Calif. jeweler acquires gold mine

MajorsDec 11, 2013

Calif. jeweler acquires gold mine

Jewelry manufacturer and retailer The Jewelry Exchange has completed its purchase of the Gold-Stone mine in Southern California. 

Tustin, Calif.--Jewelry manufacturer and retailer The Jewelry Exchange has completed its purchase of the Gold-Stone mine in Southern California.

Gold-Stone consists of three 20-acre parcels of land, spanning approximately 60 total acres. It is located in the Twentynine Palms area of San Bernardino County, northeast of Joshua Tree National Park.

Though Jewelry Exchange owner Goldenwest Diamond Corp. wouldn’t reveal the final sale price, CEO Bill Doddridge told National Jeweler that they originally had agreed to $1.1 million for the mines when the deal began.

The company began the deal for the mine when gold was around $1,900 an ounce, Doddridge said, but the deed to the mine was challenged and they went through a few years of litigation. He said now that the price of gold has gone down, they’ll change their focus for the gold extracted from the mine from manufacturing to jewelry operations.

Gold-Stone opened in early 1942, when it was mined using an arrastra, a mill used to pulverize ore, to extract the gold. The War Production Board shut it down the same year after only three loads of ore had been mined. The ban on gold mines was lifted again in 1945 but Gold-Stone remained closed due to equipment loss, cave-ins, flooding and general disrepair.

There’s still remains a number of improvements to be made to the site including setting up electricity, fixing the road to the mine, and safety measures, among other things. Doddridge said that production at the mine likely won’t begin until after Valentine’s Day.

The Jewelry Exchange is considering expanding its gold mining projects further with the purchase of the Storm King and Supply mines in California. According to Doddridge, the current plan is to use profits from Gold-Stone once it is in operation to pay for testing of Storm King.

Goldenwest Diamond Corporation also owns and operates retail stores The Jewelry Factory and The Jewelry Source. 

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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