REDCLIFFE GEM CLUB
We'll teach you how to turn something you stub your toe on into something you'd propose to your partner with!
What you can do at Redcliffe Gem Club
Founded in 1965 as the ”Redcliffe Peninsula Lapidary Club”, now trading as the Redcliffe Gem Club has grown to become a non-profit, lapidary-focused organisation located on the beautiful Redcliffe Peninsula in the Redcliffe Botanical Gardens, South-East Queensland, Australia. Our club provides instruction and facilities for members to perform a range of lapidary-based activities, precious metal work for jewellery making, and faceting of gemstones.
Discover Perfection ... a Real Promise
Unique custom & quality jewellery is at the heart of the Redcliffe Gem Club, we recommend Gold River Jewellers for all repairs and hand made timeless pieces.
The Gold River Jewellers Real Quality Promise means that when you purchase a piece of jewellery you can trust that it has been crafted with quality in mind. Each piece of jewellery passes a jewellers eye, ensuring the jewellery on offer by Gold River Jewellers meets a high standard of quality
“Not all who wander are lost, we're just looking for rocks!”
The Redcliffe Gem Club (RGC) is a non-profit, community-focused organisation located on the beautiful Redcliffe Peninsula in South-East Queensland, Australia. The club provides instruction and facilities for members to perform a range of lapidary-based activities, precious metal work for jewellery making, and faceting of gemstones.
Thinking about joining the club? If so, you can try your hand at cutting, shaping and polishing rocks and minerals from suitable material available at the club, under supervision from one of our experienced and skilled instructors. After this trial period, you can opt to join the club and continue to learn and develop your skills in this area, or expand your skills in areas such as making jewellery with silver and other precious metals, through smithing and casting methods. You can learn to work with soft gems such as opal and jade, or learn to facet gemstones in our faceting workshop. The club also offers other activities such as rock slabbing, stone tumbling and field trips.
Click on the relevant link above or return to the home page for more information regarding each of these areas.
Want to learn more about what we offer? Click here to view our contact details including our location, opening times and membership fees.
Members have access to the following equipment at our Workshop:
Diamond saws able to slab rocks up to 17cm
Grinding wheels for shaping stones
Diamond wheels for shaping and smoothing stones
Vertical sanders and polishers
Combination machines for working opal
Horizontal flat lapping and polishing machines
Silver and gold working tools
Casting furnace (lost wax process)
Faceting equipment and courses
Members will enjoy access to additional benefits such as:
Lapidary, metalsmithing and faceting instruction
Supplies of semi-precious material
Store for purchasing silver
An extensive gem, metalsmithing and lapidary library
Morning teas and suppers at our daytime and evening sessions
A kitchen with tea and coffee making facilities during sessions
A meeting room
A lounge area with computers and TV
Other benefits to come include:
Benefits and discounts provided by our sponsors
Free lectures from visiting specialists
(book in via the Members Zone)
our policies and values
The RGC is committed to providing a safe, considerate, friendly, environmentally aware and welcoming environment for learning and participation in the various activities that the club provides to our community. To support these values, the club has provided the following policies. These policies will be periodically reviewed for currency and will be amended or added to as required. The policies seek to provide confidence to existing and prospective members that the club is focussed on promoting and upholding the values of our nation and community.
Please click on the relevant link below to view respective policies in the areas of:
In late 1964 Mr. Ossie Rippingale came to the Redcliffe Peninsula and opened a rock and shell shop ( Margate Gemcraft & Gifts) at 325 Oxley Avenue, Margate. Ossie, son of a farmer, had been born in Warwick Queensland and Educated in Warwick and Toowoomba. He trained as a sewing machine mechanic and travelled throughout the state developing an interest in shells and painting before arriving on the peninsula. A shy man he became an expert on marine life in Australian waters and was often consulted by educational and research institutions. His collection of marine specimens is now believed to be held in the Sydney Museum.
Whilst talking to a lady customer called Jean Steptoe, the idea of forming a lapidary club was conceived as both felt that it could succeed. An advertisement was placed in the local newspaper inviting expressions of interest from the general public which resulted in an inaugural meeting on the 20th. January, 1965 at the Rock and Shell Shop which was located on the corner of Oxley Avenue and Chatham Street. Thirty one people attended and the nucleus of the club was formed. After much discussion the name ”Redcliffe Peninsula Lapidary Club” was chosen, and after examining several likely premises for a club room, it was decided to rent the laundry and back room of the residence of Mr Rippingale at 1b Chatham Street behind the Rock Shop for one pound a week. Six keen members each loaned twenty pounds to the club and four grinders, five sanding discs for grit paper, a polishing disc and a slabbing saw were purchased to perform lapidary work.
Working bees were held to make stand and benches for the machines. Mr. W. Files set up the machinery and rendered great assistance. A Grand Opening was held on Wednesday the 7th. April, 1965. Jean Steptoe performed the opening ceremony on behalf of the President who was ill and the first recorded payment for the use of the club machinery was made on the 14th of April 1965.
Becoming a member of the club is easy. Simply phone us or drop by at the times we are open, and one of our members will gladly answer your questions about the club and show you around the workshop. If you have never done any lapidary work before, then prior to signing up and paying your fees, we offer the opportunity for you to determine whether or not lapidary is for you, by providing you with guidance and support to make a few cabochons in our workshop. Workshop session fees will apply ($5). We provide you the opportunity to make up to 3 cabochons in this manner. After that you may opt to join the club. You don't have to participate in the trial, you can opt to join the club immediately. The trial is just a "try-before-you-buy" option we provide for prospective members.
Joining fee applies to the 1st new adult member only
Members joining or rejoining from the 1st of July to the 30th of November will pay a reduced membership fee (click here for further information)
Members joining or re-joining in December qualify for the following calendar year, 13 months membership. (click here for further information)
Joining fee applies to new members only and is fixed
Additional adults include parents/guardians and grandparents
Members aged 12 to 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult
Unaccompanied 15 to 17 year old members must sign out if leaving the club before the workshop closes.
Our resource library contains videos, charts, images, articles, text and links to other websites covering aspects of lapidary, gem faceting, and metalsmithing that may be useful to club members and to interested members of the community.
The resources are freely available on the web, but have been collated and grouped here for ease of access. These resources are for the purposes of education and research only, and the wishes of the relevant rights holders (if they are stated) must be respected. To continue, please select the relevant area of research below.
Metalsmithing & Jewellery Making
**Please note that the above links open 3rd party websites, and as such we have no control over their content.**
This is a selection of highly informative videos which demonstrate the various activities that the club offers.
Some of the videos also relate specifically to rock, minerals and gemstones in general.
Note, that the club may do things slightly differently than demonstrated in the videos, due to differences in equipment and process.
Tim McCreight: The Complete Metalsmith
Faceting Introduction Course
How To Make A High Quality Cabochon
Lost Wax Casting Tutorial
**All videos appear below**
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