Prospector and long-time friend David Vaughan first presented me with a variety of deep green material early in 2004, calling it variscite.
Having never seen such a superb green variscite in Australia before, I immediately negotiated with David to begin cutting; it cut beautifully. I was immersed with the cellular patterning, and experimented with new gem shapes to take notice of the light-yellow flecks that were associated with some of the deep green pods of translucent variscite.
A year later David phoned me to say that a scientist from the CSIRO had found these flecks to be native gold! Now I am very careful to orientate these inclusions to their full advantage when they present in the sawn slab. What a combination! An emerald green gem with native gold inclusions.
While blue-green variscite from this locale has been selected for jewellery by lapidarists for many decades, it never really excited my imagination until I saw the latest material.
The leasor Barry has more recently been casting his attention wider in the area, and has presented to me some material, blue-green but in different hues, and with some a light yellow to mid brown webbing. The colours and patterning are evocative to me of shallow coral reef environments. Every sawn slab is different and a delight to work with.