History

 

The history of  sapphire gems in Australia stretches back over 150 years. One of the first reports is from 1851 when sapphire was recovered during gold mining on the Cudgegong and Macquarie rivers in New South Wales. In 1854 sapphire was reported from the New England area of New South Wales and in 1875 Sapphire was discovered in Retreat Creek, Central Queensland.  Numerous small deposits have been found up and down Eastern Australia. 

The discoveries near Inverell on the New England tableland in Northern New South Wales and at Sapphire and Rubyvale in Central Queensland lead to the development of a commercial Sapphire Mining Industry in Australia. The much later discovery of sapphire at Lava Plains in North Queensland further complemented this industry.

Most of the early production from Australia went through German jewellery agents and was sold into other European countries. The reason for for early export into Europe came from Russian Miners who worked the Central Queensland gem fields in the late 1800s. A good number of Australian sapphires found their way into the crown jewels of the Russian Imperial family and other Russian nobility. After the collapse of this market because of the Russian revolution, the impact of wars and the depression, sapphire mining saw hard times until the advent of machinery mining and the arrival of Thai Buyers in the 1970's

For a brief history of these major sapphire regions use the links below:

History - The Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields  -  Maps of Area

History - The New England Sapphire Resource  -  Maps of Area

History - The Lava Plains Sapphire Resource  -  Maps of Area

genuine sapphire - made by nature

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An Information Resource on the Australian Sapphire Industry

AUSTRALIAN SAPPHIRE

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