Gem enthusiast dazzles judges with unique gemstones

Published 4:00pm 16 June 2023

Gem enthusiast dazzles judges with unique gemstones
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

When Les Hathaway entered several of his gemstones, rocks and jewellery into this year’s National Gem and Mineral Show in Dayboro, he never expected to dazzle the judges.

Les, who is a member of the Deception Bay Gem and Allied Crafts Club, was thrilled to come away with a first and second place in the Tumbled Stones Natural Shape Novice category with an impressive score of 94 out of 100 on both pieces.

“I have always made jewellery made out of gemstones I have found for my children and grandchildren, but I had never entered them for judging before,” Les says.

“Even though I have been to lots of shows like this, I decided to enter some pieces this year’s Gemboree purely to see what the process is of entering was like and what the judging process is like.

“I entered a few categories and came away with two wins which I was quite amazed with.

“The judges don’t know who the stones or the jewellery belong to or where it came from, so they are judging purely on what they see before them.

“They gave some really good feedback. One judge said I would have gotten more points if I had done a few little things differently, so based on that I know where I can improve next time.”

The National Gem and Mineral Show, known as Gemboree 2023, was held at the Dayboro Showgrounds over the Easter long weekend. The event was hosted by the Queensland Lapidary and Allied Craft Clubs Association Inc, of which Les is President of.

“This unique event is held in a different state each year, meaning it only comes to Queensland every six years, so this year we were thrilled to bring the event to the Moreton Bay Region for the first time,” Les says.

“We had more than 4000 people attend and a total of 1011 entries for the show, which was incredible.

“A lot of people have told us this was one of the best Gem Shows they had ever been to.”

Gem enthusiast dazzles judges with unique gemstones

Club to host pop up market

If you were unable to attend the Gemboree but want to know more about this unique craft, the Deception Bay Gem and Allied Crafts Club Inc will be hosting an open day pop up market on Saturday, July 15 from 9am-3pm.

The pop up market is a celebration for the club’s 60th anniversary and will feature a wide range of demonstrations including cabbing, silverwork, casting, faceting, enameling and chainmaille.

There will also be stalls selling tools and equipment, as well as thunder egg cutting, raffles, lucky door prizes and a secret auction. Entry is free.

The event will be held at 52 Old Bay Road, Deception Bay.

For more information, visit their website.

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