Nunawading and District Lapidary Club

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The club has numerous Social Activities; Card Nights, Coffee Mornings, and half yearly Dinners.

Field trips are generally held once a month over the summer months.



A group interested in minerals, comprising club members who want to further their knowledge in this field
Regular Monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Selected subjects are given to members of the Group to research and to present to the meeting during the year, either as short or full length talks. A number of Guest Speakers, who are experts in their field, are invited to address the Group during the year.


GEOLOGY: Brief outline of the Earth’s structure, physical features.  Zones that make up the Earth. Internal and external forces.  The work of weather, rivers and oceans.  The results of volcanic action.  Folding and faulting.  The study of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, and their classification.

CHEMISTRY: Definitions, chemical symbols for the elements.  Atomic structure of minerals.  Atoms and electrons.  How to read and interpret formulae.  Growth and form of crystals.

PROPERTIES OF MINERALS: Cleavage, fracture, hardness (Moh’s scale), colour, lustre, streak etc.

CRYSTAL SYSTEMS: Recognition of the six basic systems: Cubic(Isometric), Tetragonal, Hexagonal, Orthorhombic, Monoclinic, Triclinic.  Axes and planes of symmetry and Miller indices.  Common forms associated with each system.

DESCRIPTIVE TERMS: Acicular, botryoidal, bladed, reticulated, columnar, tabular, capillary, fibrous and others that are used in mineral descriptions.

DANA’S CLASSIFICATION OF MINERALS: Elements, sulphides, oxides, halides, carbonates, borates, sulphates, chromates, phosphates, arsenates, vanadates, tungstates, molybdates, silicates.

IDENTIFICATION:  Mineral identification nights are held during the year.

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 This group consists of Club members interested in Faceting.  No specified level of qualification or experience is required in order to attend meetings.  Indeed meetings are attended by those with the longest experience and knowledge of Faceting, and those who are beginning to learn the basic skills.  It is a mutually supportive self-help group where everyone learns from each other.

Subjects covered include basics such as dopping, use of transfer and alignment jigs, lap charging, lap types and maintenance, use of different polishes and care and maintenance of machines.

More advanced subjects are covered too, such as behaviour of light in crystals, related faceting angles for different materials, use of equipment such as refractometers, polariscopes and refractive liquids.

From time to time workshops are held covering the making of simple equipment such as glass balls and quartz wedges which can be used as an aid to material identification.

Details of making simple equipment are provided so that members can make their own darkfield illuminators, polariscope and dichroscope - all of which will assist greatly with the correct identification of the gem to be faceted.

Members are able to gain advice about the differences between models of faceting machines, and every meeting includes a "problem solving session" whereby members can get advice in overcoming any faceting problems they may have.

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Eyes down, Barite Hill Tasmania

Batesford quarry looking for fossils, mid 1970's

Dinosaur cove, 1989.

Grit and determination in the rain at Moralla, 1990.

Berwick quarry, mid 1970's

Bairnesdale, 1992

Relaxing after a hard day at the rock-face, Flinders, 1992.

Mt Surprise topaz fields (Qld)