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Finding a Family Heirloom in a 120+ Carat Australian Blue Sapphire

December 15, 2015 | Jewellery

A Blossomjewels story, as told by founder Dan...

My grandparents, Beth and Col, spent the majority of their early retirement traveling remote Australia in a Toyota Land Cruiser and caravan. They enjoyed the wilds of the outback and tried their luck at prospecting, largely for gemstones including Sapphire, Opal, Garnets, Peridot, Zircon, Topaz, and varieties of Quartz.

Throught-the-fence Looking for treasures

Whilst their ‘haul’ over the years was interesting, largely for their children and grandchildren when they passed through to visit, one find in particular was destined to begin a set of family heirlooms.

In the early 80's, my grandparents were parked at a remote prospecting site in central Queensland, in the Willows Area of the Anakie gem fields. This site was called Through the Fence, as to get to the digging sites you had to climb through old farm fencing wire.

It was early morning and Beth went out for a walk to a nearby set of holes that were being worked. It had rained overnight and something caught her eye. It was abnormally large compared to most stones that they came across, being about half the size of a persons thumb. She grabbed it and put it in her pocket.

Beth returned to the campsite where Col was finishing a morning cup of tea. She popped the thumb-sized stone onto the table in front of Col and quizzed, "think this might be something?" Yet she knew she had stumbled upon a valuable find!

That find was in fact a 120+ Carat Australian Blue Sapphire.

The Through the Fence Sapphire was to remain uncut for nearly 20 years. It was not until my grandparents were approaching quite old age that they looked to a close family friend and very experience gem cutter, Boyd, for consultation on what could be done with the stone. It was decided that a set of stones would be cut and then passed to each of Beth and Col’s daughters and daughter-in-laws, and, naturally enough, the largest was for Beth. Six final stones held the legacy to be passed down through the family for years to come.

Sapphire during the cutting Sapphire during the cutting

This photo of the pre-cut stones is the only known photo to show all the beautiful "Blues" together.

Stay tuned: The story of how the 120 carat Through the Fence Sapphire was ‘fashioned’ will follow in our next blog post.


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