What Precious Gems Are Found In Australia?

By | April 28, 2024

In the intriguing world of gemstones, Australia serves as a rich treasure trove. “What Precious Gems Are Found in Australia?” sweeps you off your feet on a breathtaking journey across this gem-rich continent. While diamonds often come to mind first when thinking of gemstones, Australia hides a glittering variety of precious stones beneath its red soils. From the evocative deep-green hues of sapphires to the cosmos-like insides of opals, your fascination with these alluring earth’s treasures is about to take a new turn. Prepare to enrich your knowledge of gemstones, as you explore Australia’s dazzling contributions to the world!

What Precious Gems Are Found In Australia?

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Overview of Australian Gemstones

Delving into the sparkling world of gemstones, you can’t miss the vast array of these precious treasures that Australia boasts of. Known not only for the famous kangaroos, koalas, or the great outback, as a gemstone enthusiast, you’ll find that the continent is abundantly rich in a diversity of vibrant and intriguing gemstones.

Geological richness of Australia

Contrary to the common assumption that koalas and kangaroos define Australia, the continent hides a geological treasure of gemstones beneath its crust. Its generous geology blessed with a wide array of natural resources gives birth to a multitude of precious and semi-precious stones including diamonds, opals, sapphires, jade, rubies, zircon, chrysoprase, prehnite, and ammolite, each with its unique characteristics and charm.

Brief history of gemstone mining in Australia

Gemstone mining in Australia has a long history that dates back to the 1800s during the gold rush era, when miners stumbled upon a beautiful gemstone that later became famous as ‘opal.’ Soon after, other gemstones were discovered, including sapphires and diamonds, which solidified Australia’s reputation as a significant source of gemstones on a global scale.

Current gemstone industry in Australia

Fast forward to the present, the Australian gemstone industry plays a massive role in the country’s economy. From mining to trading, the industry continues to thrive and contribute substantially to the country’s export earnings. Whether you’re a jeweller, a gemologist or a gemstone enthusiast, Australia is a veritable Pandora’s box waiting to be explored.


Opals, notably the national gemstone of Australia, represent a significant part of the country’s gemology history.

Brief history of opal mining in Australia

The journey of opal mining in Australia began in the 19th century when they were first discovered in Queensland. Since then, opal mining has spread across the country, including South Australia and New South Wales, which houses the world’s most significant opal field, Lightning Ridge.

Characteristics and types of Australian opals

Australian Opals are renowned worldwide for their incomparable beauty and quality. Ranging from the bright, fiery play-of-colour in White and Black opals to the vibrant blues and greens in Boulder opals, they offer a spectacle of magical hues variations. There’s also the unique Crystal opal, cherished for its translucent to the semi-translucent body.

Main opal mining regions in Australia

Significant opal fields in Australia are found in Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, known for the exquisite black opals; Coober Pedy, South Australia, famous for white opals; and Queensland, offering a bounty of boulder opals.

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Australia houses the world’s largest diamond mine, which produces an array of beautiful diamonds.

Australian diamond mines

Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia was one of the most prolific diamond mines. Although it ceased operations in 2020, the mine left a legacy of high-quality diamonds, including a significant volume of enchanting pink diamonds.

Types of diamonds found in Australia

Australian diamonds come in different hues, with the pink diamond being the crowning jewel. Apart from pink, you can find champagne, cognac, and the usual white diamonds. Blue diamonds, though rare, are also part of Australia’s diamond collection.

Market value of Australian diamonds

Australian diamonds, particularly Argyle diamonds, fetch a hefty price in the market due to their unique characteristics and limited supply, notably the pink and blue ones.


Australia is the world’s largest producer of sapphires, full of beautiful blues and an array of fancy sapphires.

The abundance of sapphires in Australia

Sapphires were discovered in Australia during the 1850s. Due to its abundant supply, the country is a leading producer, contributing a good chunk of the global sapphire market.

Characteristics of Australian sapphires

Australian sapphires are loved for their dark, intense blue color, which can often appear almost inky. Along with blue sapphires, Australia also boasts fancy sapphires in greys and yellows, appreciated for their unique hue and charm.

Sapphire mining locations in Australia

Anakie in Central Queensland and the New England area in New South Wales are rich sources of sapphires in Australia. These regions attract miners and gem enthusiasts from around the world.

What Precious Gems Are Found In Australia?


Jade, a semi-precious gemstone, echoes ancient cultures and civilizations.

