If you plan on spending a good deal of time fossicking for gemstones, then it's worth your while to have the appropriate equipment. The following information outlines the equipment that we use when we go fossicking.
Standard Miners pick is sufficient
Light weight scratching blade
This is a mater of preference, between a spade and a medium sized round mouth shovel. We prefer a smaller style shovel or spade, making it easier to carry.
The Willoughby pictured has been constructed in parts for ease of transporting. It can easily be made by a handyman; each section of the Willoughby is outlined below.
The Stand: a 'U' section with a short vertical joiner.
The Vertical Pivot Arm: This is made from square section tubing so that it slides neatly over the vertical joiner on the 'u' section. The top of the pivot arm is designed again as a 'u' section to allow attachment of the horizontal arm. The height of this vertical section can be made to suit the person operating it, hip height is suggested.
The Horizontal Arm: Again made from square tubing, drilled to allow attachment to a vertical pivot arm and attachment of the sieve bridal.
The Sieve Bridal: This is a circular section that allows the placement of the sieves. The circular section is connected via a 'y' section to the horizontal arm. When the Horizontal Arm is moved up and down the sieves move up and down in the water bucket provided thus washing the stone.
Simply a flat piece of Board with a piece of tubing attached underneath, this allows the table to be placed upon a steel rod driven in the ground making very transportable. The table is covered by a Hessian bag; this allows water to drain from the stones and easy clearing away of discarded wash.
Pictures show an easy construction of two boxes 60x40x7 cm with 3mm mesh attached to one and 12mm mesh attached to the other. The lower box (which has the 3mm mesh) is made to pivot so that the smaller stones less than 12mm can be poured in to a bucket, then into the Willoughby sieves for processing.
This stand is for dry sieving, the sieves are filled with wash, placed upon the stand and shaken backward and forwards vigorously to remove dust. Generally a careful inspection follows, this is very handy for Topaz and short digs. If it is desirable to wash stones simply place sieves in the Willoughby and proceed as before.
Buckets, water containers and gloves.