Under a variety of banners,
Gerald Pauley has been dealing
and trading in this industry
since 1965 and collecting rocks, gems,
minerals and fossils since 1953.
He commenced opal cutting
and dealing in opals in 1966
his first retail shop
and opal cutting school
in April, 1967.
Although he was
wholesaling cut opals he did not open
wholesale business until 1968.
Gerald traveled throughout Australia
prospecting and collecting gems,
minerals and fossils, whilst making
new contacts to buy and sell
minerals and fossils.
In 1969 he traveled extensively
through New South Wales, Queensland,
Northern Territory and South
prospecting, collecting and selling
his products. Naturally, one
his favourite haunts was Broken Hill,
New South Wales, famous
for fine specimens, some of which we are
exhibit in our Gallery.
In 1969, whilst on a prospecting trip
to the north of Australia
the now famous malachite, cerussite and
Browns Prospect, Rum Jungle.
At that time Australian
did not have funds to purchase gems
and minerals and
relied on the
generosity of collectors to make
Gerald was able to trade
minerals with museums and often,
discovered new and
unusual items, would donate
examples to the
preserve our natural mineral heritage.
He is proud
of the certificates of
recognition's for the donations
as, today, the price of
fine examples of gems and minerals
greatly risen and some
items have become a valuable
In 1969, Gerald
invented a process
to set opal chips in calibrated black
(requiring an injection
moulding tool) using a thermosetting
resin (epoxy) and was granted a patent
on the process. He called
"Rediset" and demand exceeded supply.
problem was with
getting good quality opal chips.
He also set
a variety of colourful
gem chips in white backings.
During the years between 1969
and 1976 he was active active
and trading some
of the finest minerals from
from Broken Hill. Many of the fine
Broken Hill minerals
are now in
Australian museums. One of the
finest examples was
Australians regard as the best
specimen of mangano-calcite
the world. If you are lucky enough
to own a copy of Minerals
Broken Hill, this beautiful
specimen may be seen. Amongst
localities we have mined
is the Adelaide Mine, Dundas,
where we uncovered
crocoite crystals up to 9" in length
and large groups of crystals
(many of these were donated to
National Museum of Victoria
when he sold his personal collection
to the same museum in 1974).
His collection was reported as
of the greatest collections
ever obtained to that date.
Back in 1972
he also commenced
making injection moulding tools
for the manufacture
"Crystal Showcase™" a 1.5"
cube acrylic box
gems, minerals, fossils and rings.
of the "Ring Jig™"
insert in the box was an innovation
the ring to be
displayed in the box with the
shank of the ring
His Company was the first Australian
company to take out full colour
advertising full pages in the
Australian Gemhunter Magazine,
by a good friend and
associate Cyril Kovac, proprietor
CK Minerals. When it came
to displaying and protecting minerals
or gems "e;Crystal Showcase™"
quickly became popular amongst
alike. It remains the most popular
box on the market in Australia and
now, via the internet,
it is available to the world.
Whilst in Northern Territory,
during 1972/73 He met
a Beareau Of Mineral Resources
Geologist, who was mapping in the area
near Bachelor, Northern Territory.
Gerald had asisted him in some
rock identifacation so he invited
Gerald to have a look over some
of the old records for mineral and
gem deposits in Northern Territory.
He learned of deposits of gemstones,
agate, amethyst and prehnite
occurring in the Antrim Plateau Volcanic
near Wave Hill, Northern Territory.
It wasn't until 1974 that he was
able to visit the area to do some
prospecting. He discovered agates,
amethsyt and prehnite weathering
from the basalts and prehnite
was highly concentrated in some
areas. He continued to prospect the
area for a number of years and
during the 1980's he discovered
what he believed to be the world's
largest deposit of gem grade prehnite.
