Western Australia releases book on local gemstones

A new comprehensive publication about Western Australian gemstones and decorative stones was launched by Western Australia's Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore.

Gemstones of Western Australia is the first substantial and systematic work on local gemstones by the Geological Survey of WA (GSWA) and was produced in collaboration with the Gemmological Association of Australia (WA Division).

Moore said the  publication was written for experienced fossicker and amateur rockhounds as much as it was for the professional geologist and gemmologist.

“This is a comprehensive resource on gemstones and decorative stones used in jewellery and ornamental sculpture in WA. It outlines geographic locations of known deposits which will assist fossickers searching for gemstones throughout the State,” he said.

The book combines geology and gemmology to provide factual information and each chapter has detailed mineralogical information as well as their geological setting and location.

“This publication is a much-expanded update of a series of booklets entitled Gemstones in Western Australia produced by GSWA between 1975 and 1994, and includes abundant references to earlier work,” Moore added.

The Minister said that while Western Australia had a growing international reputation as a major source for rare fancy pink and other coloured diamonds, far less was known about occurrences of gems such as beryl, topaz, tourmaline, gem-quality quartz and associated siliceous minerals.