Out of Our Mines

Out of Our Mines


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Out of Our Mines is dedicated to providing high quality gemstones to the gem and jewelry trade. Our United States and worldwide mining connections provide us with the rare opportunity to bring you the finest of nature's treasures. With our "hands on" experience in all facets of gemstone cutting, from cabochons and beads to fine gem carvings and faceted stones, all of our rough gemstones are cut and polished to bring out the maximum that each has to offer. This ensures quality gemstones in all cuts and types.


The selection of fine gemstone types available today is broader than ever. In the last 20 years, many new gemstone varieties have been introduced to the market. Some of these have been created by man-made processes, such as dyeing, heating, coating or other processes. But many are natural, unenhanced varieties of existing gem types that have simply not been mined or marketed to any extent; or new deposits of classic gems are found making them once again available. There has never been a better time for the admirer of natural colored gemstones. As explorers, miners, and cutters, we are committed to bringing you a wide selection of natural and unenhanced stones, both new and classic.

Please enjoy our gemstone selection by clicking here.

Richard M. Shull Richard Shull was born near Los Angeles in 1965, to a family of talented artists and ancestral miners who immigrated to California during the gold rush. His childhood years were filled with his own experimental backyard sculptures and sojourns throughout the West, which included stops at every rock shop along the way. These early fascinations guided Shull into studies of fine art and natural sciences, which culminated in his residency at the Gemological Institute of America and subsequent Graduate Gemologist diploma in 1992.

Shull's interest in abstract art and the mechanical and optical properties of gem materials blossomed as he taught himself to cut, combining his design ideas with the gemstones he had spent years studying and mining in the field. His flowing, organic lines, liquid optical effects, and truly professional finish have been recognized on the cover of Lapidary Journal's 50th Anniversary Issue, in Henry Hunt's American Lapidary, and in many other trade publications. Shull works with transparent gem materials such as ametrine and tourmaline, as well as the translucent materials, opal and chalcedony. He creates an elegant balance of mineral, light, and art designed especially for fine jewelry.

Helen Constantine-Shull grew up in the Southern California foothills of 10,049 ft. Mt. Baldy. As soon as she was old enough, she accompanied her parents and later her two brothers on numerous hiking and camping trips to the Eastern Sierra Nevada, as well as family travels throughout the U.S. and overseas. During this time, Helen developed a deep appreciation of the outdoors and the diversity of human culture.

After her initial decision to be "practical", earn a B.A. in business and land a steady cubicle/commute job, she took time off to live in the mountains just east of Yosemite National Park.Helen Constantine-Shull While living in the town of Lee Vining on the shores of Mono Lake, Helen was given the opportunity to both illustrate and write a botanical guide to the surrounding Mono Basin. This experience led her to pursue the dream of furthering her education and earn an M.A. in botany.

By spending so much time in the field staring down at plants, Helen's long-time avocation of geology and stones was piqued as well. Encouraged by her husband, gem miner and cutter, Richard Shull, she began experimenting with lapidary art and design. Together they craft fine, heirloom quality gemstone beads. From that point, Helen takes the stones in her hands and creates jewelry following exacting standards. By using an old world level of quality, Helen's creations have found a worldwide following. After finding a need to capture a record of the Shull's artistry, she developed special techniques of photography used to create the images published in several major jewelry trade journals.

"Beads were the first items used by humans to adorn themselves. Since that first day, beads have been irresistible to us. I find great pleasure in using techniques based on those of the ancients to craft my beads, often utilizing recently discovered gem materials such as Peruvian opals, American golden opal and California tourmaline. Especially rewarding is the opportunity to both unearth the raw stones and see them through to the completed necklace. I hope that as our beads are worn around the necks of their owners, both radiate with beauty."

The Shulls work out of their studio near Humboldt Bay and the majestic redwoods of Northern California.

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