(Not in a test tube)
OUR JEWELRY IS MADE IN THE USA
COMPARE OUR PRICES ON THE INTERNET, -- WITH ITEMS HANDCRAFTED IN AMERICA
Six months after JFK was assassinated, while I was still in college at Georgetown, I met my husband, George.
Six months later George and I eloped to New York City and got jobs selling books, which soon turned into a job driving across country to build a distribution system.
After that we went back to Virginia and moved into a mountain cabin that George had built before I met him. That was where our daughter was born.
George got a job as a chemist and a government friend got him in touch with Bill Collins, a retired hotel owner from Miami who had bought an abandoned emerald mine in the North Carolina mountains on government auction. Named "Crabtree" the mine had once been owned by Tiffany and Co. of New York City, but it needed to be reopened. Because of his experience as head of a 2000 member university based mountain climbers' association in Yugoslavia and his work with geologists there, George was hired to help set it up.
The problem was that he was not paid in cash, but in rough emerald specimens and in those days Americans didn't know what they were!
We tried selling or trading them all over Washington, DC to antique dealers, jewelers, and even the retired ambassador to Madagascar.
After haunting flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales and salvage yards in the late 60's we found a network of rock shops, cutters and local shows across the country linked by the magazine "Lapidary Journal".
Our business grew on the basis of "you see it, you like it, you buy it", --- which cut out shipping and returns but not driving.
We started with rough stones that faceters (gem cutters) could use. We added finished stones for people making their own jewelry. By the 1990's we were a major distributor to independent jewelers with a booth in the center of the Holidome ballroom during the Tucson wholesale show which at that time was the biggest in the world.
In December 2000 George died and 3 months later Thai Gem moved on to EBay. Soon our customers were all saying, they could not buy from us because they could buy finished jewelry from China cheaper than they could make it. And our competitors were all gone doing shows in Shanghai, Delhi, Bangkok, Rio, Dubai and Europe.
Twenty years later we challenge you to compare our quality and stone size with jewelry sold across the internet
These are totally natural topaz stones, shaped only by the action of water pushing them downhill in a creek for uncounted years before being touched by human hands or machines. It is said that stones created by nature have certain "metaphysical" attributes, by which people simply mean "spiritual or healing powers".
As you can see in the picture, nature showed us how to cause colorless topaz to turn blue. We learned that in the 1950's, and by the early 2000's technology was turning topaz all colors of the rainbow and combinations of colors.