Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/topaz

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Question
Dear Thomas, many years ago, in early eighties, while fossiking in O'Brian Creek North Queenslad I found . what I believe, nice piece of blue topaz. I have never had it looked at by an expert but going by my own study in books and on internet it looks very much like topaz. I have 2 questions - can you suggest someone to authentify or assess it for me and if it is real topaz could you suggest someone to cut it. I can supply macro photos of the stone.
I live in Menai, Sydney.
I would like to use this topaz to make a piece of jewellery for my granddaughter's 21st birthday at the end of June.
With kind regards
Suzanna

Answer
Dear Suzanna,

Since this area is known to produce high quality topaz, I would not be surprised at your find. Now, you need to have the rough identified!

Years ago I was very active in a local gem, mineral and lapidary club.  Through this organization and friends established, I learned how and where to search for natural mineral and gem material. In most of such clubs, there are a few members who do facet cutting of material such as topaz.  Others will be qualified to check your stone and determine if it is indeed blue topaz and if so, how suited is the piece to be cut into a finished gemstone.  I suggest contacting one of the clubs in your area and going to a meeting, stone in hand. Some of the members may very well have been to the O'Brien Creek and Mt. Surprise area on gem hunting excursions. Some will do jewelry work and may be expert enough to do work for your gift.

While a jeweler would seem at first the place to check your stone, many jewelers are quite unfamiliar with rough gem materials and depend on outside services for any lapidary work.  Once the gem is cut, if found suitable, the finished stone may be appraised by a jeweler for a fee or you may be content to keep it and not be concerned with worth.  As for color, the blue topaz on the market is not naturally such a rich blue. Most starts as a fairly light blue and is treated with irradiation followed by precise heating to bring out the more vibrant blues seen in jewelry stores.

Suzanna, here is a link with a listing of organizations you may concact in your area:

http://gemlapidarycouncilnsw.org.au/clubs/

Get back with me if need be, although I have done almost all I can from this computer desk! Please let me know if the answer might help you accomplish your goal.

God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals

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Expertise

Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.

Experience

I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education/Credentials
Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to jewelry...wow, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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