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April’09 Update

Posted April 30, 2009 By Admin

Hard to imagine that a third of 2009 has already flashed by – a reminder that life is short so enjoy it.  And what better hobby than Gems !!

We would never have thought Aussie Sapphire would be where it is today when we first started the Online Shop in 1997 – we started off just selling a bit of sapphire from our mine but 12 years on, we have grown into Australia’s favourite Gem & Lapidary Online/Mail Order supplier.  Now with a free call phone number to make it even easier to contact us – just call 1800 50 21 40 toll free for prompt and friendly service.

The last 6 months have been very busy for Aussie Sapphire – here are just a few highlights:

  • In November we imported the first Darkside polishing Laps into Australia and are proud to be the exclusive Dealers in Australia for both the Darksides & the Famous BATT Laps from Gearloose.  With laps in stock ready to ship everyday, we invite you to try these out for yourself.   The Darkside is one of the most exciting new products in faceting for some time and will make life easier for both beginner and expert.  Information and user recommendations can be found at ALF.
  • December saw Sales of Lapidary Gear up over 50% on the previous year – a great result given fears of recession and it is pleasing to see demand continuing well into 2009.  The economy may be gloomy but the lapidary hobby seems to be going against the trend with strong interest all round.
  • December & January saw a huge effort to get our print catalogue ready – our customers have been asking for this for quite some time now and we are pleased to be able to provide this additional service.  Lots of exciting new products are now available.  Remember, up to date prices and stock levels are always available on our website.  If you have not already received a catalogue, just call or email and we will send one out to you (free to any Aussie Sapphire registered customer).
  • February/March also saw some reprieve from the Low Aussie Dollar which had been greatly hurting the margins on new stock.  This allowed us to place some serious orders to replenish our stocks.  We now consolidate container loads of equipment/supplies from the USA, China and Thailand all by sea to try and pass on the best prices possible. We have two large shipments in transit now expected mid/end of May.
  • March saw the voluntary committment of running the Minerama Fossicking and Gem Show take up all our spare time plus some. Minerama was again a great success – thanks to the many customers that called by to say g’day and stock up.  We trade only at Minerama and at the Emmaville Gem Show in September – we dont do other gem shows as it would be impossible to give customers the prompt service you all depend on if we are busy travelling on the Gem Show circuit.

As many would have noticed our listed stock of Sapphire Rough suitable for the local facetor is very low and hasnt had new stock added for some time.  The facts are that its not feasible for us to operate the Sapphire mine under current Global economic conditions.   Simply the cost of production is way too high and the price offered for Mine Run production too low.  Given current forecasts for the length and depth of the recession we are all clearly in, this situation does not look like changing any time soon.

We have had the plant under care and maintanance now for the last 6 months with no mining carried out – during this period, we have completed all the restoration of the mine cuts returning these areas back to full farm production.  A decision will be made within the next 3 months as to whether we maintain the Mining Plant & Equipment to restart at a later date or finalise all mining on the Reddestone Creek.

We carry a vast range of quality cut Reddestone Creek Sapphire in the Bank Deposit box ranging from 1.5mm up in Blues, Yellows and a good selection of Parti – enough to last us and our wholesale outlets  for many years.  We also have a special selected stockpile of rough for our own cutting needs – this is not for sale as rough, sorry.

Customers should be aware that there is no commercial mining being done on the Reddestone Creek currently – people considering buying Sapphire Rough from other sellers that is claimed to be from the Reddestone Creek  should confirm the origin of the rough as we have been the only commercial miner on this resource for some years.

Finally, for those who have not yet joined our new lapidary forum, we invite you to check out the Aussie Lapidary Forum – affectionately known as ALF. This active and friendly community is designed for anyone interested in gems – free membership and lots of features to help you get the most out of the lapidary hobby.

That’s all for now – cheers from Andrew and Leah (www.aussiesapphire.com.au)