Different types of jade in Australia

Australia offers two types of jade – Nephrite and Black Jade. Nephrite jade, found in Western Australia, comes in a deep green color while Black Jade is primarily found in New South Wales.

Areas where jade is commonly found

New South Wales is known for Black Jade, while Western Australia is abundant in Nephrite. Both gems have a large global appeal due to their rarity and beauty.

Significance of jade in Aboriginal cultures

Jade holds cultural importance in Aboriginal cultures being used for tools, weapons, and sacred objects. Today, it continues its cultural journey being used in modern jewelry and decorative items.


Australia is home to a large deposit of rubies, each with a story to tell.

Ruby mining history in Australia

Ruby mining in Australia dates back to the mid-19th century. Barrington, New South Wales and the central Queensland gemfields are among the places where rubies were first discovered.

The characteristics of Australian rubies

Australian rubies display a range of colors, from classic red to the rare pinkish tones. Their size, clarity, and luminosity make them a cherished gemstone worldwide.

Markets for Australian rubies

The market for Australian rubies is vibrant and thriving, catering to the demand of the global gemstone and jewelry sector. Rubies from Australia often grace exquisite jewelry pieces and gemstone collections.

What Precious Gems Are Found In Australia?


Zircon from Australia is valued for its brilliance and fiery colors.

The abundance and quality of Australian zircon

Australia is a leading producer of zircon with its deposits being of high-quality. Australian zircon is cherished worldwide for its vivid color ranges and high refractive index.

Main zircon mining areas in Australia

The major zircon fields lie in Western Australia and in the Murray Basin spanning Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia.

Uses and market of Australian zircon

Zircon is used in many sectors, including electronics, ceramics, and jewelry. The market for Australian zircon, with its high-quality and superior characteristics, is extensive and globally recognized.


Chrysoprase, a vibrant green gemstone, is one of Australia’s treasured stones.

Occurrence of chrysoprase in Australia

Chrysoprase occurs mainly in Western Australia and Queensland. It became popular during the 19th century, and still is a favorite among gemstone loves.

Characteristics and uses of Chrysoprase

Vibrant and translucent, Chrysoprase is loved for its apple green color. This gem finds its use in jewelry, amulets, and decorative objects.

Market trends for Chrysoprase

The market for Chrysoprase remains strong, thanks to its rarity, unique green color, and wide application.

What Precious Gems Are Found In Australia?


Australia is rich in Prehnite, a gemstone known for its luminous green shade.

Predominant localities for mining Prehnite

Prehnite is found around Western Australia and Victoria mainland, where rich mineral reserves are present.

Properties of Australian Prehnite

Known as a healing stone, Prehnite is cherished for its translucent, luminous green color and metaphysical properties.

The market for Australian Prehnite

The market for Australian Prehnite is growing, mainly due to its aesthetic appeal and metaphysical attributes.


Though not mined on a large scale, Ammolite adds lustre to the spectrum of Australian gemstones.

Background information about Ammolite

Ammolite is a rare, opal-like organic gemstone, usually appearing in vibrant iridescent colors. It is derived from fossil ammonites, making it a fascinating collectable gem.

Where it is found in Australia

While not common, Ammolite has been discovered at different sites in South Australia, mostly in the opal fields.

The market of Australian Ammolites

Despite its rarity, the market for Ammolite is considerably active, driven by its unique beauty, its fossil origin, and intrigue among collectors around the world.

Australia, a continent of geological surprises and precious gemstones, has something to pique every gemstone enthusiast’s interest. Each gemstone with its tale, its charm, and its place in Australia’s rich geological narrative, makes for an intriguing exploration for anyone enchanted by the magic of gemstones.

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Author: marklsmithms1

Hi, I'm Mark, the author of Maura Gems and Jewellery. As a team of qualified gemmologists and goldsmiths, we bring you world-class jewellery at Bangkok prices. With offices in both Bangkok and the UK, we ethically source the finest gemstones directly, eliminating any middlemen. We offer a wide range of stunning ready-made jewellery items in our new online store, available for retail or wholesale. Additionally, we specialize in custom-made jewellery where we can bring any design to life. Whether you're a trade professional or an individual customer, we cater to all. Feel free to email me at mark@mauragemsandjewellery.com or call/WhatsApp me at 07470547636 or +66949355718. Discover our incredible collection by visiting our online store. I guarantee you'll love what you find there!

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