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Gems and minerals of the Fossickers Way


The Fossickers Way takes in natural geological wonders and some of the most mineral-rich areas of NSW. Here’s just a few of the treasures you might find – with a little bit of luck on your side!

Gems and minerals of Fossickers Way


Sapphire is a gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, an aluminium oxide. Whilst typically associated with the color blue, they also occur in yellow, purple, orange, and green colors, while ‘parti sapphires’ show two or more colors.

Australia is one of the richest sources of sapphire in the world. Because of the remarkable hardness of sapphires (9 on the Mohs scale – the third hardest mineral after diamond and moissanite), they are also used in some non-ornamental applications such as shatterproof glass and armoured vehicles.



Gold is a chemical element which, in its purest form, is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and a group 11 element.

It is one of the least reactive chemical elements, and is solid under standard conditions. The metal therefore occurs often in free elemental (native) form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins and in alluvial deposits


Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. There are many different varieties of quartz, several of which are semi-precious gemstones. Since antiquity, varieties of quartz have been the most commonly used minerals in the making of jewellery and hardstone carvings.

The ideal crystal shape is a six-sided prism terminating with six-sided pyramids at each end.



Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine. Pure topaz is colorless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine red, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown. It can also be white, pale green, blue, gold, pink (rare), reddish-yellow or opaque to transparent/translucent.

Topaz is commonly associated with silicic igneous rocks of the granite and rhyolite type. It typically crystallizes in granitic pegmatites or in vapor cavities in rhyolite lava flows 


Zircon is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates. It forms in silicate melts with large proportions of high field strength incompatible elements. The crystal structure of zircon is tetragonal crystal system.

The natural colour of zircon varies between colourless, yellow-golden, red, brown, blue, and green. Colourless specimens that show gem quality are a popular substitute for diamond and are also known as ‘Matura diamond’.

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