News / Tasmania

  • Tasmanian Serpentine and Stichtite

    Also known as "Atlantisite" this beautiful rare combination of Serpentine (green) and Stitchtite (purple) minerals are only found on Tasmania's wild West Coast. First discovered in 1910 by railway workers making the Argents Tunnel near Zeehan. This rare mineral was named after Robert Sticht the manager of the Mt Lyell Mine at nearby Queenstown. Stichtite is formed by the alteration of chromite in serpentine, this unique material is mined at Mount Dundas just south of Zeehan. This rock is used by crystal healers to improve kundalini energy flow, to aid spiritual connections and to protect against negativity.

    The Rare and Beautiful Serpentine and Stichtite MIneral


    The Rare and Beautiful loves this remarkable rock as the colours and frequency of the stichtite are ever changing. We design and hand-make sterling silver jewellery and string beaded pieces using this mineral. All this can be seen on our website or come visit us at our Salamanca Stall (site 180) at the local Saturday market in Hobart Tasmania, Australia  where we also sell carved stichtite and serpentine animals, spheres and solid natural pieces.


    The Rare and Beautiful Stichtite and Serpentine Mount Dundas TasmaniaThe Rare and Beautiful Serpentine and Stichtite Bead NecklacesThe Rare and Beautiful Serpentine and Stichtite from Western Tasmania




  • We are at Salamanca Market

    The Rare and Beautiful has had a site at Salamanca Market for the last 8 years .Salamanca is Tasmania's No 1 tourist attraction. Our stall has a great range of objects of desire : from retro antiques, hand made jewellery, gems, minerals, and meteorites to tribal jewellery , antique textiles, whale bone carvings and objects of natural history. We have something for everyone with a discerning eye, or for the lover of the unusual. If your in Hobart why not come down and see us. We're at stall number 180 which is around half way down the market on the water side.

  • Tasmanian Tektite - Darwin Glass

    Darwin Glass is an impactite tektite 800 odd thousand years ago a large meteorite hit the west coast of Tasmania . Due to the heat and pressure waves generated as this meteorite hit the ground the base rocks of quartzite and slate were instantly melted and splashed out and solidified into a silica rich glass . Resulting in the famous darwin glass ,Tasmania's Moldavite . Found in colours ranging from white to black and various shades of green,including a beautiful transparent olive green.Darwin glass is unique in the world of impact tektites as part of its composition includes the original meteorite,both nickel and iron as well as chromium are included in it. Life has also recently been found in the vesicles of the glass by my friend Doctor Kieran Howard who has extensively studied the glass. The Rare and Beautiful has bought several old collections of glass collected in the 1960s and 70s before the area was included in the world heritage  area and collecting was banned.We have also collected glass from areas outside of the park boundary .


    In January 2014 our family decided to walk in to Darwin crater. Our 6 year old son is very interested in meteorites and wanted to see the impact crater from where it landed. A work colleague and friend from Tas Uni who helped map the crater in the 1970s drew us a map and off we went. The track in was very wet to say the least with many trees fallen across it. After an hour of bush bashing we gave up. Both our 3 and 6 year olds were over it , mud up to their knees heaps of blood sucking leeches and a few large tiger snakes convinced us to reluctantly head home. We didn't see any of the famous glass . A few weeks later we decided to give it another go, back into the mud we went and two hours later we made it to the end of the track. As the area is dense rainforest and the crater is full of sediment it was unfortunately unrecognisable, much to the disappointment of our two boys who were expecting a giant circular hole. We saw some small pieces of glass in the roots of an up turned tree but it certainly wasn't plentiful like we had read.  We headed out to escape the Mosquitos and leeches and saw several large tiger snakes and a copper head on the track. The only creatures in this forest all wanted to bite us. As soon as we were out of the world heritage area we decided to search for some glass specimens, we climbed a likely looking hill and after an hour or so of fossicking around we found an easterly facing slope with some lovely glass specimens, some of a decent size and some lovely green pieces very much like moldavites.




    The SW world heritage are of Tasmania where the crater is located is in dense rainforest ,surrounded by majestic mountains,an area that receives more than 3 meters of rain per year.  For those that would like to know more about Darwin Glass Dr Kieren Howard has written some excellent papers on this magical impact tektite.

  • Hobart Antiques Fair

     This Is our last day of trading at the Hobart Antiques Fair which is held in the stunning old City Hall. We have had some fun over the past 6 days and meet some interesting people with great stories. Thank You to all our loyal customers that we see each year and Thank You to all our new collectors.



  • Digging for Tasmanian Fossil Fern

    Mosquitoes, midges, flies,funnel web spiders, leeches,wasps and tiger snakes. Just a part of the experience of searching for the elusive Lune river fossil plants. The prize awaits up to 6 foot down, through tough wet sticky clay, in a thin gravel layer of agates and fossils.

    Fern is hard to find, but to find a good piece is much harder, many pieces have holes throughout or are totally black.

    Easy NO rewarding YES.

    The most beautiful plant fossils replaced by multi coloured agate are the reward, if you are lucky, but hard work does pay off !

    These fossil tree ferns are from Lune River about 120kms south of Hobart, it is Australia's most southerly gem field. 165 million years ago the vegetation was flatterned by a pyroclastic flow from a nearby volcano, volcanic ash covered these plants. Then a 1km thick basalt and dolerite flow covered the plants, silica then replaced the carbon in the plant. 

    Perfectly preserved stems of wood, fern and cycad resulted. These fossils are amazing in their beauty and in their scientific preservation. 

    More than 13 species of tree fern, several cycads and different woods are found in this Jurassic graveyard. Dinosaur food!

    Treasured in any rock hounds collection. The images are some pieces that The Rare and Beautiful have found. we  have some for sale in the fossil category.



    This beautiful specimen is osmundacaulis prushnikkii. The preservation is amazing with the structure of individual cells easily visible under magnification. Highly agatized with pyrite surrounding the "eyes" in the black section. Locally known as peacock fern due to its resemblance to a peacock tail.



    This is a trunk section of osmundacaulis griggsii as it was found by The Rare and Beautiful.This specimen is too beautiful to cut and polish, and displays perfectly as is.





     Bennettatalian cycadophyte stem perfectly preserved.

    Stem section of lunea Jonesii totally replaced by agate, a fossil and a gemstone in one specimen,very rare and highly desirable.Probably only one piece in a thousand is completely replaced by agate, the holy grail for fern diggers.

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