Home » 2008 » January

Archive for January, 2008

Website Maintenance

Posted January 31, 2008 By AussieSapphire

Just letting people know we are doing some website maintenance.  This is necessary because our host is upgrading to php5 – this has required us to upgrade our version of zencart (the underlying software running the online shop). 

The new version of the website is being loaded now with just very minor interruptions while we transfer over and update all database details.  For the next 4 to 5 days, we will be testing and checking that everything is working normally.

While we are making every effort to make the upgrade as painless as possible, if we have missed anything at all, please contact us immediately so we can sort it out.  We can be contacted by phone on 02 6732 1267 (+61 2 6732 1267 for international callers) or by email on info@aussiesapphire.com.au

We apologise for this inconvenience – the php5 upgrade by the host is compulsory and so we have no choice but to move along with it and try to make sure our system works well with the new software.

As our host noted when informing us of the upgrade tomorrow night:  “These upgrades are necessary as both PHP 4 and MySQL 4 have reached EOL status — in other words, they are at the end of their software lifecycle, and their creators will no longer be releasing updates/actively maintaining those projects.  To ensure adequate performance and security, it is thus very important for us to do these upgrades.”

Cheers for now – we hope to be back online as soon as possible.
Andrew and Leah Lane (www.aussiesapphire.com.au)

Australia Day 2008

Posted January 26, 2008 By AussieSapphire

Australia Day has come around again but with Andrew away overseas, we didnt really have time to relax.  Take a look at one of our previous posts for some thoughts on the subject – Australia Day 2006 – but for now we wish everyone a great weekend with friends and family. 

boxkanga.jpgRemember to take time to think about what makes this country such a great place to live, work & raise a family -let’s all work together to keep it that way.

cheers for now from Leah (www.aussiesapphire.com.au)

Well-travelled sapphire

Posted January 26, 2008 By AussieSapphire

A while back, we received an order to provide a sapphire for an engagement ring – this is one of our favourite jobs and we are always pleased to try and find something suitable for the project.  Hans Meevis, the goldsmith is an extremely talented guy and the result is fantastic as you can see below:


He has written about the project on his blog: Lil’Ol’Sis’ Engagement Ring.  His stuff is amazing and readers are encouraged to see more of his work at his main website www.meevis.com – his work with unusual metals such as purple gold and titanium is particularly interesting.

So this well travelled sapphire has gone from our mine in northern NSW, over to Perth, sent on to St Maarten (Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean) and is just about to be sent back to Australia to the “husband to be”.  Congratulations to the happy couple on your engagement and thank you for choosing an Aussie Sapphire (thanks also to Hans for doing such a great job with it).

Cheers from Andrew and Leah (www.aussiesapphire.com.au)

New Lapidary & Faceting Equipment

Posted January 12, 2008 By AussieSapphire

In resopnse to demand, we have sourced more new lapidary equipment.  The latest order from the USA is in Sydney now and expected to reach us in Glen Innes later in the week.  This order includes a range of rock tumblers from Lortone (rotary tumblers), Diamond Pacific (mini-sonic tumblers) and Raytech (vibratory tumbler). 

Lortone 3A rock tumbler - buy now from Aussie SapphireMini-Sonic rock tumbler - buy now from Aussie Sapphire

These  tumblers will range in price from the very affordable Lortone 3A at just $215 up to the state-of-the art Mini-Sonic MT-4SV from Diamond Pacific for $595.  If you would like to place your order now, simply order through the checkout or we are happy to hold machines for a 50% deposit.  We expect to be able to despatch pre-ordered machines from 18th January.

Polishing grit will also be available online very soon – just bagging it up now so check back soon so you can get started on those rocks collected while fossicking.  The other item we have been asked about are trim saws.  Consequently, we have ordered in the Rock Rascal Model J Trim Saw – this is a 6″ trim saw but you will need to add a suitable electric motor to power this unit.  Still extremely affordable for around $360 but still working out freight costs so check for this one later in the week.

Brand new Facetron from Aussie Sapphire

Second hand Hall Faceting Machine from Aussie Sapphire

Finally, we seem to have a surplus of faceting machines in stock at the moment.  With brand new Gemmasta GF4 and Facetrons in stock right now for immediate delivery plus two great second hand machines for those on a budget (Gemmasta GF4 and a Hall Mark III).  We also hope to get our replacement Platform faceting machine in this week so this is another good budget alternative. 

Gemmasta from Aussie SapphireIf you already have a faceting machine, dont forget to check this category for accessories such as preformers and the like.

cheers for now from Andrew and Leah (Aussie Sapphire)

Minerama on soon.

Posted January 10, 2008 By Admin

Just eight weeks to go until Minerama – the Gem and Fossicking Show at Glen Innes. This one is always very popular so get planning for a trip to the New England for hands-on fossicking and heaps of gem show bargains.

You can find more information at the Minerama Website.  The committee is still working out fine details on the field trip program but I expect the trips will be similar to last year.  Hoping to include Tingha Sands this time for the quartz crystal collectors (yet to be confirmed); The Auzex Kingsgate tour will run again with kind cooperation from Auzex Resources (a sapphire level sponsor of Minerama); Reddestone Creek at the same location as last year; Yarrow Creek locations are yet to be confirmed.  Please check the website through February for more information on the field trip program.

Dont forget that this year, scenic flights over the mining areas of Glen Innes and Emmaville will be offered by Inverell Aviation. 

Book directly with the pilot by phoning (02) 6723 1344 – flights leave from Glen Innes airport (just west of Glen Innes on the Emmaville Road) on Friday and Saturday.

Also – lots of cash and BP fuel card prizes on offer by way of a raffle, lucky door prize and lucky field trip prize draws. 

Plenty of accommodation choices in Glen Innes from luxury B&B’s to camping in the great outdoors.  You are encouraged to consider the Minerama sponsors when choosing accommodation or services in appreciation for their support.

Of course, Aussie Sapphire will be attending Minerama as a trader.  We have a great selection of products on offer – from the finest gems to gem/lapidary tools and supplies.  We have a number of new and used faceting machines/accessories in stock right now so if you are looking to upgrade or get started in the hobby, look out for the Aussie Sapphire stall inside the Services Club auditorium.

cheers for now from Andrew and Leah (Aussie Sapphire)