AS THE home of the largest sapphire fields in the southern hemisphere, the Queensland township of Anakie is the perfect backdrop for a celebration of the nation’s most precious stones.
Gemfest, which will will run from August 9-12, regularly draws crowds of up to 7000 people to the community west of the appropriately named Emerald.
It has been running since 1988 and organisers say this year promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Activities and attractions will include traders and merchants, displays and exhibitions, entertainment, live music performances, workshops, prizes and demonstrations.
While locally sourced sapphires will feature prominently, there will also be diamonds, pearls, zircons, opals and other gemstones along with gold, crystals, fossils and more.
Lapidary supplies and equipment will be available for gem enthusiasts.
Other events for gemstone fans
August 18-19: Blaxland Gem and Mineral Club Gem Show, Glenbrook Community Hall, Great Western Highway, Glenbrook; 8am-4pm both days. Entry: adults $3, children $1.
September 14-16: Parramatta-Holroyd Lapidary Club Gem, Jewellery and Mineral Show and Sale, 73 Fullagar Rd, Wentworthville, 9am-4pm all three days. Entry free.
The show will feature gem faceting, cabochon cutting, silvercrafts, copper enamelling, jewellery making, rock and mineral specimens and slabs, and club and fossicking information.
October 13-14: Central Coast Lapidary Club Annual Gem Festival, Mingara Recreation Club, Mingara Drive, Tumbi Umbi; Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 9am-4pm. Entry free.
Dealers from throughout the state will selling everything from jewellery, gemstones and fossils to specimen stones and stones, polished and rough.
Members will display their work and sell minerals and there will be a table of beading.