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August 1999

Precious Metals & Bench:New Products

From the Hills

Affordable Black Hills gold jewelry has a story all its own

Legend SAYS French goldsmith Henri Lebeau tried to get to California for the Gold Rush but ran into misfortune. In the Black Hills of South Dakota, LeBeau dreamed of French vineyards and ended up turning the various hues of gold he found there into jewelry depicting grapes, leaves and tendrils. He sold this handcrafted jewelry to miners and prospectors, and Black Hills gold jewelry was born ­ along with the belief good luck comes to those who wear it.

Today, the legend continues with yellow gold representing the earth, green representing grape leaves and pink depicting grapes, says Betty Wootten, marketing director of Stamper Black Hills Gold Jewelry, Rapid City, SD. Trace elements of silver and copper found in the Black Hills create the green and pink hues, adds Wes Shelton of Mt. Rushmore Black Hills Gold, Rapid City, SD.

Available in 10k, 12k and 14k, the lower karatage keeps prices affordable. "This jewelry is also very strong so it withstands daily wear and tear," says Fonda Blotsky, vice president of sales and marketing at Landstrom's Original Black Hills Gold, Rapid City, SD. Because of its strength, a lifetime warranty accompanies each piece from all Black Hills gold manufacturers.

"It's not uncommon to discover people collecting this jewelry. Its been around for 125 years and the style hasn't changed much," says Jim Tebe, president of South Dakota Gold Co., Rapid City, SD. It's also marketed as a collectible, so customers should be encouraged to buy it this way, adds Gogie Enstad, marketing director of Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman, Rapid City, SD.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann

 
This 10k gold jewelry all features grapes and leaves and is $16-$112.50 suggested retail.
Landstrom's Original Black Hills Gold, Rapid City, SD; (800) 343-0157.

The grape leaf pattern is depicted here in 10k and 12k gold. The ring cradles a 0.12-ct. diamond and the earrings feature 14k gold posts. Suggested retail, $47.50-$189.
Mount Rushmore Black Hills Gold, Rapid City, SD; (800) 658-3361 or (605) 343-2226, fax (605) 343-8653.

10k gold amethyst suite is decorated with grapes and leaves. The earrings feature 1.5 carats of amethyst, the ring holds a 1.25-ct. amethyst and the pendant has a 0.33-ct. amethyst. Suggested retail, $150-$300.
Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman, Rapid City, SD; (800) 874-9926 or (605) 394-3767, fax (605) 394-3719.

10k tricolored gold men's ring features grapes and leaves. Suggested retail, $424.
Stamper Black Hills Gold Jewelry, Rapid City, SD; (605) 342-0751, fax (800) 435-9989.

 
The Add-A-Leaf Collection allows customers to choose from 11 leaf styles, add a couple of 10k gold beads and complete the design with black onyx, mother of pearl, rose quartz, tiger eye, or red jasper. Suggested retail (as shown), $53.84.
South Dakota Gold Co., Rapid City, SD; (800) 523-4209.



Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.



 

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