Lapidary enthusiasts queued well prior to opening time to feast their eyes and wallets on the Toowoomba Gemfest wares. A buzzing crowd kept their eyes peeled for a beautiful bargain as they discussed unusual finds in the undercover venue.
In raw form or cut and polished it seemed no stone was left unturned in the varieties available of precious and semi-precious stones. Stunning mother-of-pearl cameo brooches perched beside stones such as larimer, lapis lazuli, agate, tanzanite and many others. Minerals and stones both natural, synthetic and enhanced were available.
Fascinate yourself and the children as stall holders describe their methods and wares.
Fish fossils and shark's teeth fossils among popular others may lure the shopper to create an exciting wall hanging. Or you might prefer a slice of amber which trapped a dozen termites long ago. New Age semi-precious stones were in abundance along with other alternate items.
Dainty or chunky gems, set or unset, the Gemfest was a delicious room full of colour to purchase and intrigue your friends with.
Beware, you may feel inspired to begin a new hobby. To begin with you need a head loupe, a hand loupe, a dop stick slabbed stone and a waterproof apron. A loupe is a small magnifying glass used by jewellers and watchmakers.
Hot food and more stalls outside the hall ensured visitors' hungers were fulfilled. Some of the outdoor stalls held lower quality and imitation merchandise for those on a budget.
Learn more about gem cutting, metalsmithing, fossicking and gemmology from the Toowoomba Lapidary Club who host this annual event.
Head outside for an extra gem shopping fix. Toowoomba Gemfest, Centenary Heights School, Ramsay Street.