U.S. Gems and Stones
We have been sourcing U.S. gems and stones for years. It really dates all the way back to when Chris went on a family vacation to a sapphire mine in Montana when he was about 13 years old. After a day of digging, and with a hand filled with sapphires, Chris was hooked. He still makes regular mining trips, and he cuts the stones that he finds back at home in our Austin studio. We also work with vendors to source garnets, turquoise, and peridot from Arizona, jade from California, azurite malachite from Utah, and the list goes on. Relatively new to our list, however, is aquamarine from Colorado. Thanks to a special request from a client, we began our search to source this precious gem that is found high up in the mountains.
Colorado’s Mountain Treasures
Aquamarine, named after seawater, is the state gem of Colorado. It is found in granite pegmatites (coarse granites with very large crystals) on the peaks of Mount Antero at a staggering 11,000 to 14,000 feet. Mount Antero is the highest summit of the southern Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains and the tenth highest mountain in Colorado. Although there is a road leading almost to the summit, rockhounding there is not for the faint of heart. Topaz, fluorite, and quartz are also found there. Mount White, Mount Antero’s closest neighbor, is also home to aquamarine gemstones.
Over the last several years the popularity of this March birthstone has grown. We have received many requests for engagement rings, wedding bands, and anniversary bands with this blue beauty in place of diamonds. It doesn’t hurt that it is thought to enhance the happiness of marriages, either.
Ethical sourcing is important to us, so we are very excited to add this beryl family gem to our list of stones that can be found right here in the U.S. Aquamarines are also found in California, Connecticut, Maine, and North Carolina. Be sure to let us know if you have a special sourcing request!
Shop our aquamarine jewelry here!
Check out Tim’s shop here!