Newly-mined Yogo sapphires are arriving at The Gem Gallery! After two years of repair and redesign, Don Baide reports that the Vortex mine is operational, and, “The stones produced this year have been … top-quality blue.” An early spring, challenging weather, and continued equipment debugging has made it that much sweeter to select the first exquisite gems for cutting.
Information from Gem Gallery
Picture a challenge in which you are sent a box of raw materials, with no advance information about what’s inside, and have four weeks to design and fabricate a piece of jewelry using only its contents. Your creation will be sent to New York, showcased at a national expo, and sold to benefit a charity that is near and dear to your heart. And, you’ll be one of only three jewelers in the nation selected to participate.
Jewelry fashions, just like clothing, are constantly changing. So we stopped by The Gem Gallery in downtown Bozeman and talked to custom designer Jason Baide and store manager April Mize to find out what’s hot this holiday season.
Gem Gallery goldsmith Chris Tullar has been in Bozeman since 2001 and has seen it go through a lot of changes over the years.
The Yogo Sapphire mine has had a long and exciting history. Most recently, it changed ownership in August of 2017. We checked in again with the new owner, Don Baide, longtime Bozeman resident and owner of The Gem Gallery, to see how reopening the Vortex Mine is going.
In 2006, Don Baide, owner of The Gem Gallery in Bozeman, achieved something he had long dreamed of.
He wasn’t a goldsmith when he started visiting The Gem Gallery in Bozeman after school. He wasn’t even old enough to drive. In fact, it was in his earliest years when Jason Baide found his calling making jewelry.
When goldsmith Philip Devitt travels, he doesn’t aim to visit the same tourist spots as everyone else. You may not find him at an iconic statue, a historical monument, or even at a natural wonder. He’s got eyes for one thing: jewelry.
Diamonds and engagement rings – a pairing as classic as cheese and crackers – seem to be outshined by a Montana native, the Yogo Sapphire.
When it comes to precious rocks, Montanans have a soft spot for Yogo sapphires. Unique in their natural and consistent color and famous throughout the world, Yogos are formed in Montana’s Little Belt Mountains, and nowhere else.
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