blog I’ve attempted to bring together a list of all the places where topaz has
been reported to the west of Torrington, in the New England region of NSW. So
as not to repeat a lot of what I’ve already written, I’ve given references to
some of my articles (in John’s New
England Minerals blog). In some cases the reference to topaz may be very
note that many of these locations are on private property and you will need
permission from the owner to enter.
a number of useful references you can download. Firstly, there is the Minerama booklet “Topaz” (here).
This gives information and references on many topaz localities in the New
there is Edgeworth David’s report on the Vegetable
Creek Tin Field, published in 1887. It contains an amazing amount of
information on what is still a pretty remote part of the country. At the time
the report was compiled, only 50 years had passed since the first Europeans
entered the district. You will need to go to DIGS (here). The reference
will bring up a PDF of a 2 page map which is invaluable in locating old mines
and workings. The same map, but on a single page this time, is at the very end
of the report itself, for which the reference number is R00031676.
Thirdly, there are
the Grafton-Maclean and Inverell metallogenic maps and data sheets,
which are comprehensive reports covering all significant (and often
insignificant) mines and mineral deposits, with lots of geological and
mineralogical details. The respective DIGS reference numbers are R00056102 and R00050906 .
Fourthly, there is
the mineral data base Mindat (here), where searching can often
bring up information on a particular location. Much of this has been extracted
from the previously mentioned reports.
Here are the links
to areas already covered in my Blog:
|Scrubby Gully topaz|
Gaden’s Lode Gulf Road Emmaville (here)
Specimen Hill, The Gulf Near Emmaville (here)
The Gulf Fluorite Mine Near Emmaville (here)
Scrubby Gully, Torrington (here)
Surface Hill Gem Deposit Gulf Road Emmaville (here)
The Emerald Mine, near Emmaville (here).
well known localities, which have been visited by collectors and gem hunters
for many years. This is not to say that there is nothing of interest left, on
the contrary we continue to hear of attractive (and sometimes valuable)
specimens being found in these places.
|Fossicking at Surface Hill|
the Beardy River, and entirely on the Inverell 1:250000 sheet, David reported
the existence of numerous alluvial tin deposits, many of which are “deep
leads”, lying beneath the extensive basalt flows which cover much of the area.
I haven’t heard of anyone looking for gems in the area, but David’s
descriptions mentions them several times.
familiar ones are at Scrubby Gully and Surface Hill (both east of the Beardy).
Links to my blogs on these are given above. That the topaz, beryl etc at SG and
SH have originated from pegmatites around the edges and roof of
|Cross section of a lead (David)|
the Mole Granite
is beyond doubt. The same is most likely to be true of the deposits listed
below. These gem bearing alluvials are probably derived from sources which have
long since eroded away.
quotations are from David.
The Kangaroo Flat Lead. Details are on pages 93-94. The
location is to the west of Emmaville. “near the north-east corner of Portion 45,
Arvid, at the Avoca Mine near the north-east corners of 104 and 105 in the same
parish.” “The gravel averages 2 feet
in thickness, and is composed principally of flattish, oval pebbles of
claystone 2-3 inches in diameter, and well-worn pebbles and grains of quartz;
and gem-stones, as green beryl, emerald, sapphire, topaz etc and fine grains of
stream tin chiefly black.”
Hall’s Sugarloaf. Details are on page 95. “Half a mile south-west of Foley’s is Hall’s
small outlier of basalt capping stanniferous gravel.” “The deposit may be described as a “cement”
consisting of pebbles of claystone 3 inches in diameter with small well worn
quartz pebbles, quartz sand, and small gems, as topaz and beryl, set in white
and grey pipeclay, which has been baked in places into a tough natural brick.”
Quite a few other mines in the area are also described, but no mention is made
of gemstones. I think we can safely assume that gems are present in the wash at
The Rocky Creek Lead. “The tertiary country embraced under this name extends from Cockatoo to
the water-parting between the Severn and Dumaresq Rivers in the parish of
Lorne, a distance of 9 miles.” “At
the Basalt Hills the gravel has been tested by several shafts and two tunnels.
The alluvial beds are composed chiefly of fine quartz sands such as results
from the waste of quartz-porphyry (containing a number of beryls), with pebbles
of claystone up to 1 inch in diameter.”
“The Gem Lead has been proved to be a rich
feeder, falling into the main body of basalt from the north-east.” “The commencement is in an outlier of quartz sand and gravel, capped by
basalt in portion 38, Lorne.” “The
richest yield here was 3 tons of stream tin from 70 cubic yards of wash.
Emeralds and sapphires are associated with this stream tin.”
The Ruby Hill Lead. “The width of the volcanic formation varies from 5 chains to 2 miles.”
“Constituents of the gravel are well
rolled pebbles of clear and opaque quartz, red and black jasper, and pebbles of
quartz-porphyry, the last attaining the diameter of 1 foot. Zircons and
sapphires are plentifully intermixed with the stream tin.”
on page 164 David gives a summary of gems found in the Vegetable Creek area.
I would be
delighted to hear from anyone who makes gemstone discoveries in this area. The
comments area below can be used.