I have been involved in and operated a part-time business cutting and selling Australian Sapphires from 1979 and with recutting and selling ‘old stock’ untreated Ceylon ‘native cut sapphires’ from 2000.
My home-town is Inverell and growing up and working as a farmer in the area it is hardly surprising that I developed an interested in sapphires.
In mid 1980’s I was fortunate to be able to study for and obtain a Diploma in Gemmology from the ‘Gemmological Association of Australian’ when the course was offered in Armidale.
During the 1980’s and 1990’s I purchased parcels of good quality silky blue Australian Sapphire rough from the manager of the Glen Innes office of Pan Pacific Products. This rough sapphire was sourced from mines in the area and I was able to heat treat this silky blue rough with the help of a suitable furnace at the University Of New England.
In 2001 I purchased from Great Northern Mining, in Inverell, a quantity of rough sapphire from their Queensland Sapphire Mine at Subera in the Anakie Sapphire Fields of Central Queensland. This was mostly Coloured Sapphire rather than blue.
Colours such as yellow, gold, green and parti colours of blue and yellow. All my Australian Sapphire has been heat treated in Australia during the 1990’s.
When Pan Pacific Products closed their office in Glen Innes I was able to purchase from them the remainder of parcels of Ceylon Sapphire imported much earlier with the intention of recutting and selling the sapphires into the jewellery trade in Australia. This Ceylon sapphire is mainly blue with some pink, yellow, purple and red. Most stones were ‘native cut’, obviously for weight retention and the vast majority of the stones exhibit typical inclusions which decisively indicate that the sapphires have not been heat treated. As ‘old stock’ sapphires from 1960’s they arrived in Australia well before treatment was developed.
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