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.

Location To Find - Aragonite

Directions: Go to Geelong in Victoria and go to Eastern Beach. You need to be there at
low tide only or you wont find anything. Along the beach foreshore you'll see a large
swimming pool. You need to continue walking toward Limeburners Point about a half a
kilometre. On this spot there used to be an old swimming pool but its all gone now. At low
tide you need to walk into the water area and you'll find an Aragonite deposit there. You will
need a chisel and hammer to break pieces off as its part of a large seam in the sea bed.

The pieces you'll find are mostly pure white and some with black seams through it. It's only
good for specimens and too soft for polishing. You may find some colored pieces there as
well as loose surface rocks.

Location To Find - Fossil Shells and Sharks Teeth

Directions: Go to Fyansford Limestone Quarry near Geelong. Permission is required in
advance. If the area is still available as it may now be closed.
It used to produce good specimens of shells and in particular colored sharks teeth.

Location To Find Gold - Smythesdale in Victoria

Go to Smythesdale in Victoria for metal detecting. Its about 20 minutes out of
Ballarat. A good area to spend some time would be in the Watsons Hill area. There's a sign
to Watson Hill and you just follow it till it ends in a quarry area. The final part of the track can
get pretty rough but you can park near a Telecom tower on the right hand side and just walk
the rest of the way. You'll see old mine tailings and shafts everywhere. Most have been filled
in and it's around these areas you'll have the best chance. I found some good sized nuggets
there in this area. You need a minimum top range sensitive metal detector like the Minelab
GP 3000 with say a 350mm coil for best results. I found pieces over 12 inches deep. Like all
the gold fields there's more false digs but law of averages say you'll get something if you
stick at it.
When you get to the quarry opening start looking on the left side of that as I found this area
to be the most productive.

Tip: You can save a lot of time sorting through each hot target dig if you have a small hand
held pin point detector as well. And also if you have a powerful magnet as well to sort out
some of the metal scraps. It just saves trying to find the small targets between the dirt. I use
a small plastic sieve and then I run the pin point detector and magnet over the sieved dirt.
Gold can be very hard to see even after sieving the last bit of the target. Its rarely gold and
shiny. Dry weather is the best time to look.

Polished and set into a hand
made silver setting.
Free Form Silver

There are no limits when
designing jewelry.

Cut and cleaned ready for
shaping into designs.

A piece of rough geode set in

This fossilized tree resin is
millions of years old.
Soldering Silver

Making a ring from sterling

The cabachon design is the
most widely used in jewelry.
Making Jewelry

Combining jewelry and gems
is an age old art.

Once polished they can be
set into jewelry.
Coober Pedy Opal Fields
South Australia.
Smoky Quartz Crystals
Olivine Bombs
          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.

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
    all times.
  • 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.