News and Updates
Posted August 23, 2012
We have decided to join the millions of businesses and add a Facebook Page for our company. That is where the news will be found. We always had a difficult time updating news from the road, and this will solve that problem. See you there!
Posted November 29, 2010
We could almost copy and paste last year's update for this year, not a lot has changed. The show schedule will be different in 2011, the show in Cartersville, Georgia has been canceled. Also, a new location has been selected for Costa Mesa, California. We are looking at returning to the Rochester Symposium and the Knoxville Gem and Mineral Show. So keep an eye on our show schedule for the latest updates.
We have continued to ramp up production of Rhodochrosite from China. It has nearly replaced our Sweet Home Mine project in terms of display space and sales. We still have a little bit of Colorado material to process, but for the foreseeable future, nearly all faceted rhodochrosite we have will be from China. We will have lots of new items this year at Tucson.
Precious metals continue to rise, where this takes jewelry sales nodody knows. We are still working on transitioning more deigns to the computer and have been able to almost hold prices steady this year.
The Benitoite inventory has continued to decline. With the difficulties the current mine owner is having with access, it looks like supplies will continue to drop and prices will continue to rise. We did manage to cut a few new stones this year, some of which were over two carats.
We have not run too many auctions on ebay, this is only because of a shortage of time, not a shortage of inventory to sell. We will try to get the auctions going again in 2011.
Posted November 19, 2009
Here we are again at the end of another year. For those of you who haven't seen us at any of the shows, not a lot has changed. We have ramped up the sales and production of Rhodochrosite from China. It has nearly replaced our Sweet Home Mine project in terms of display space and sales. We still have a little bit of Colorado material to process, but for the foreseeable future, nearly all faceted rhodochrosite we have will be from China.
Gold prices have impacted the prices all of us are paying for jewelry. To help ease the pain, we have started a redesign of some of our most popular jewelry items. We are using the new CAD-CAM and milling technology to cut unnecessary weight from our line. Most of these pieces have the same look as before, but weight is being cut off the back and/or sides. Our goal is to be about 20-30% lighter with little structural loss. So far, so good. By investing the time and effort in this redesign, we have been able to hold prices steady on some of our most popular items.
The Benitoite supply has continued to decline. With the difficulties the current mine owner is having with access, it looks like supplies will continue to drop and prices will continue to rise.
This year we expanded our use of ebay to auction off some stock items. We are not convinced that this venue is well suited to our line because virtually everything we sell is a one of a kind item. It's hard to acurately photograph and describe every item PERFECTLY, which is what ebay buyers demand. So far we have been very happy with the sales, but don't look for regular weekly auctions. We will try to have some items available in a "Buy it Now" format. If there is something you are looking for, this is an excellent way for you to have us list an item for you.
With the addition of our ebay auctions, we have added the ability to accept PayPal. If you see an item in the store or on the website and you want to use PayPal, just contact us for details.
As always, feel free to contact us and let us know what you want on the site.
Posted November 17, 2008
Hard to believe it has been a year since our last news. We're so busy doing everything that we just don't have time to write about it. The biggest news of the year would be that we are back in the faceted rhodochrosite business. Sometime last March, we repurchased some of our old Sweet Home Mine material back. The chunks were mostly what we would call cab grade, but we were pleasantly surprised by some of the large sections of clean material we found while "disecting" them. So, although we won't get anything over ten carats, I think we will be able to generate a couple years of nice stones up to five carats.
We continue to work with Paul Geffner and Terry Ledford on the Jackson's Crossroads amethyst. Due to the lack of large rough, we would have to say this remains a "niche" project. Yes we can cut lots of small stones, but really the demand is for the larger dark stones. We will stick with it and hope for larger rough next year.
We dropped a number of shows this year, and we will continue that trend for next year. We are now busy enough during the year that it makes shows difficult to schedule. Look for only five shows in 2009, all are currently posted on our show schedule section of the website. Look for good things at Marty Zinn's Southeast Gem and Mineral Show in Cartersville, Georgia. Next year the Tellis Science Center will be fully operational and provides an excellent tie in with the show.
