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Archive for November, 2007

Christmas Postage

Posted November 26, 2007 By AussieSapphire

The festive season is getting closer and time to consider your Christmas gift list.  While there are some out there who seem to be super-organised and get all their shopping done by November, most of us have busy lives and sometimes things get left to the last minute.  However, there are still a few weeks left so please read the information below so you have the best chance of getting your parcel in plenty of time.

stamps.jpg

Australia Post provides a great service to our customers (havent lost a parcel of ours yet) and this year are celebrating 50 years of Christmas stamps – check them out here.

AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMERS

There are 4 delivery options available to Aussie buyers: Regular Post, Registered Post, Express Post and Star Track Express courier.  Bulkier items which must be posted as a parcel usually have these options on the listing.  Small items (eg. gems and blank settings) are posted as a large letter by registered post unless you specifically advise otherwise.

Please confirm your preferred delivery method when prompted at the “Comments” mid-way through the checkout.  We will default to regular post unless you advise otherwise.

Star Track Express delivery requires an address where someone can sign for the parcel during normal business hours – PO boxes are not acceptable.  If you are not going to be home, you may nominate an alternative address (eg. work address is ok).  We recommend courier delivery for fast, trackable parcels – particularly as we get closer to Christmas. 

Express Post – Glen Innes is outside the “Next Day Delivery” nework for Express Post so we cannot deliver in 24 hours but for distant locations, it is faster than regular or registered post.

INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS

Parcels sent to overseas buyers will normally be sent by registered airmail.  This costs $17.50 for standard size parcels (up to 500 grams) and normally takes 5 – 20 days (usually just over a week to most locations).  However, at peak times, we cannot guarantee delivery time and airmail cannot be tracked online.

shared_fedex_express_logo.gifWhere orders are required urgently, we offer Fedex delivery.  Parcels may be sent by Fedex at no additional charge for orders over the value of $400 AUD.  Where orders are below this value, you may request Fedex delivery for an additional $25.

Remember, we will do everything we can to make sure your parcel reaches you in time. Please contact us any time and we can discuss your options. Cheers for now from Andrew and Leah Lane (Aussie Sapphire) and enjoy the next few weeks as we lead up to Christmas.

Madagascan Sapphire Mining

Posted November 24, 2007 By AussieSapphire

Found this very interesting slideshow on sapphire mining in Madagascar recently – by Lihee Avidan and Mat Heywood for the BBC. 

Audio Slideshow – BBC – Sapphire Miners

Highlighting the dangers of mining and the struggle faced by many miners to make a decent living, both the photographs and audio tell a fascinating story.  This image from the slide show (source at above link) is an example of a family group operating a small mine (a dangerous single shaft with inadequate ventilation or safety supports).  The Ministry of Energy & Mining representative notes the high death rates on the mining fields as a major problem. The accompanying article “Madagascar’s Sapphire Rush” by Jonny Hogg for the BBC is also well worth reading.   Some difficult issues that should be considered the next time you see that beautiful Ceylon sapphire in the jewellers shop – a stone which most likely came from Madagascar.

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 cheer for now from Andrew and Leah Lane (www.aussiesapphire.com.au)

Too Busy

Posted November 24, 2007 By AussieSapphire

Sorry we have not had time to post on the blog lately.  Spring is a busy time on the farm and we have been working the mine at full production also to fill new orders.  Demand for the “Bag a Beauty” fossicking bags is growing with hundreds walking out the door each month.  Plenty of buyers starting their Christmas shopping so lots of orders to fill.  All in all, lots of work and not much time to blog.

The sapphire rough catalogue has been relatively empty for some time now.  We have a few new pieces listed now and a few more to go online in the next couple of days.  Check this out very soon.

The large batch of tourmaline has been sitting in the safe for a while now so we decided to get someone in to help us catalogue this lot – Thanks Corinna.  We now have all of this measured and described – next job is photography.  Stay tuned for an announcement on these great gems – we’ll have the best of this online as soon as possible.

Our new range of tools and supplies is proving very popular with buyers.  We are always on the lookout for new items that we can offer at affordable prices – quite a few good Christmas gift ideas in this section so check it out.  Andrew is overseas this week so we hope to replenish some of the “out-of-stock” items when he returns (eg. gem display cases and the like).

cheers for now
Leah (holding down the fort while Andrew is overseas this week).