A few years back I was watching Foxtel and a show about prospecting for gemstones came on and it was great! It sparked an interest deep within me to get out and try my luck at finding gemstones. So I got on the internet and I began searching where to go fossicking in the Canberra region. A place called Grabben Gullen on Sapphire Road (aptly named…) dominated the search results. I suggested to my old mate Jonny Perotti that we should go check it out. We set off having no idea what we were doing, our equipment consisted of some icecream buckets to use instead of goldpans and tennis rackets which we hoped would replace the typical fossickers equipment of gemstone sieves. Needless to say, our equipment didn’t work and we came home empty handed…
A year our so later we returned armed with a goldpan, this time we found a few tiny sapphires which sparked an interest to find more. We purchased gemstone sieves to go with our goldpans and each time we returned to Grabben Gullen we found larger and better quality stones. However, we still hadn’t found anything exciting yet, our finds consisted of dark green sapphires of poor quality. Until one day Jonny and I were taking it in turns using the goldpan, I had my turn and didn’t find anything so I handed over the pan to Jonny and wandered off a few metres. I sat down to wait expecting Jonny to hand the goldpan back empty handed, instead I hear him yell “HOLY NOODLES”. He had found a cracker of a sapphire, a million times better than anything we had found before.
If you want to try your hand at fossicking Grabben Gullen is a great place to start, the public fossicking area is available for anyone to use and it doesn’t require a licence. If you do go, take a goldpan or a sieve not an icecream bucket or tennis rackets….