Strange red rocks

Thats a cool pic of your grandfather with William James O’Leary, Arawata Bill in Queenstown with the Earnslaw in the background. Was it Ian Dougherty who got some info off you? Do you know much about the “Frenchman’s Gold”? Apart from what is written in the book. Cheers.


John :slight_smile:

Hi kiwi jaw yes it was Ian that got some info off us I have all the stuff here in a box it’s a bit of a shame really as it should be displayed yes that is a good photo I love it. I don’t know to much about the gold I was 12 when my grandfather passed away in 1998 but he was always on the hunt for things we would go looking for stuff all the time he had a good eye

Bit of info for you about Arawata Bill


Hi goldsbrough I supplied some info to Ian when he wrote this book

Here are some little garnets from Canada that I got in some pay dirt recently…If that helps


Gday steptoeandson, did you find out what your red rock’s were at all?

Hi I have not had any time to get that sorted yet but I should!

I have a book called’ ‘The Lost Ruby Mine’ by Brian Jackson. 1st published 2001 and republished 2006. A lot of mention of Arawata Bill and others around before, at the time, and later.
In 1872 some gems were found in the vicinity of Pyke Valley inland from Jacksons Bay. These gems were reportedly rubies but the exact site is a mystery. At the least they were high grade garnets but they were reported as rubies. But the exact site hasn’t been found again.
I think there could be a definite link bewtween the story in this book and the stone you have.
Nobody has really got to the bottom of the story. It is a very good read if you can get a copy of the book. It has a few twists including deserters and murder.
There are certainly gems down there somewhere (and huge reserves of asbestos) and the area remains largely unexplored.


There is a chapter on the “The Lost Ruby Mine” in Ian Dougherty’s Arawata Bill book as well. I must look out for Brian Jackson’s book. Deserters & murder are parts of the puzzle to the Frenchman’s Gold. I have a huge interest & some links & info to this that only a very few know about, but any other info is very valuable. Thin threads can weave in to making things fall more into place. As I said in an earlier post on this thread. It isn’t up the Cascade where other well organised searches in the past took place. Maybe that is why they found nothing. Or had it already been found??
I believe that information in the “stories” of the lost ruby mine & the Frenchman’s Gold have been intertwined over the years, confusing the location & searches for the Frenchman’s Gold.

JW :slight_smile:

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Found this concerning Brian Jackson’s book. CENTRAL OTAGO MAYOR

JW :slight_smile:

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I am very interested in this as well and there were somethings in my grandfathers collection like this news paper I also remember him telling me a story about drinking a bottle of champagne with Arawata and putting the empty bottle under a rock but can’t remember what it was all about

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Did you manage to get an ID of the red rocks in the end?

Hi kd23 I did take it to get looked at and they were not to sure and I have done nothing more I’m not even sure I could put my hands on them at the moment

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