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Topics - Bucket

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Fossicking Locations / Fossicking in Scotland
« on: April 19, 2012, 08:17:16 AM »
Hi all,

Here's a new one for those that have travelled there, I'm heading off to the UK (mainly Scotland) and was wondering if anyone had leads on places available to speck while I'm there.  I believe that smokey quartz can be found in the Cairngorms and some agate on the east coast north of Inverness but if anyone else has any ideas I'd be interested.

Should be a big difference to the Kimberleys which I go to later this year.


Ask a "Silly" Question / Cutting opal
« on: December 07, 2011, 09:42:24 AM »
Hi all,

I have finally located a box of my old finds from 40 odd years ago, it includes some opal picked up at Coober Pedy.  There is some absolute rubbish amongst them (why did I even pick them up?), however there is some pieces that I think I can use.

Having never had a go at opal before I was wondering if anyone can help out with advice.  The pieces I'm looking include items for cabbing and some of what we used to refer to as 'jelly' opal which is nearly transparent with mostly blue/green flashes which I may have go at faceting just for something different.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Garry

Tell Us About Yourself / Another southerner
« on: November 25, 2011, 09:30:46 AM »
Thought I'd finally post some about myself info here, although I've already been posting on other subjects.  I now live in Tassie (north west coast) and am currently a member of the Burnie Gem club.

I was originally born and bred in Victoria and was for many of my younger teenage years, a member of the Dandenong Lapidary Club there.  I have many fond memories of field trips with my folks to various areas around Victoria, including Cardinia Creek (now under water) and the creek which runs underneath the famous timber trestle rail bridge near Belgrave, that one that Puffing billy uses.

After a 'break' from fossicking of nearly 40 years I have now re-entered the fray with much renewed enthusiasm.  This faceting thing is great! 

I try and travel a least once a year to various places around Australia, my last trip  finally included the central Queensland gemfields.  What an interesting place.  While I didn't have enough time to go out fossicking, we did get to put a few buckets of wash through at a fossicking park (Armfest) and I was blown away with what we recovered.  In all my times as  ateenager I never saw the amount of colour coming up in these seives, albeit small.  These are currently in Thailand awaiting the floods to recede.

I'm looking forward now to further trips when I'm away and have found this forum a great place to learn and follow with interest the news of northern fossickers and other facetors.

Am awaiting the sale of my little used motorbike to fund the purchase of a faceting machine, anyone looking for a large capacity road bike?


Gemstone Faceting / Purchasing a new faceting machine
« on: July 06, 2011, 08:33:17 PM »
Having recently got back into lapidary after a 'break' of nearly 40 years, I am finally learning the art of faceting.  Don't know why I waited so long, am enjoying it thoroughly!

What I have learnt is that I should really get mysel a faceting machine.  My 'mentor' is currently the very proud owner of a 'VJ' machine with digital readout, very nice and sturdy.  I have been looking at these but find the expense a bit overwhelming.  While I'm still working, cost is something to consider, however, my mate waited 6 months for his.

I have heard via email today from Hall machines that they are building them with a two week delay and appear to be mid priced.  I've heard nothing but good things about the Hall machines, but don't know anyone with one to try out.

Both the Facetron and Polymetrics machines obviously are in good supply and by all accounts again are very good machines.  The price of these American machines is currently very good owing to the exchange rate, even though the 'Scintillator' is in the upper level of pricing, it looks great on paper.  Again no-one in the club has one. The Facetron looks great and one of our members has one and swears by it, it looks reasonably compact as well, something to consider when I go carvanning in the future.

Finally the Gemaster machines.  There is one in our club and it looks and feels really solid and cuts very well according to its owner.

I must admit I'm thinking to get the best one I can afford.  With the sale of my now rarely used motorbike, I can fund the purchase of any of the above.  I like the digital readout of the 'VJ' and the fact that you can wind the quill around to 90 degrees to cut the table is great, but it's quite bulky.

Can anyone put their two bobs worth towards the pros and cons of digital readouts for me and any comments about their own experiences with these machines.  I must admit I'd like to buy Austrslisn but I'm not locked into it.

I've already been trawling through this forum with great interest - thanks to all those that have posted.

Will be passing through New England and the central Queensland Gemfields in a couple of weeks, looking forward to 'having a dig'.

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