News

80kg smoky quartz worth $100,000 was stolen from a museum in northern NSW

Someone stole an 80kg piece of quartz from a museum in Tingha in northern NSW.

The most precious art and cultural artifacts are stored and exhibited at museums and galleries. While we know paintings can sell for a healthy amount with the right buyer and there’s a black market for historical artefacts… why on earth would someone bother to steal a giant rock?

Simple answer: money.

Wing Hing Ling museum
Photo: Zeglar

According to NSW Police, the stolen quartz has an estimated value of $100,000. Taking to Facebook to alert the public, police shared the circumstances surrounding the theft.

“Police were told that about 1 am (Saturday 6 November 2021), an unknown number of people entered a museum in Tingha and stole an 80kg piece of quartz … Officers attached to the New England Police District attended and established a crime scene,” their post reads.

“The stone is described as being a dark brown smoky quartz grass stone.”

Further along in their public callout to locate the sticky-fingered perpetrators, NSW Police implored anyone who was in the area or who may have information about the incident to contact Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000 or via their official website.

“Information is treated in strict confidence,” the post reads.

The museum at the centre of the robbery is the Wing Hing Long Museum on Ruby Street. Journalist Madison Scott of NBN News says the stone was originally found “by a local fencing contractor in 1993 and has been on display in the museum ever since”.

A blanket was found at the scene of the crime, leading Danny Coleman, the museum’s president, to believe the robbers used it to drag the stone away.

“It’s very disappointing to think that someone could take a piece of local history,” Coleman said when speaking to Scott.

“It’s actually … sickening really to think that someone went to the trouble to take something like that.”

Tingha
Photo: Cgoodwin/Wikipedia

According to energymuse.com, smoky quartz can be found in a number of areas worldwide – from Australia to Madagascar, the US and more.

It’s held in high esteem in Scotland. It’s the country’s national gemstone and was used by Druids to symbolise “the dark power of the Earth gods and goddesses”. It was also used in jewellery worn during a period of mourning in Victorian England.

Nowadays, for people who follow astrology and crystals, smoky quartz is used to cleanse one of their “energetic baggage” by absorbing a person’s “unwanted energies”. At the same time, it also serves as an anchor for making one grounded and balanced regardless of what challenges life throws in the way.

It’s no wonder that the thieves chose to steal this quartz, they’ll need every kilo to cleanse themselves of the robbery!