Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2009 Miss Rodeo America Given The Landstroms Crown

Landstroms Crown
The results are in and the next Miss Rodeo America has been crowned! The 2009 leading lady of professional rodeo is Maegan Ridley, of Alta Loma, California.

Along with a plethora of exquisite prizes, including clothing and matching jewelry, Miss Ridley was also awarded the timeless Landstroms tiara.

Landstrom’s Original Black Hills Gold Creations has provided the official Miss Rodeo America crown every year since 1965. Miss Rodeo America Inc. was developed in 1955 to each year select a qualified Miss Rodeo America as an ambassador of good will promoting the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and American western traditions.

Read the whole story.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

How to wear your Black Hills Gold Heart Ring

Landstroms Heart Ring
Nothing shows love and sincere friendship more than a beautiful Black Hills Gold heart ring. Of course, you can wear your Black Hills Gold heart ring on any finger and in any direction you like! But if you want to make your ring even more special, one option is to wear it like the Irish Claddagh ring.

You can wear your Black Hills Gold heart ring on your right hand with the heart facing outward to tell the world your heart has not been won. But worn on the right hand with the heart facing inward, you show you have friendship and love under consideration. And worn on your left hand with the heart facing inward, it means that two loves have joined forever.

Click here to but this beautiful Heart Ring

Some will wear the ring on their right hand with the heart facing inward as a sign of friendship prior to marriage, and then switch the ring onto their left ring finger during the wedding ceremony to show that their hearts have been joined forever.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just what are Earring Jackets and are they available in Black Hills Gold?

Earring Jackets
Earring jackets are special earrings that are made with a hole in their center allowing you to insert the post of your favorite stud earring through. The stud passes through the "jacket" and attaches to your ear creating an entirely new look.

All Landstroms dangle-style Black Hills Gold earrings can be special-ordered as earring jackets.

If you had a set of only three or four earring jackets, think of the number of combinations you would have with all the stud earrings you already own! Or simply a great way to dress up your favorite pair of stud earrings.

Friday, October 24, 2008

How to clean Black Hills Gold Jewelry

Cleaning Black Hills GoldThe key to beautiful Black Hills Gold Jewelry is keeping it clean!

There are a number of commercial cleaners available for cleaning gold and silver jewelry , but a thorough scrubbing with a mild soap does a fine job. For lockets, bangles and hoops, use a very mild soap solution and avoid immersing. Follow with a warm water rinse and dry with a soft cloth.

Gems such as pearls and opals should be delicately cleaned using only warm water and a soft cloth. Avoid using detergents, abrasives or excessive heat.

Hand lotions and everyday cosmetics contain substances that can cause the surface of the leaves to darken. Frequent, thorough cleaning should prevent this. As your Black Hills Jewelry ages, it will develop a unique patina over the years and will become a cherished heirloom for generations.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Making Black Hills Gold Jewelry

How is Black Hills Gold Jewelry made?

Different Black Hills Gold jewelry manufacturing companies have somewhat different processes for creating a finished piece of jewelry out of raw gold. But the process will always begin with 24K gold grain, and a vision!

The following steps are part of Landstrom’s unique process – watch the video below for an excellent tutorial.

Pure gold is 24 karat, and is very soft. Mixing the gold with other metals creates an alloy, a stronger composition that will hold up to wear and maintain its beauty and characteristics. This is how 14 karat, 12 karat and 10 karat gold are made.

Ever wonder how the pink and green Black Hills Gold leaves are made? Well, copper is mixed with gold to create the pink colored gold while mixing Sterling silver with gold results in the delicate green color.

Gold Bars
The gold grain is alloyed and then cast in bars, which are then rolled into different thickness sheets as required by the various designs.

Leaves and other jewelry components, as well as some thinner ring shanks are then stamped out of these sheets. Another process used to make rings is casting.
Black Hills Gold Leaves
The new design begins as a drawing and then a three dimensional model is intricately carved out of wax. From this design, a metal model is produced which is then used to produce a rubber mold by surrounding the model with rubber and heating it until all the rubber melts. When the rubber mold cools, hot wax is then injected into the rubber mold and a detailed wax form of the model is made. Wax models are then placed in a flask, which is filled with a substance much like plaster of Paris. The filled flask is then heated to over 1000 ˚F, melting the wax and creating a casting. This is what is called the “lost wax casting method”. Molten gold is then poured into the casting and when cooled, the basic piece of jewelry is formed.

