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Rains reveal 834-carat sapphire the scale of ‘small kid’s fist’ in Queensland Gemfields


Matt Betteridge was taking a stroll within the night when his eyes caught the “glitter from the dust”.

He shortly realized it was not a random rock however a glowing sapphire the scale of “a small kid’s fist”.

Mr. Betteridge mentioned: “The rain unearthed it a bit… I believed it was going to be a medium sized stone till I could not pull it out.

“It appeared very heavy, bounced an exquisite ball, just like the fist of a small youngster, however was very heavy like a lump of lead.”

Mr Betteridge discovered the stone about 100 meters from the mine he lives in on the Reward fossil web site close to Rubyvale in Queensland’s Gemfields.

This space is likely one of the largest sapphire reservoirs on the earth.

Mr Betteridge discovered it late final month whereas scouting, working towards strolling across the floor in search of rocks.

After valuing it, he realized it was an 834 carat sapphire, which he described as “very, very uncommon”.

Footage of Mr Betteridge discovering the jade and surprisingly repeating the time period “holy dooley” has garnered greater than 260,000 views on TikTok on Saturday.

Matt and Amber hug their son, the caravan behind.
Matt and Amber Betteridge moved their household from Burdekin to Gemfields final yr.(ABC Capricornia: Erin Semmler)

Rain of excavated gems

Gem hunters consider they’ve a greater likelihood of discovering it after rain as a result of it washes away a few of the topsoil.

The Central Highlands and Coal Areas have been flooded in current days, with widespread rain and flash flooding hitting some communities.

One hand holds a large sapphire
Mr. Betteridge was shocked by the discovering. (Supplied by: Matt Betteridge)

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) mentioned it recorded 194 mm of rain in Sapphire between October 16 and 21.

Rubyvale recorded 182mm throughout the identical time interval.

The BOM mentioned Rubyvale and Sapphire broke a 13-year report for the quantity of rain they obtained within the 24 hours to 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Mr. Betteridge mentioned that, though Reward is barely accessible by 4WD, persons are nonetheless out in search of jade after the rain.

“All of the bugs are out on the bottom, even within the midst of showers,” he mentioned.

Stones are stored

Mr. Betteridge despatched the stone to a neighborhood gem cutter for an approximate valuation.

It’s estimated to be value $12,500.

Whereas it comprises some crystals that may be reduce into jewellery, Mr Betteridge stored the stone in a single piece to indicate its full dimension.

Matt rests one hand on the mining machinery, the other on his hip, looking down.
Matt Betteridge mines gems on his request in Gemfields along with his spouse and son.(ABC Capricornia: Erin Semmler)

Helen Levonis, a jeweler with the Gemological Society of Australia, mentioned collectors typically keep away from reducing into giant stones to create smaller sapphires.

She mentioned getting something greater than a 5-carat gem, “only a gram”, is uncommon amongst sapphires.

“While you get one thing … like an 830-carat sapphire, it is a rare factor,” Ms. Levonis mentioned.

She mentioned it will be “embarrassing” to have it eliminated.

“It may be far more precious in crystals than in shredded sapphires,” Ms. Levonis mentioned.

Ms Levonis mentioned there was rising curiosity in preserving specimens like Mr Betteridge’s rock.

“These jades grew a whole lot of 1000’s of years in the past,” she mentioned.

“Not anymore… and we have to respect that whenever you see one thing 800 carats.”

‘Attempt your luck’

Mr Betteridge mentioned the stone will likely be stored as a household heirloom and will likely be displayed through the area’s annual Gem Pageant.

A gem polished and set into a ring
Mr Betteridge had beforehand discovered the sapphire whereas taking a look at it.(Supplied: Betteridge Sapphires)

He additionally inspired these curious about gem searching to go to Gemfields.

“It has been discovered within the fossil report basically…everybody can strive it,” Mr. Betteridge mentioned.

“Get a airplane ticket and tenting allow and check out your luck.”


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