Speaking of the website, we will be shifting most of the inventory OFF the website an INTO the eStore. That way you can purchase directly off the web. Also, starting soon we will be having eBay auctions. We may be late for these options, but better late than never.
Final news for 2008 - We are now selling Gem Grade Faceted Rhodochrosite from China. We obtained our first batch of Gem rough over the summer. The rough compares very well to Sweet Home Mine Rhodochrosite. Side by side, the Chinese Rhodochrosite has less orange, it is more of a pure dark pink. If you like Sweet Home Mine Rhodochrosite, you will love the faceted Chinese Rhodochrosite. Look for it in our store. Oh, by the way, this rough will yield some larger stones. If you have been looking for a 10 carat or larger stone, make sure to check our the store or call us.
Posted November 8, 2007
We are updating the site, using some new software. Expect a few glitches through the end of the year.
The Jackson's Crossroads Amethyst project is coming along nicely. We have over a hundred faceted stones in our inventory. Unfortunately, I am not having a lot of success photographing purple. So, anyone out there with some tips for doing purple stones with a digital camera, let me know. Mind you, they are not bad shots and I know I can kick up the saturation, but I have trouble getting true to life color.
Many of you know by now, there will be no Carnegie Museum show this year. Hats off to Marc and Debra Wilson for there efforts in past years. We will be spending the time updating our site instead of adding a show.
Speaking of shows, the Central Ohio Gem and Mineral show has changed dates. The 2008 show will be held May 31st and June 1, 2008. They have also moved into the smaller hall at Vets Memorial. More on this later.
We added a new show for 2008, it will be held in Cartersville, Georgia in mid August 2008. This is a new show, hosted by Martin Zinn. Marty does such a great job at his other shows, that we felt compelled to try this one. More details will follow.
Posted March 19, 2007
Once again, we find the web updates coming slow. Our business has kept us very busy, big projects that are finally nearing an end. We finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are winding down the Sweet Home Mine rhodochrosite project, the Benitoite Gem Mine has been sold, and we are in between seasons at Mt. Antero. So, we added a new project, the Jackson's Crossroads amethyst mine in Georgia. Look for more information on this soon!
We will have our show schedule posted soon. Please note there are some changes this year.
Posted November 14, 2006
It has been quite a while since our last update. We have one show left for the year, then time to add lots of new items for the holidays. The Benitoite Gen Mine has closed to commercial mining. Dave Schreiner bought the mine and it will operate as a pay per day dig site. But with the end of commercial mining, came the end of large stones. Look for prices to change quickly and sharply increase on stones over .75cts.
We have modified our show schedule for 2007, look for an increased web presence and more updates in 2007!
Posted December 9, 2005
We have finished our shows for the year. All efforts are now directed toward the Tucson Show, starting in late January of 2006. The web site is progressing, we'll try to have all the pages updated by year end. We are having a difficult time keeping up with the demand for 1+ carat faceted Benitoite. At one point last month, our inventory dipped to an all time low of three stones in stock over one carat. This is discouraging for both us and our customers, so we appreciate your patience as we cut new stones.
Posted August 23,2005
Our old Web Hosting Company, HostCentric, was unable to port our web site to their new and improved servers. We were given about a week to find a new hosting site and update our web site to their servers. This will be a slow process,we'll try to have it completed within a week or so.
Posted August 8, 2005
All previous news has been moved to the Old News page below.
It's old news now, but still many of you haven't heard. The Sweet Home Mine in Alma, Colorado has closed permanently. The mine closed in October of 2004. There will be no further production. We did build up a small reserve of cutting rough and we will be processing that material until it is gone.
In May of this year, The Benitoite Gem Mine also closed. That closure, like the Sweet Home Mine, is permanent. We have ample supplies of small rough to guarantee finished small stones for a long time to come. However, expect one carat and larger cut stones to become very rare, very fast.
One of the projects that we will be working on this year is Mount Antero Aquamarine. This is another joint effort with Collector's Edge Minerals in Golden, Colorado. Expect faceted stones sometime in September of this year.
We moved our offices in May of 2005. With that move, we have new phone and fax numbers. Please note those on our home page.