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Topics - Taz

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General Discussion / GemVal Website
« on: September 15, 2016, 06:38:10 AM »
IS anyone else having trouble with GemVal subscription.  Mine was renewed through their payment provided two weeks ago but GemVal still tells me I'm not subscribed.  I've sent them emails without any response and the payment provider has prompted them on my behalf as well but still no success.  Looking a lot like I'l have to put in a PayPal payment dispute.

Trip Talk / Off to O'Briens Creek Today
« on: August 11, 2015, 08:15:43 AM »
Northern Gem Show run finished for another year, and what a great year it was.  Great job club members, it's always great to catch up with everyone.  Anyway, my Daughter Tress and I are on the way to O'Briens Creek this morning for the first time so if you see a red Surf and blue Patrol towing trailers say hello.

Cabbing and More / Diamond Smoothing Disks
« on: February 05, 2015, 09:19:43 PM »
I recently purchased some diamond smoothing disks from Aussie Sapphire so that I could do some cabbing on my faceting machine but I'm finding them far from aggressive.  I have a 325, 600 and 3000.  I've never used them before but I'm finding that the 325 hardly marks the polish on a cab of larimar that I'm reworking; the other two are much the same and don't work as expected.  Has anyone had any experience with this type of disk?  Do they need to be broken in before they work well or is there some other trick to them?  ??? ??? ???


General Discussion / Dark Coloured Faceted Ametrine
« on: December 05, 2014, 12:04:50 AM »
I have recently observed some gem show traders selling cheap, dark coloured, faceted ametrine in quite large sizes.  I am suspicious that this material is hydrothermal.  Unfortunately, it is easy to get taken in when buying online so the traders may not know that the material is not natural.  It is very pretty and it is reasonably priced for lab created material so if you're not worried about buying lab created the deal is fair. 

As I cannot be entirely sure that it is lab created I have sent an email to my Bolivian supplier to see if his mine produces this darker colour material.  Note that the sizes of these faceted stones would put the cost of the rough that is required to produce them multiples of times the cost that the finished stone is being sold for.  Rough prices increase in cost per carat as the individual stone size increases so I am highly suspicious that these gems are not natural.

When I get a response from Bolivia I will post it on this thread.

General Discussion / Ethiopian Black Opal
« on: December 04, 2014, 11:46:56 PM »
One of my fellow gem show traders recently asked me whether the Ethiopian black opal starting to appear around the place was treated or not as he had the opportunity to buy some for resale.  After doing some research I came across a reference that suggests that they are smoke treated and may be unstable and subject to cracking so buyer please beware (refer and

Fossicking Locations / Mt Gibson, QLD
« on: July 31, 2014, 04:02:46 PM »
Has anyone been in to Mt Gibson after topaz recently?  My Daughter and I have some time between the Atherton gem show and Marreba Gold Festival and would like to do a bit of fossicking.  Any advice would be welcomed.  Any hints on any other fossicking locations in the Innot Hot Springs area would be welcomed as well.

Shows and Events / Innisfail Gem Show
« on: July 31, 2014, 02:55:19 PM »
Couldn't see this one in the calendar.  For those in the area come along to 6 River Avenue, Innisfail, lots of good stuff with a number of Southern traders up here this year.  For the faceters, GemWerx has sawn clean Bolivian amethyst, rose de France, ametrine, Chinese peridot.  Mystical-Spirit will have Harts Range petalite, zircon and garnet.  Australian Sapphires Direct is here with hundreds of natural faceted gemstones of all types at near wholesale prices.  Lots more as well if your interest is cabbing rough or mineral specimens.  If you're a bit further afield we'll all be in Atherton for their gem show the following day.  Hope to see you there.

Gemstone Faceting / GemWerx Down
« on: July 16, 2014, 07:46:06 AM »
Apologies to anyone looking for rough on  The site is temporarily down as I appear not to have renewed the domain name; hopefully it will be up again shortly.  Anyone looking for my faceting rough can contact me via a PM on ALF until it gets going again.


For Sale, Swap or Wanted (Please Read Rules First) / Faceting Rough
« on: April 29, 2014, 11:21:23 PM »
This doesn't seem to break the rules but if it does please feel free to remove it.

I've just uploaded a fair amount of faceting rough to my website ( for anyone interested.  All of it is top quality natural rough, some Australian and a lot of overseas material.  Lots more of the Bolivian  and Chinese material available but I'll be concentrating on uploading faceted gems for the next week or so before going back to upload more rough.

General Discussion / Do You Support our Diggers
« on: August 31, 2013, 10:30:56 AM »
This is quite a bit off topic for this forum but I hope that it still fits with the intent of the General Discussion area particularly since many ALF members are ex-diggers and there will possibly be some still serving members so it is directly relevant to them, but how will the rest of Australians support their case.

Pre-1975 (I think around 1972) Gough Whitlam misappropriated around 144 million dollars from one of Australias best funded superannuation schemes and moved it into Consolidated Revenue to fund his election promises.  That scheme was the Defence Forces Retirement and Death Benefits scheme (DFRDB).  So what many will say; well around 2011 politicians increased their pension benefits by over 90% (do they really deserve it), the old age pension was also increased by over 90% (yes they do deserve it and more), members of military pension schemes had their pension increased by about 33% (is that all they really deserve for putting their life on the line to protect this country and in many cases losing their life).

If you are not on a military pension your superannuation enjoys market driven increases when all is performing well as it normally does (GFC was an abberation) but the Military scheme is locked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) only.  Any difference between CPI and market driven increases stays with the government.  Note that DFRDB only is being addressed by the politicials, it's successor the Military Superannuation Benefits Scheme (MSBS) is left in the background and affects a great number of military personnel both serving and retired.

But rather then ramble on take the time and watch the videos at these links and think carefully about how you vote in this coming election:

Election in the Crosshairs (watch particularly for the section that compares pensions graphically)

So what does Rudd have to say (Press the run arrow just above the social media icons):

Gemstone Faceting / Gemmasta Belt Replacement
« on: August 01, 2013, 07:33:36 PM »
Hi all, the belt on my Gemmasta GF4 broke a while ago and I have bought a new one from Andrew and Leah but for the life of me I can't see how to replace it without pulling the machine apart.  Does anyone have some hints on how to do it without wrecking the machine or at minimum alignment.

Gemstone Faceting / Faceting Machine on eBay
« on: January 24, 2013, 11:29:04 AM »
Here's a misfiled faceting machine for anyone interested but less than an hour to go.  Looks to be in good condition and cheap:

How to post Pictures & other FAQ / Ewingar Smokey Quartz
« on: August 29, 2011, 12:26:47 PM »
I just ran across the old Ewingar Info topic and thought someone might be interested in the type of crystals that can be found there.  This one was found a few years back when I tagged along on a Grafton Club trip.

General Discussion / Website Hackers
« on: July 26, 2010, 01:45:23 AM »
Just a quick note for those of you who have a website or belong to a club with a website.  Please make sure that all of your administrative passwords are strong ones as the hackers seem to be doing the rounds at the moment.  Early in July Bribie Islands website was hacked by some brightspark from Turkey who though it clever to destroy their site completely.

I've redeveloped their website for them and everythings back up and running now. Check them out at

Gemstone Faceting / A Couple of Faceting Instruction Links
« on: March 17, 2010, 09:13:22 PM »
There are a couple of interesting faceting links at  For the meet point faceting click on the 'Youtube Channel' link on the 'Gemstone Artist' website.  He also has a stack of faceting designs on his site.

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