HI! I'M DIANE EAMES, GRADUATE GEMOLOGIST, FINE JEWELER, GEM FACETER, AND OWNER OF GEMS OF THE HILL COUNTRY. IT'S BEEN A LONG AND VARIED PATH TO BEING MASON'S CURRENT TOPAZ FACETER.
- My career as a fine jeweler begain in 1984, with Curtis Miller Fine jJwelers in the World Trade Center in Dallas, Texas. Since then I've worked in both wholesale and retail, including Bachendorf's in the Dallas Galleria, several showrooms in the world trade center in Dallas, and even Service Merchandise. My training and work has included diamonds, colored gems and pearls. For nine years I worked in a family jewelry store in Sequim, Washington. In 1989 I received my Graduate Gemologist degree from The Gemological Institute of America. As a Graduate Gemologist I identified and appraised fine gems and jewelry. In 2004 I returned to Texas, and followed family to Mason, home of the Texas state gem.
I’m Going Texan
I moved from Texas in 1995, in search of an adventure. It was my decision to move to the Pacific NW, but I still cried all the way across the Great American Desert. Didn’t stop crying until Idaho. As you all know, Texas was a very strong place, and created a hold on the people from there.
You may have noted I referred to the Texas state of mind in the past tense. In 2004, I unexpectedly returned to my home state, and was saddened by the changes. My home felt very different. We were taught that Texas is a derivation of “friend” in the native language, but Texas had stopped feeling like Texas. I’m here to tell you that Texas has changed. Folks just don’t seem as friendly. More like nervous and frowning. There seems to be more of an intolerance of the differences in each other. Folks are scrapping like cats stuck in a box together.
I don’t think I can take it anymore. We’re all in this pickle together, witnessing our country in decline, making it through with less wealth, and we need to pull together to make our world better. I want to get back to feeling like Texas is again my friendly home. I want to celebrate how we are alike as Texans, not attack each other for our differences. We need to get back to the old, friendly ways of Texas, and I invite you to join me. I'm gonna get my Texas mojo back, and maybe yours, too. It’s time. I’m Going Texan on y’all.
I facet, or cut, the Texas state gem, and gem faceting is a lonely pursuit. It is time to share the creation of a Texas icon, in an effort to start some conversations about how we’re treating each other. My faceting machine and I are hitting the road. I’m gonna cut the state gem, Texas topaz, all over the state. I’m gonna cut topaz at historic and cultural places. Yes, I am Going Texan.
A fairly long list has been started of extremely Texan places to visit, but I would love suggestions of more places. The list is organized by region or city. It includes sites like the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue in Austin, the seawall in Galveston and Corpus, Prada Marfa, the Ft. Worth stockyards, the San Jacinto monument, Luckenbach, and on and on. If you are interested, I can let you know when I plan to visit different sites, and we can enjoy some time together. Bring your faceting machine, or just watch me cut a star into the Texas state gem. Bring your sense of humor and acceptance. Let’s laugh and enjoy each other’s company.
My Facetron faceting machine at Enchanted Rock. Below we are at Luckenbach.
Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession.
Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word.
NOTE FROM DIANE: FOUNDER OF GEMS OF THE HILL COUNTRY
MY SKILLS ARE AS A CRAFTSMAN, GEMOLOGIST, AND FINE JEWELER. THEY ARE SKILLS HONED BY TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS EXPERIENCE IN THE JEWELRY INDUSTRY. YEARS OF BEING EXPOSED TO THE BEST DESIGNS AND MATERIALS USED IN FINE JEWELRY. YEARS OF TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE TO IDENTIFY, DESCRIBE AND EVALUATE JEWELRY OF ALL TIME PERIODS AND DESIGN SCHOOLS. TIME SPENT IN FORMAL TRAINING IN GEMOLOGY, PROVIDED BY THE MOST NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED SCHOOL IN THE JEWELRY INDUSTRY, THE GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA.
MY CRAFT IS A PLACE WHERE SCIENCE AND ART MEET. MY CRAFT IS MOLDED BY MY HOME STATE OF TEXAS. IT REFLECTS THE LOVE OF THIS PLACE AND ITS PEOPLE. THERE IS HISTORY AND SOUL IN THE DIRT HERE, AND IT AFFECTS ALL OF US. THERE IS PRIDE OF PLACE.
THE LOVE OF THIS PLACE HAS LED ME TO LEARN THE CRAFT OF LAPIDARY, TAUGHT AND ENCOURAGED BY THE BEST IN THE FIELD. I EXPRESS THE ETHOS OF MY HOME STATE THROUGH GEMS AND JEWELRY. THERE IS A SPECIAL THRILL IN COAXING A STAR OUT OF A ROUGH PIECE OF TOPAZ, TO CREATE ANOTHER STATE GEMSTONE OF TEXAS. IT IS AN HONOR TO JOIN THE LINE OF TEXAS FACETERS THAT KNOW THE TEXAS TOPAZ INTIMATELY.