream comes in on the western side some distance downstream from the fossicking location and it is likely that it too will be carrying quartz crystals. It’s not likely that the sapphire group of gemstones will be found in that creek, but you never know until it has been checked out.

As has been reported in an earlier Blog entry, there is a little gold in Bladey Grass Creek and several times I have been told of pieces of a green gemmy mineral, probably tourmaline, being found there. If anyone turns up something unusual there, let us know by way of a comment here. I need to remind readers that this is private property and that trespassers (poachers or thieves) are certainly not welcome. Enquire through the Australian Lapidary Forum (ALF) if you would like to visit this fascinating place.

You can experience gem hunting around Glen Innes through my You Tube site until you pay the area a visit. Click here . Several videos deal with Pretty Valley. For related Blog entries on Pretty Valley, use the search box at the top of the page.
I also have playlists on the Blue Mountains, Glen Innes and New Zealand.
Zircon, topaz and quartz from Pretty Valley

No comments:

Post a Comment