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Potentate featured on The Centurion: Info Hub for Prestige Jewelers
This article orginally published on The Centurion, August 2018
Montana Sapphire Mine Offers Jewelers Full “Made In USA” Option
New Brunswick, NJ—Americut Gems is cutting Rock Creek sapphire from the new Potentate mine in Granite County, MT.
The Potentate mine is in its second year of full production and has title to approximately five square miles of relatively high sapphire concentration in a wide range of colors (a full suite of color is shown at left). Indeed, noted gemologist George Frederick Kunz is quoted from the turn of the 20th century as having praised Rock Creek sapphire for its diversity of color. GIA has made onsite visits to the mine and published several articles about it, most recently in the Spring edition of Gems & Gemology. Quantities at the mine are reportedly substantial enough to provide adequate supply to the entire U.S. retail jewelry trade for many years. Furthermore, the Rock Creek sapphire deposit is all alluvial, alleviating consumer fears of environmental destruction in the mining process.
The Potentate sapphire mine in Granite County, MT, is an alluvial mine, alleviating environmental concerns.
The Potentate sapphire is being precision-cut by Americut in New Brunswick, NJ. It is polished with robotic technology developed by Kiwon Jang, an Americut partner who is a lifelong stonecutter, recipient of numerous AGTA Spectrum Awards, and a 2015 Spectrum Awards judge. Because of the technology, Americut can produce precision-cut sapphires in all sizes from 2mm to the largest sizes the mine recovers.
Americut’s proprietary cutting cassettes create precision-cut sapphires.
Jewelry with Potentate Mine sapphire cut by Americut is one of the few brands that legally can wear the label “Made In The USA,” assuming the finished pieces also are created here. Under a 2014 FTC ruling, only goods whose entire origins are American can be labeled “Made In America” or “Made In The USA.” Most fine jewelry cannot, as the vast majority of gemstones and/or precious metals are not mined in the United States.
A rainbow of cut and polished sapphire melee from the Potentate Mine in Montana.
Americut hopes American jewelers develop the same kind of affinity for Rock Creek sapphire that Canadian jewelers have for Canadian diamonds.