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Australian Materials


Billy

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Hi All. I've recently been offered a job in Sydney and will be moving the family over in the coming months. I will continue my journey in carving in Sydney, as that is where it began in the first place. Was curios however, what materials are readily available in Aus. I've heard of the Cowell Jade mine. Is it easy to get stone from there? What about bone and ivory? Interested in your thoughts and suggestions from peeps in the sunburnt land. Billy

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Hi All. I've recently been offered a job in Sydney and will be moving the family over in the coming months. I will continue my journey in carving in Sydney, as that is where it began in the first place. Was curios however, what materials are readily available in Aus. I've heard of the Cowell Jade mine. Is it easy to get stone from there? What about bone and ivory? Interested in your thoughts and suggestions from peeps in the sunburnt land. Billy

 

 

Would just like to pass on my best wishes mate.

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Hello Billy, I live near Tamworth NSW Aust, I live near a good nephrite deposit in the area, I have been carving jade for about 3 years, have a look at my carvings, this jade is very much like NZ material, white, gray, light green, deep green, green blue, yellow shades, translucent and opaque,I fossic for my own, I now all the properties where these deposits are, I may be able to get you some if you like. Cowell Jade, 99% of the good material goes to china, there is a shop in Cowell that sells carvings, not sure of the name, just google it, they may be able to get some rough. Try Australian outback mining, Glen Archer, he sells western Australian black nephrite, this material takes an incredible polish and is easier to polish than all other jades, carves easy.

Rhodonite of different qualities is also available, My cousins John And Alec Taggart own Australias if not the worlds best quality rhodonite mine, the best material is deep imperial red, they don,t usually sell rough to the public, I may be able to get you some rough if you want some.

Australia is a treasure house of gemstone, when you move to Sydney, just contact the local lapidary clubs,there have club shows all year long and rough is sold at most of these, there is another forum called Aussie lapidary forum, probably has as many members as this site.

 

Cheers Michael B

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That's fantastic Michael. Thank you so much for the information. Once I'm in Aus I'll get in contact and start sourcing materials. I'd be very interested in the Tamworth Nephrite. What size blocks can you find? I'm shipping over my drop saw so would be keen on some larger blocks if available.

 

Very excited to hear from you. Where can I see your carvings? And what's the best contact for me to get hold of you.

 

Thanks again, Billy

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Billy, you will find my carvings in who,s who, new member michael B, also on the Aussie lapidary forum under Mick B, on the main page go to media gallery and then go to gemstones, you should find a few in the first 4 pages. I have only been carving for a few years, still a learning curve, mostly jewlery carvings,you can contact me by email, burgessmichael@live.com , the Tamworth nephrite I currently have varies in sizes from about 1/2 pound up to about 15 to 20 lb, I went fossicing today, found 5 pieces, from about 1/2 lb to about 6 lb, the large one is very different to all the colurs I have found before, white nephrite with emerald green spots , yellow brown, looks a bit like jadeite, but it has a fibrous structure, where jadeite is granular, and jadeite has never been found in Australia.

 

Cheers michael B

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Michael:

 

Don't be so sure that it isn't. Most of the jade here in the U.S. is nephrite, but some is jadeite/nephrite mix. Have you done a specific gravity test?

 

Good luck with your move, Billy. If you like to carve rock I can't imagine anywhere better to be than where you are going.

 

Debbie K

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Hello Debbie, it is deffinatly heavier than all the nephrite I have found at this location near Tamworth, it is harder but not quite as tough, I had some of the good green nephrite tested a few years ago by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, George Harlow, he is a geologist that researches jade, he said it was as good as the best nephrite he has seen, I have never done a pacific gravity test, weight divided by volume, measuring the volume in water by how much the water rises, I will check and do a test, let you no.

 

Cheers michael B

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