What You Should Know About the Company Mining in Yogo Again
Yogo Mine in Montana, which produces the popular Yogo sapphires, was dormant for nearly four decades.
The mine, which produces the popular Yogo sapphires, was dormant for nearly four decades.
A few years ago, Yogold USA entered the arena. The mining company first entered into an exploration agreement, which ended December 31, 2022, and then it transitioned into a lease with an option to purchase.
Its lease and option consist of 1,563 acres of deeded ground, where the company is simultaneously engaged in commercial production and underground development as well as surface exploration, President Jerod Edington confirmed to National Jeweler.
There are two historic workings in the mine.
A British group conducted surface mining on top and eventually sunk a shaft to 250 feet underground.
A group of Americans, meanwhile, went straight into the side of the mountain and back about 700 feet, essentially hand mining the whole way.
The Kunisaki Group then purchased the mine in the 1970s and drove a haulage way parallel to the American mine; the haulage way is approximately 3,000 feet long and is referred to as the “Kunisaki Tunnel,” Edington said.
The first two seasons Yogold operated the Yogo Mine—in 2020 and 2021—the company was doing only surface mining with the intent of eventually moving underground.
This season, Yogold opened the Kunisaki Tunnel and portions of the American mine, which run parallel to each other. The company is about 700 feet back in the Kunisaki Tunnel now.
The team is using low profile underground excavators and hauling underground trucks, so right now they are producing about 75-100 tons of underground ore per day and will increase production as demand for its Yogo sapphires dictates.
This year, they installed buildings at the site so they can mine and process all winter.
Yogold splits cutting up by size—the company has financed its own cutting facility in Colombo, Sri Lanka for the smaller stones (generally under 0.5 carats), and there are three master cutters in the U.S. that focus on the larger stones.
The company is also working with some lapidaries on fantasy cutting—GIA defines this as concave cuts made on the back of gemstones—for some of the thinner stones that wouldn’t necessarily make sense to facet traditionally and could see a higher yield with an alternate cut.
One thing Yogold would like to be more involved in next year is jewelry production, Edington said. They have custom-made a few pieces to test ideas and develop samples.
For right now, though, its focus is on the wholesale side.
And so far, Yogold has been able to sell everything it produced.
“The demand is substantial,” Edington said. “We can’t even come close to filling all the orders that we have right now. That’s a great position to be in.”
Annie Doresca and Michelle Graff welcome Reggie Johnson and Sheryl Jones for a frank conversation on the state of DEI in fine jewelry.
Jeff Gennette will step down in February 2024, passing the torch to the CEO of another notable retailer.
Artisan Martin Roberts fashioned lunar meteorites into 48 beads to create this out-of-this-world necklace.
Distinguishing natural diamonds from laboratory-grown stones – now more available than ever – has been difficult for jewelers. Until now.
As for new members, the organization welcomed Jewelers of America’s Annie Doresca and Parag Jain of Parag Diamonds.
Jacob & Co.’s new “Billionaire” timepiece features more than 200 carats of yellow diamonds.
Heidi Horten, wife of department store magnate Helmut Horten, collected jewelry from Bulgari, Cartier, Harry Winston and Van Cleef & Arpels.
De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.
The jewelry industry insurer and solutions provider is celebrating 110 years in business this month.
The statement came as the National Retail Federation released its retail sales forecast for 2023.
Sotheby’s will auction the diamond, which it says is “arguably the most significant pink diamond to ever appear at auction,” in June.
The retailer, recently acquired by Signet Jewelers, will lay off 119 employees in July.
The Swiss watchmaker introduced 17 new models at Watches & Wonders Geneva.
As part of the promotion, Smith will share his sales expertise during a 90-minute training session.
At Watches & Wonders, the Swiss brand unveiled a follow-up to last year’s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante.
The “rêve” collection’s engagement rings and wedding bands are geared toward “sustainability minded customers.”
A new word appears on the dial each day of the week.
Bensons Jewelers closed for good Feb. 24, impacted in part by the decline in foot traffic downtown since the onset of the pandemic.
Kolja Kiofsky has been with the crystal and jewelry company since 2010.
The Kruse GWS Auctions sale will include the replica “Taj Mahal” necklace Elizabeth Taylor made with Avon as well as a costume piece Marilyn Monroe wore.
Massimo Basei is moving up, while Chief Commercial Officer Martino Pessina is stepping down.
AGTA GemFair and the Denver Gem & Mineral Show also will have a presence on the show floor.
Sold by Christie’s Hong Kong, this masterwork of complications now holds the record for most expensive watch ever auctioned online.
The watch company expects first-quarter sales to fall as much as 15 percent due to inflation and tough comps.
Adam O’Grady, general manager of the Lightbox Lab, has taken on the new role and will report directly to Lightbox CEO Antoine Borde.
The watch marketplace gathered data from 1.3 million collectors, highlighting the most popular timepieces and exploring value appreciation.
Patented and specialty cuts now can receive an 8X Proprietary Certificate, which can be customized to include a company’s brand and logo.