History New England
In 1854 'Clarke' reported
sapphire from a stream in near to Inverell in Northern New South
Wales. The first commercial mining occurred in 1919 on Frazers
Creek near Inverell.
From 1919 to 1929 sapphire was
mined from alluvial deposits on Frazers, Horse Gully and Mary
Ann Creek's near Inverell and Reddestone Creek near Glen Innes
and Copes Creek near Tingha.
Little production was recorded
for about 30 years from 1930. The 1960's with an increase in
prices and the introduction of improved mining methods of the
1970's saw most of the known alluvial deposits under mining
The arrival of Thai buyers in
1971 opened up markets for the middle to lower grade stones
therefore making large scale machinery mining viable. This
resulted in a mining boom but when prices fell in the late
1970's this boom came to a grinding halt.
In 1994/94 the New England
district produced 55 million carats of sapphire valued at
Commercial production today is
undertaken by a small number of Machinery miners with GTN
Resources being the largest single producer.
genuine sapphire -
made by nature
Resource on the Australian Sapphire Industry