• Short Summary

    (suggested Lead: Gem collecting is both a hobby and a thriving industry in New Zealand)
    SYNOPSIS: The gems, precious and semi-precious, are found near delightfully picturesque towns.

  • Description

    (suggested Lead: Gem collecting is both a hobby and a thriving industry in New Zealand)
    SYNOPSIS: The gems, precious and semi-precious, are found near delightfully picturesque towns. This one is Akaroa, on the east coast of South Island--50 miles from Christ church. It was settled by the French in 1840. Descendants of the original settlers still live there in the same homes....
    along streets still bearing original French names. Nearby is Birdling's flat where rock hunters go to pick up such gemstones as agate, quartz and crystal.

    The gemstones are carried down to the Pacific by glaciers in the southern Alps and washed up on the beach by ocean currents. When the stones are dry they look like any others. The colours show only when they are wet or polished... so the hunters prowl along the water line.

    On the other side of the island you find a different type of precious stone--New Zealand jade.

    Originally, American and Irish settlers came here, looking for gold after the California gold rush ended. Now, their descendants, in the little town of Hokatika, are finding green gold.....

    A few miles into the lush countryside and you might get a glimpse of what it takes to find greenstone, a nephrite jade.... In this wild, inaccessible country, it takes a chopper to carry out the heavy stones. The rock hunter, having found a good one, puts it in the net and waits for the arrival of the chopper.

    They have to move East, hook it on...and up she goes.

    Carried back to base...it is later carted by truck to Hokatika. Tose stones will be worth hundreds of thousand of dollars when they have been converted into jewelry. Inside, the first step is to break down the rock and see what the greenstone is like... if it is good enough for jewelry, it is slicked by high speed saws. The next step is to make up different shapes. After that, polishing and more polishing until it comes out a beautiful green. Diamond drills must be sued as greenstone is extremely hard. The drills, which cost more than 800 dollars, last only a month before they have to be replaced. The factory sells the precious gems as fast as they are fashioned.

    Tourists pour into the show room of the factory from all over the world. And they quickly purchase the ear rings, cuff links, rings, bookends and other items made from the jade.

    Last year business increased by 50 per cent.... and this year it's expected to increase even more. This means the rock hunters will have to work harder than ever for the jade which gets more difficult to find. But who minds such work when it can be performed in country such as this.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAD44XX9K4YRKVPXASRYEHI6EM
    Media URN:
    VLVAD44XX9K4YRKVPXASRYEHI6EM
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/01/1973
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:42:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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