Frequently Asked Questions
We are located at 200 Hwy 39 in Ingram, Texas. We are just west of T.J. Moore Hardware store, just past the historic murals, on the north side of the road. If you found the Old Ingram Loop, we are just east of that.
Our hours vary, depending on the time of year, and how much work is backed up, so check the front page of the website, or call, for hours we are open.
Our topaz is of native Texas origin. Mason County is the only county in Texas where our state gem, topaz, can be found. It is usually rounded and riverworn, and found in creeks in a couple parts of the county. We do carry irradiated topaz from other locations, but it is always kept separate from the Texas topaz.
There are a couple of ranches that allow rock hounding at this time. There is also a guide that can take you out. More information is under “Rockhounding” on this site.
The vast majority of our topaz is clear. Yes, I know the legislation designating topaz as the state gem says blue topaz, but that color is rare as a natural color. The blue in natural blue topaz is caused by irradiation as the topaz was forming millions of years ago. Topaz irradiated by man can achieve darker blues. If a darker blue is important to you, then stay away from Texas topaz, and go for a gem radiated by man.
The Lone Star cut was designated the Texas official state cut in 1979. The star is faceted on the bottom of the gem. This is a deep cut, and requires special mountings. It is kinda deep for rings, and not recommended for stud earrings, as the depth makes the gem droop. However, it is great for leverback earrings and pendants.
You betcha. We also offer the round star brilliant cut, that is a classic round cut with a star added to the bottom of the gem. Another popular cut is a square star cut. We can cut a variety of gem cuts, both with and without stars. Just ask.
It’s dirty. Any light gems will show grease and dirt rather quickly. And sometimes one dip in the dishwater is all it takes.
Keep a clean, old soft tooth brush by the sink at home. Use warm water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid and the brush to gently clean the dirt and grease from the gem. Rinse in warm water. You may add some vinegar or ammonia to help remove any remaining oil.
Jewelry is like a car. If you choose to drive your truck on dirt roads and never get it serviced, it gonna be a shorter life for that truck. If you get regular maintenance on your vehicle, and stay off the beach, it will live a long time. So it is with jewelry. For long life, take your jewelry off when doing rough work or working with chemicals. We recommend you not sleep in your jewelry. The sheets rub against the metal, and wear it down.
Topaz is a hard gem, but it has a cleavage plane. Think of the grain in wood, and how the wood can be split easier along the grain. Topaz can be damaged if hit on that plane. Even diamonds can be damaged, and it’s also being hit on the cleavage plane. The nicer you are to your jewelry, the longer it lasts, no matter what metals or gems involved.
Gems and jewelry can damage each other when store together without protection. Even diamonds can be damaged this way. Store your jewelry protected from each other. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this. You may use the separations provided in many jewelry boxes. I prefer see through plastic boxes made for fishing lures. They can be purchased with various size bins, and you can see them from the outside.