Twenty-five years on Queensland’s sapphire fields have earned Peter and Eileen Brown an international reputation for their brilliant gems.

Story & photos by Nick and Danielle Lancaster

As the owners of Rubyvale Gem Gallery, located 60 kilometres west of Emerald, Queensland, on the world’s largest sapphire fields, Peter and Eileen Brown’s gems are in high demand internationally, including countries such as Denmark, Germany and the USA. This is because the gallery is deemed to house one of the most spectacular collections of Australian sapphires and Peter is considered to be an expert gem cutter.
Peter brought his wheelbarrow onto these sapphire fields more than 25 years ago. In 1980, Eileen also came to Rubyvale while she was backpacking around Australia and fell in love with the gems’ exquisite sparkle – and Peter. She noticed him when he won the local Wheelbarrow Derby, and by 1981 they were married.

This story excerpt is from Issue #48

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sep 2006