LOCATIONS TO FIND GEMSTONES AND MINERALS IN
When submitting info on locations try and be specific where you can like:
- Distance in kilometres from nearest town.
- List and name the turn offs.
- Distance betweens actual turn offs.
- On the road to and from.
- Supply some photos of what you've found and the area itself.
- A description of any familiar landmarks.
- Tools required to suit the area.
- Supply a mud map if you can.
Disclaimer: It is your responsibility to ask permission from any private property owner at
any location when searching for gemstones before you enter any such property. You may
also be required to possess a fossicking license as per state laws.
Directions: Go to Coober Pedy in SA. Basically you can find great colored Jasper
surrounding the outer areas of the town just past most of the mining areas. It comes in
many colors and forms and its everywhere.
Nice Gypsum specimens can be found in amongst most of the actual mining areas as it's
of little interest to the miners. It can be found in a white fibre, sheets and clear see
Opal is now pretty hard to find in the mullock heaps because most miners are now sieving
the lot using large blowers. But if you fossick through some of the abandoned open cuts
you may still find some good pieces here and there.
Make sure you don't tress-pass through active claims in the area. You'll see all active
claims are clearly set out with claim posts on them.
Because all this area used to be sea there are many opalized shells found by the
miners but they are hard to find by recreational rock hounds because most are too deep
to dig for. But you may still find some in the mullock heaps.
It's also possible to find fossilized sponges in some of the outer mine areas.
They hard to find because they're pretty plain to the eye. They look a little like a dark
brown coral mass. Various prehistoric critters have also been found in the area.
Be careful when digging and make sure there's no overhangs of material that can fall on
top of you. I wouldn't advise you to go into the vertical shafts as they are most likely
unstable. Never walk or step backwards without looking first as mine shafts are
everywhere on these fields. The mines department in town has good maps of the area.
There's plenty of trap door spiders in this area so be extra careful and always wear
leather gloves especially in the jasper areas.
Polished and set into a hand
made silver setting.
Free Form Silver
There are no limits when
Cut and cleaned ready for
shaping into designs.
A piece of rough geode set in
This fossilized tree resin is
millions of years old.
Making a ring from sterling
The cabachon design is the
most widely used in jewelry.
Combining jewelry and gems
is an age old art.
Once polished they can be
set into jewelry.
Coober Pedy Opal Fields
Tips & Safety On Field Trips
- Take every precaution while on field trips like making sure you have the right gear like gloves,
boots, drinking water and basic supplies.
- Fill in your holes after digging and beware of overhanging rocks and ledges that could collapse
while digging below.
- Don't go into old mine shafts as most are unstable and air quality can never be guaranteed.
- Always wear safety glasses when breaking or chiselling on rocks.
- Watch out for snakes and spiders because as a rock hound you're more prone to finding these
critters than others.
- Always close gates after you and always take your rubbish home with you if there isn't a proper
place to leave it.
- Always tell someone where you are before you leave in case something goes wrong!
- Always have a first aid kit close by.
- If you haven't been to an area before draw yourself a map or have a map with you so you don't
get lost. Mobile phones don't work everywhere!
- Wear a good hat and sunscreen so you don't get sunburnt.
- Never forget: FOOD, SNACKS, DRINKS & MEDICATION.
Disclaimer: It is your responsibility to ask permission from any private property owner at any location
when searching for gemstones before you enter any such property. You may also be required to
possess a fossicking license as per state laws.
Safety In The Workshop
- Don't have loose clothing around any moving machine parts and keep guards on equipment at
- Wear safety glasses while grinding and using any pickle or acid compounds.
- Wear a filter face mask if required.
- Don't spill water on any electric motors. Electricity and water don't mix.
- Keep fingers and hands clear of sharp moving parts.
- Wear rubber gloves if handling any acids or pickling solutions.
- Use tweezers when handling hot soldered jewelry.
- Have a first aid kit near by at all times.