Gemfields tourists leave with sparkle in suitcase
TOURISTS travelling through the region are leaving the Gemfields with their caravans a few carats heavier.
Some "big finds" on the fields recently has got Gemfields locals and tourists picking up their sieves and trying their luck for a big one.
Two women, on different days, went home with an impressive souvenir from the Central Highlands after a visit to Bobby Dazzler in Rubyvale.
"Both ladies found good blue sapphire stones," owner Fran said.
"Jean Mason from Adelaide found a 35.3ct blue sapphire, and Karen and Greg Bath, from Bundaberg, found a 49.8ct blue sapphire - all during the past week.
"It was the first time for both of them and they were ecstatic."
Fran said finding the sapphires was a great treat for the tourists.
"They had heard about the Gemfields and always wanted to come, and to think they went home with a sapphire each is great," she said.
"They couldn't wait to go and show their families.
"One found it in the buckets of wash, and the other found it going on the fossicking trail - which is a two-hour workshop we hold."
Bobby Dazzler isn't the only local business with recent fossicking fame; fellow Rubyvale business Willy's Wash has also sent a tourist home with a new sparkler in the suitcase.
"About six months ago, a 69ct rough 'parti' sapphire was found in a bucket of wash at my fossicking park," Glenn Maskrey said in a post on the CQ News Facebook page. "It cut 10.5ct... this stone would be valued at $100,000."
The Gemfields will be sparkling from August 7-10 with the annual Gemfest Festival of Gems in Anakie.