All That Glitters

The lure of the sapphire is very real in Queensland’s Central Highlands. As Roderick Eime discovered, the fabled El Dorado may have streets lined with gold but Rubyvale’s dusty pavements are littered with gemstones.

“Here you go,” says Kym White with a cultured tone that seems incongruous in the Australian outback. Her finely manicured hands load a fat pile of ‘wash’ into my sieve with a rough, well-used shovel. My search for a sapphire thus begins with a pile of dirty gravel.

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