Home Amethyst Unveiling the Allure of Gemstone Faceting: A Passion Shared by Retired Narrabri Local

Unveiling the Allure of Gemstone Faceting: A Passion Shared by Retired Narrabri Local

by Madonna

Narrabri, a serene haven known for its agricultural prowess, now basks in the radiance of gem cutting, an artistry that has captivated retired ag pilot and farmer, Hugh Faris. His infatuation with the intricate world of gemstone faceting has kindled a fervor to disseminate his ardor among the local denizens.

The residents of Narrabri, like a well-cut gem, are poised to gleam with equal ardency in response to Mr. Faris’ endeavor.


“From sapphires to topaz, garnets to citrine, rubies to amethysts, and tourmalines to an array that polishes to perfection,” Mr. Faris enthused, encapsulating the captivating spectrum of gemstones.


Mr. Faris, driven by his passion, has orchestrated a remarkable feat – positioning Narrabri as the canvas for an enlightening workshop and course conducted by the esteemed Australian Facetors’ Guild. This guild, a congregation of artisans devoted to the finesse of faceting and reimagining gemstones, boasts membership that transcends national borders.


Resonating through the luminous span of a week, the gem cutting course is poised to grace the hallowed grounds of the Narrabri Showground. A remarkable tapestry of expertise has woven itself into the fabric of this initiative – 16 gem cutters of diverse competencies, each guided by a personal instructor, stand as testament to this pursuit.

Amid this radiant constellation, a window of opportunity beckons the locals to partake. A “visitor session” scheduled for Sunday will unveil the mystique of gem faceting to inquisitive hearts and nimble minds. Be it enthusiasts forging a nascent connection with this art, or those entwining it with commerce, the invitation extends to all.

In a tale of serendipity, the genesis of this endeavor unfolded during a visit to an ailing friend – an aficionado of gem faceting. As Mr. Faris recalls, “The allure was irresistible, a captivating realm that ensnared my curiosity. An affinity for stones and minerals always coursed through me; with a geologist and gemologist brother, this journey was almost preordained.”

Such is the magic of this pursuit that age dissolves as a barrier. At 81, Mr. Faris stands as a beacon of testament – a local facetor, defying temporal limitations. “The chronicles of age hold no sway; the journey remains open to all, mobility notwithstanding. Last year, I embarked on a voyage with the Australian Facetors’ Guild, a step that set me on this odyssey,” he reflects.

When the confluence of discussion whispered about prospective venues for this year’s workshop and AGM, Mr. Faris’ hand shot up, and Narrabri emerged as a proposition. This pivotal decision gave birth to the forthcoming week-long sojourn at the Narrabri showground, adorned not only with knowledge exchange but also camaraderie nurtured through shared dinners and gatherings.

As gems adorn nature’s bosom, approximately 48 enthusiasts will grace Narrabri’s embrace, delving into the nuances of gemstone discernment, cutting techniques, design artistry, the finesse of polishing, and more. An ensemble of experts, scattered like gleaming facets, is set to enrich the narrative. From Mr. Faris’ brother journeying from Perth to the guild president hailing from Melbourne, the cohort encompasses gems from Adelaide, the ACT, Bundaberg, and even Rubyvale.

In this mosaic of enlightenment, some names gleam with the brilliance of qualified gemologists, individuals equipped to decipher the secrets held by gemstones across myriad dimensions. Amid this symphony of learning, silver work shall also resonate, crafting rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings – a universe sans gemstones is christened “findings.”

The clarion call extends – those who harbor “findings” are invited to bring them forth during the visitor session. The Narrabri landscape is poised to be a canvas for exploration and connection – with 30 caravans poised for settlement and a dinner attended by 50 eager souls. The allure of gemstones shall usher many to traverse distances and partake in the pleasure of fossicking.

The North West region beckons gem enthusiasts, with pockets of promise shimmering across Bingara, Inverell, and Narrabri itself. As Mr. Faris remarks, “Sapphires grace places like Bingara and Inverell, and our own Narrabri conceals its own hidden treasures.” The canvas extends further, embracing locales such as Rubyvale and Sapphire, where rubies occasionally wink into view. “Sapphires, I believe, are a prospect waiting to be unveiled in our own backyard,” he adds, citing historical mentions of diamond mines in Narrabri’s history.

An ardent seeker of wisdom, Mr. Faris extends an invitation to those who share his intrigue. “I welcome all with insights on local terrain or a penchant for gemstones to step forward. Insights into potential fossicking grounds would be treasures in themselves – a plot of land where visitors can unearth stones destined to be sculpted and polished.”

In the heart of Narrabri, a tale unfolds, where gems not only adorn the earth but also kindle a passion that binds individuals, transcending age, distance, and time.


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