The Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields are located on the Tropic of Capricorn approximately 350kms west of Rockhampton, Queensland Australia.( 50 kms west of Emerald). Access is by sealed roads to the townships of Anakie, Sapphire, Rubyvale and The Willows. The area has a permanent population of around 3000 people. During the peak tourism period May to Sept this will at least double and up to 60000 visitor come here over the course of a year. Winter is the peak season for Australian travelers and Summer often see an influx of international tourists escaping the northern hemisphere winter.
The Gemfields has a unique easily going lifestyle, many of the residents have a strong independent streak and an unconventional outlook on life. This has resulted in the Gemfields evolving its own special style of building and living.
This area has always been a prime destination for gem enthusiast’s. However with the fluctuations in the international gem markets resulting in major changes to the level of large machinery mining activity the community has of necessary worked to broaden the tourism appeal to a wider range of people. There are now many small business scattered across the Gemfields providing a easy way for novice to experience the thrill of finding their own precious gem. Sapphire and Zircon are the main gems found in this here. The Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields are one of the largest Sapphire bearing area in the would and one of the few area left that are accessible to the general public.
Visitors can fossick for Sapphire at one of the many fossicking parks that operate across the fields or with the purchase of a Mines Department Fossicking permit gems can be sort in one of the designated fossicking area. The serious gemhunter may peg or purchase a mining claim that they can work to uncover the treasures held within the ground.
Sapphire The Gemstone
Australian Sapphire occurs in the following colours
Blue- light to dark blue, sky blue to a deep blue to almost black
Greens -pale to deep Green aqua, lime, bright green, dark green
Yellows – Canary Yellow , Golden Yellow Sunflower Yellow
Rare Colours Apricot, Purple, Orange, Peach
Colour Change These stones display a change in colour when viewed under different lights. Daylight to fluorescent or incandescent
Parti Colour these stones have a mix of two or more colours most common are green/blue and blue /yellow parti colours though any colours can be mixed some truly spectacular stones are parti colours
Almost any shade or colour is possible the value of any particular colour depends on its scarcity
|Four towns make up the Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields
known locally as ‘The Fields”