• Have you ever considered being adventurous and going on a treasure hunt? If so, I would suggest doing this right here in the state of Colorado where gems abound! For instance, Aquamarine (that beautiful light blue/green gemstone) is so very prevalent in our state, that it is now officially named the Colorado State gemstone! Rhodochrosite (a pink and white material) is the Colorado State mineral. Now that our weather is warming up and the days are longer, you can start planning your first “rock hounding” trip, but first you will need a few things to make the experience a rewarding one. Go to your local bookstore and pick up a book to use as your guide along the way. May I suggest The Rockhounds Guide to Colorado by William A. Kappele. This book takes you to 78 of the best “rock hounding” sites in the state. From finding agate and fossils in the land of the dinosaurs to the 14,000 foot peak of Mount Antero where you can find some incredible Aquamarine.... This book will serve as your guide with accurate maps and clear route descriptions. On the Ute Indian Trail out of Salida that went to Manitou Springs, one can find such gemstones as peridot, epidote, pink quartz, white quartz, biotite, gold mica, pink feldspar, pyrite, magnetite, hematite, marble beryl, black obsidian known as “Apache Tears”, red garnets, topaz, and gold. Can you imagine what fun it would be to find your own gemstone? Over the years I have had customers drop by to show me what they have found while hiking or just walking on their own property here in Colorado! They bring their treasure to us for identification or to have it polished for jewelry purposes. Some people consider polishing the gem themselves and in those cases, I recommend they drive down to Ackley’s Rock and Gem Shop on Stone Street in Colorado Springs. Here, they will find all the equipment necessary to get started into the art of lapidary (gemstone cutting), which can be an exciting and profitable hobby! So, if you are planning on hiking around our state this summer, why not make it an adventure too? Take the kids and have some fun looking around...who knows.... You could even find a diamond (no kidding!) And when you come back to reality, stop by to show us your treasures!
    THE FAMILY JEWELS... If you have some, then this article is for you! Whether you own a few special fine jewelry pieces or have inherited sentimental treasures from a loved one, your jewelry has an intrinsic value you should want to protect and understand. Most of us wear a special piece of jewelry on a daily basis and for some; many years pass by without ever considering the slow deterioration that inevitably comes along. Am I talking about your wedding rings or that chain you insist on never taking off? You probably know that Platinum, Gold and especially Sterling Silver will absorb your marks in time.... You can see that for yourself.... Time at the gym or in the garden or just living your daily life routine can cause damage to your most precious things. Gold, Sterling Silver and even Platinum are not indestructible... and in fact will wear away over time. If you want to protect your investment...you will need to know someone with the knowledge and expertise to manage that for you... Like a successful investment portfolio, you may need a meeting with the master now and then!   THE FAMILY JEWELER... If you don’t have one - then, this article is for you! Don’t wait until a crisis occurs before you go seeking a jeweler. Hey, what is a “jeweler” anyway? Are they all talented and share similar knowledge and expertise? Are they all reputable?? Absolutely not! And you may not be aware certifications are not required to open a jewelry store in the United States! So, when that day comes, (and it will) are you planning to turn to your “Smart Phone” for the location nearest you? I certainly hope not! Unlike the car repairman you’ve trusted for years, or the tried and true plumber you call in an emergency.... Some have not considered the importance of establishing an ongoing relationship with a jeweler they will trust with all of their precious things. Find out the differences between a jeweler, a designer and a goldsmith! The search can be fun, enlightening and most of all bring you the assurance that there can be a perfect connection with someone out there who will answer all of your questions, respect your budget and help you to explore options you didn’t know you had!