It was in
1976 that he started
making a range of jewellery and
and designed a
new injection moulding tool
for making mineral
As the business grew he expanded
into new areas and in
commenced designing a range of
Australiana figurines for manufacture
in pewter. The Master Patterns
were initially made in sterling silver
but, because of the demand,
he later made a very important
decision to expand the range and
make the figurines in fine
lead-free pewter. From 1980 to 1986
he commissioned Suzzanne Brett
who, under Gerald's instruction,
designed and made a total
400 individual master patterns.
initially cast by a
sub-contractor but in 1985 he
his own mould making
and pewter casting facility
techniques for three-dimensional
on gems and minerals soon became
a popular range, and,
with figurines mounted in his box,
he created an excellent range of gifts
and souvenir lines which
to be popular to this day.
As the popularity of his fine
lead-free pewterware grew
he was able to
invest in more
injection moulding tools and became
supplier, in Australia,
of high quality acrylic presentation
First, there was a set of three
larger boxes based
original "Crystal Showcase™"
idea and then a
dome and base
set for the "Heritage Collection"
his fine pewter figurines.
He made his products interesting by
including Australian gems
minerals in the diorama's which he
created in his studio in Aspendale.
Gems and minerals were
in those days and he was able
to make the diorama's with
inclusion of such colourful gems as
opal, crocoite, chrysoprase,
orange calcite, galena, green fluorite,
smoky quartz and
a host of others that he would
give an arm and
leg for today.
His presentations were educational
and included a full description
of the gem or
mineral. Each of
the figurines depicting part of
A history of fauna, marine life
and flora were
described to educate the purchaser.
He mined malachite
Browns Prospect, Northern Territory
and purchased drums of pyrite
quartz geodes from Mexico,
amethyst from Brazil, quartz groups
various localities and chrysoprase
from Marlborough, Queensland
for mounting the pewter figurines.
One day he had a phone call from
tourists from the USA
wanting to buy opal. They did
a means of transport to
get over to see his showroom and,
as he had always
had an interest
in meeting people from other parts
of the world,
arrangements to take some opals
over to show them. After
evening chatting they told him that,
whilst travelling through
seaside town of Lakes Entrance
on the south coast Victoria,
they had purchased
souvenirs, "THE BEST WE HAVE SEEN!",
which were so well presented
and informative. He had to see them
(He wanted to know what the
opposition were doing);
them and to his
amazement, they were his souvenirs.
It's a small world and the internet
has made the world smaller
and brought us all closer.
He enjoys trading and if both parties can walk away believing
they have both got a good deal then that is the way he wants it.
He is proud of the quality and presentation of his products
and strives to be better, maybe not the best, but the best
he can be. He has always offered good service and quality of
workmanship in the products he manufactures.
He has a great eye for detail
and his ideas and
concepts are well known in Australia.
Although he had stocks of overseas materials he was quickly
running out of Australian materials which were the most popular
as souvenirs in Australia. What did he do? He went prospecting
again and discovered seventy deposits of gems and minerals and
made contacts with miners for purchase of gems or minerals.
From 1974 to early 1980's he had prospected in the Wave Hill area of Northern
Territory, Australia and discovered huge deposits of prehnite,
quartz geodes, smoky quartz geodes, amethyst geodes, agates and
a number of other minerals. The potential of the area was enormous
but the logistics of mining and managing the deposits were incomprehensible
as it was at the northern edge of the Tanami Desert some 4,000
his base in Melbourne, Victoria.
Everything was hard to get out there; the nearest 'watering hole'
(an Aussie expression for a pub) was 170 Kilometres away, not that that
mattered, he had bore water close by. He later found that the
town of Wave Hill, now renamed Kalkarindji, had a club called
"Frank's Bar and Grill" - so he joined. It wasn't long
before he got banned, and it wasn't for drinking, using abusive
language being rude or fighting! He has a lot of stories to tell
about hs experiences in the bush, and from his travels overseas,
that people who know him say "You should write a book"; He says he will one
day - when he has time! However, if you ever get to meet Gerry
he can certainly relate the tales to you in typical Aussie style
over a few beers, or around a camp fire under the crystal clear
Australian outback skies, experiences which he still longs for.
