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Artist Spotlight - Dakota Stones



Artbeads.com is always searching for the best quality of beads, no matter the material. We provide Swarovski crystals because of their outstanding elegance, but put forth the same dedication when we shop for everything else like base metal components and even gemstones. Dakota Stones shares our passion for providing products that raise the bar for others with their extensive collection of quality gemstones. Jeff from Dakota Stones was kind enough to share the story behind how this company came to be.



"Dakota Stones is an American Stone bead and stone jewelry component company. Our focus is to design and manufacture consistent lines of high quality unique gemstone beads. What makes our approach unique from other companies is we begin the manufacturing process with the rough material and select shapes and sizes that are correct for the material and relevant to current designs and fashions. Being the manufacturer allows us control over the quality and details that eludes other gemstone bead companies."

Jeff explained that his grandfather was a lapidary (an artist who forms stones and minerals into decorative items), and would take his grandmother on vacations to cool 'rock hound' destinations to collect a variety of gemstones, from agates to jasper and turquoise. "Not sure how Gramps talked my grandmother into vacationing in some of these locations, it wasn't exactly Maui." With his finds, Jeff's grandfather would fashion them into rings, belt buckles and even lariats. Jeff loved hearing the stories of his grandfather's adventures, and it was this that inspired Dakota Stones.

Everyone at Dakota Stones gets to help in the product research. The company holds bi-monthly meetings to hear perspectives from the whole team. Everything from what's popular in their inventory to the hot new color trends are taken into consideration when they seek out their next investment. Jeff's favorite part of the process, though, is when he gets to see the rough material in person. He enjoys meeting the mine and rough suppliers, where he views the natural material in its rock form:



"It is really interesting to see the materials in the form that they are pulled from the Earth in. I think sometimes it is difficult to get the full appreciation for a gemstone bead when it is in its cut, polished and drilled form. They are almost too perfect. When holding a 5 or 10 pound piece of rough material it is difficult to see how it will turn out in bead form. Often the rough is dull and frankly looks like a rock that you wouldn't pick up if you saw it laying on the ground. But when you soak it in water or break a piece off you get a glimpse into how it may look as a finished bead."

So does Jeff have a favorite gemstone?

"Labradorite has been at the top of my stone list since starting Dakota Stones in 2003. At first glance it is a simple grey rock, but if you examine it further you can see the fire inside (or chatoyancy) that shows in a variety of colors- purple, blue, teal, silver, green. When the top grade material is cut and polished by an experienced lapidary it almost resembles a mirror. Labradorite is a great stone to use in jewelry design because it has a tendency to pick up and reflect other colors you put with it."

You can explore what makes Dakota Stones a great source for gemstones and add your favorites to your own collection. Become a fine stone connoisseur and check out our Dakota Stones gemstone collection now!



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