Next these pieces go to the Grinding Department where they are worked on by hand until smooth.

In the Soldering Department, leaves and grapes are permanently attached and then the pieces are dipped in a solution of 24 karat gold, a process called electroplating.

The pieces are then worked on further by hand: Wriggling is a process, which removes the electroplating and creates the frosty finish on the pink and green leaves.Wriggling Once the wriggling process is done its time for the Engraving Department where Landstrom’s skilled craftsmen still hand engrave veins into each leaf.

In the Polishing Department, jewelry pieces undergo several steps to bring out the full, rich luster of each piece.

Jewelry pieces requiring stones go to the Stone Setting Department where genuine or synthetic stones are set.

Then it’s off to Final Inspection, where the jewelry is checked and tagged and packaged in the distinctive Landstroms box.

Inspecting JewelryFrom the first step to the final inspection, each piece of Landstroms Original Black Hills Gold reflects the skills of up to 50 different highly trained artisans.
Watch our amazing video below....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The History of Black Hills Gold Jewelry

It was back in July, 1874 when General George Armstrong Custer led a battalion of men from the US Cavalry into the Black Hills of what is now South Dakota. At the time this “Dakota Territory” was inhabited predominantly by the Sioux Indians which were considered a hostile threat to settlers. Custer’s expedition consisted of a host of skilled personnel and had been dispatched mainly to protect railroad workers from the Sioux. One of Custer’s personnel, Horatio N. Ross served as a miner for the Cavalry and it was he that found the first twinkle of gold in the clear waters of French Creek leading to what is praised today as the last great North American gold rush.
As a result, the area boomed with prospectors, outfitters, gamblers and prostitutes giving rise to the town of Deadwood. The lawlessness of the town attracted both the famous, and the infamous. Notorious figures such as Wild Bill Hickok , Calamity Jane and Hickok’s murderer, Jack McCall all sprang from the wild raucousness of the area.
Henri LeBeauDuring this time, Henri LeBeau, a French prospector and goldsmith came out west to make his fortune. Lost, destitute and nearing starvation, Henri dreamed one night of the lush vineyards of his French homeland. When he had awakened, he heard water running from a stream. Following the stream, Henri found and ate grapes which are native to South Dakota, giving him the strength to survive.
Henri settled in the Black Hills and began crafting jewelry using three colors of gold with designs representing the grapes and leaves that had saved his life... and Black Hills Gold jewelry was born!
Landstrom's roots date back to 1878 when S.T. Butler, trainedS.T. Butler by Henri LeBeau, opened the first Black Hills Gold jewelry manufacturing store with his son, George M. Butler in Deadwood. In 1919, the company was divided into two companies, the F.L. Thorpe Company and the Black Hills Jewelry Manufacturing Company. In 1944 Ivan Landstrom bought the Black Hills Jewelry Manufacturing Company and in 1995 Black Hills Gold history went full circle when Landstrom's acquired the F.L. Thorpe Company making Landstrom's the sole owner of all the original Black Hills Gold designs!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What is Black Hills Gold Jewelry?

Black Hills Gold photo
In essence, by law any piece of jewelry bearing the description "Black Hills Gold" must be manufactured in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Traditional Black Hills Gold designs are typically comprised of rose colored and green colored leaves and gold grapes and grape vines. The rose color is made by combining gold with copper, and the delicate green color is achieved by adding sterling silver with gold.
Nowadays there are many manufacturers of Black Hills Gold jewelry, but Landstroms is the oldest of them… the Original Black Hills Gold.
Landstroms Original Black Hills Gold is a unique art form created the way it was originally made… by hand. Though Landstroms is the sole owner of all the original Black Hills gold designs, newcomers have created their own designs and have contributed to the popularity of Black Hills Gold jewelry as well.