Brothers fossick while Dad finds meaning at Gemfest

CUT ABOVE: David Courage with Aslan O’Keefe and Eron, Koen and Tumahn Young.
CUT ABOVE: David Courage with Aslan O’Keefe and Eron, Koen and Tumahn Young. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

FOSSICKING for shiny gems is a favourite pastime for five-year-old Koen Young and his brother Tumahn, 8.

The Channon lads love nothing more than getting out the day after a flood has passed to see what the waters have uncovered in the creek beds and gullies near their home.

A visit to the annual Gemfest in Lismore at the weekend opened the brothers' eyes to new horizons.

More: Thrill of the hunt captivates at Lismore Gemfest

On display were huge raw stones and minerals from as far away as Tanzania and Brazil.

The boys also learnt about the delicate craft of gem cutting thanks to demonstrations by members of the Casino and Lismore lapidary clubs.

Dad Eron Young said the boys were right into their hobby.

"I think it's that treasure hunting thing, and then there's the beauty of looking at it, like finding seashells," Mr Young said.

"We've got a massive collection of everything from local stuff to sapphires.

"They've reached a point now where they've found a lot of local stuff so they're starting to go a bit further afield now, out into sapphire country, out towards Inverell."

"For me it's about getting out in the bush and finding stuff, and seeing the kids go wild when they find a good one."

Mr Young said while the thill of the search was obvious, the hobby also provided a deeper message.

"I've been teaching them about the spirit of fossicking, which is not about the worth of it but more about finding something nice and sharing that experience of finding it," he said.

"I always tell them it never looks as good on the mantelpiece as it does the day you find it."