Hart’s Range Odyssey
In 2008 I finally achieved a long-held ambition and learnt to facet gemstones at a course held at Sapphire in the Central Queensland gemfields. This excellent course is taught by John Broadfoot and Peter Stringfellow over a three-week period and their patience in teaching a group of novice cutters was a credit to them.
After being shown the basic cuts on synthetic stones, we progressed to cutting natural gemstones. I’d been given a pink-shaded Hart’s Range zircon by a good friend who has a claim near us at Reward and he told me it was a good, clean beginner’s stone. I cut it as as a trilliant design with a three-step crown and when it came off the dop and I saw its flashes of fire, I was well and truly hooked on these Central Australian gemstones.
Even though I’ve cut many different types of gemstones since, including sapphire, topaz, labradorite, CQ zircons and peridot, that first zircon still remains one of my favourite stones.
Lynn and I had talked about digging for Hart’s Range zircons at Mudtank for a long time and finally decided that 2010 was the year.