The most amazing gem he discovered was a fascinating gem grade
golden Prehnite, perfectly transparent
and extremely rare. Whilst the prehnite deposit is vast there
is only one area where the gem grade can be obtained. His wife, Linna, purhcased the lease for the Prehnite in 2013 and they mine the material each year.
Because of the enormity of the project he needed to raise funds
to mine the deposit and bring to the world some new and interesting
gems and minerals. During the late '80's he was involved in prospecting
for, and mining, rhodonite near Tamworth, New South Wales, with
orders coming in from Asia for 40 tonnes per month. As he had
several mining tenements, he wrote a proposal in 1988 to raise
funds to establish a mobile mining plant to travel from mine
to mine to extract sufficient materials to carry through to the
next dry season in the north of Australia.
The proposal also
sought funds to establish a gem processing tourist attraction
in Australia and a place where gem merchants could come from
all over the world to promote their wares and buy
and sell gems
situation in Australia at the end of the 1980's was bad, to say
the least. All the high fliers of the early to mid '80's were
falling flat. Our national hero who captured the treasured "America's
Cup" (sorry about mentioning that - hehe) had become a fallen
hero and Chris Skase was packing his bags to leave the country
to fly to Spain and leave his problems behind. It was a bad time
to raise funds and after almost a year of working on the proposal
and promotion of it he was left with no ready cash but plenty
of assets and little hope of mining the deposits. The only people
to make any money out of the proposal were the legal eagles and
accountants and he had wasted a year of his time in doing all
the research essential for a genuine proposal.
One good thing did come out of all this and that was an idea
he had to simulate gems and opals using computer generated images
and holograms. At this time he knew nothing about computers but
had an idea. He bought an Apple IIe computer with a ZARDAK word processing
software, yes with the old 5.5" floppy drive for drafting
ideas but suddenly realised that pretty soon computers would
be linked to laser copiers and printers. He made some colour copies
of gems and opals and proceeded to remove the image from the
paper onto other materials using heat. After all, the toners
were plastic and were fused to the paper and his logic told him
that if you can put the image on the paper, by heating, you should also be
able to get it off using similar heat. Using an old iron, he ironed
the image onto fabrics, which he still has and, even after several
washing and over 30 years later, they are still clearly visible on the material.
He applied for patents on "Simulated Gemstones" which
were granted in 1991, and, over a number of years from 1991,
proceeded to develop and perfect the process of simulating opal.
Over $A2.5M was spent in Australia and overseas on patent applications,
injection moulding tools and overseas travel to see whether anything
similar was on the market. There wasn't. Patents were held
in Australia and USA.
With an investment
from a Taiwanese investor In 1993 he moved his operation to Taiwan
and worked there for a year trying to establish a jewellery range
and making tools for mass producing the finished jewellery. He
called the new gem "Opalus".
He is looking for oversees distributors for this unique fashion
jewellery range and is currently working on new injection moulding
tools for display packaging, promotional items and
of sale to promote the range.
Whilst developing the process it was necessary to learn computer
graphics - everyone thought that he was too old to learn, but
never tell he "You can't do it". He learned Adobe Photoshop,
Adobe Illustrator, QuarkXpress to make a range of
unlimited random opal patterns. He then designed a range of random
patterned holograms to test the process and finally developed
a unique method of making the original plates. Using a variety
of other materials he finally had a product which he was happy
with. A year in Taiwan was enough for him and he returned to Australia
to complete the process and raise more funds
to mass produce
It is never
easy to be a pioneer but with perseverance he had dragged the
project like an anchor to a stage where it was almost ready for
release on the market with full back up promotional point of
sale and new concept display packaging.
In 1994, had had a hip replacement as a result of an accident in
1989 and was up and walking in just a few weeks. The physios
were surprised but he still had a dream to fulfill. He went back
to Taiwan in 1995 and collected his tools, collection and materials.
Upon returning to Australia, he set up a business making simulated
opals and souvenirs using the techniques he invented and patented.
More to follow
soon.......... as we find time. If you have any questions, please
feel free to eMail us: ASK