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Killiecrankie Diamond

Killiecrankie Bay, 1955 (AOT, PH30/1/1211/3)

Killiecrankie Diamond is a misnomer for gem-quality topaz pebbles found at Killiecrankie Bay, Flinders Island. The topaz from this site was probably one of the earliest gems or minerals recorded and exported from Australia. The topaz may occur as well-formed, pale-coloured, glassy crystals in granite pegmatites, but most are moderately to highly rounded and frosted in the alluvial deposits. The stones may weigh up to several kilograms, but most are no more than a few grams in weight (or a few centimetres in diameter). There is presently no official mining of topaz in the area, but a small production has occurred for many years, mostly from local fossickers and divers. Much of the onshore topaz-bearing area of Killiecrankie Bay is designated as an official fossicking area.

Ralph Bottrill