History Of Gold Mining In The Black Hills
With rumors of gold in the air, an expedition was established by the U.S. Army and it consisted of over one thousand men, known as the 7th Cavalry. The team was led by Civil War fighter George Armstrong Custer. They set out on July 22nd, 1874 in what is presently known as Bismarck, North Dakota.
The rumors were confirmed when small amounts of gold were found in 1874 in French Creek in Custer, South Dakota. Custer penned a letter on August 15, 1874 to the Assistant Adjutant General of the Department of Dakota and stated that there is no doubt as to the existence of various metals throughout the hills. This was later telegraphed to the press, and the world became aware of the riches of the Black Hills.
With the white mans incessant treaty revisions, unkept promises, and revocation of land that was once ruled by Native Americans, perhaps the Sioux tribe could have predicted what came next. Even though only small amounts of gold were found, people from all over the country flocked to South Dakota to try their hands at panning for fortunes. The land that was promised as Sioux Territory by the Treaty of Fort Laramie was now being hounded, trampled, and taken by the pioneers.
The Traditional Black Hills Method
Although there are several manufacturers of Black Hills gold, their techniques for creating the grape leaf design are varied. The old fashioned method involves lots of hand finishing techniques, giving each piece a unique touch. This technique starts with the rolling out of colored gold alloys into thin sheets. The leaf shape is then stamped out of the sheets and soldered on to the jewelry. The classic woodgrain texture is created through a technique called wriggling, and then the leaf veining is hand engraved.
We love Black Hills gold for its unique look and history. Click the photos to learn more about the pieces you see here, and .
The Origins Of Black Hills Gold
The Black Hills label is rather broad. Despite being around for over a century, it wasnt until 1980 that a judge ruled that only gold jewelry manufactured in the Black Hills region of South Dakota could be labeled Black Hills gold. Before this time, any jewelry using the signature tri-color grape leaf design was marketed as Black Hills gold.
The origins of this style date to the 1870s, designed by a French goldsmith named Henri LeBeau. Although it is known that it was the South Dakota gold rush that brought LeBeau to the region, the inspiration for the grape leaf design is steeped in myth. As the legend goes, the intrepid LeBeau was seeking gold in the Black Hills wilderness when he became completely lost. After days of wandering in search of food and water, he had what he thought was a vision of grapes on a vine. The fruit was real, and so was the stream that ultimately saved him from starvation and thirst. Inspired by his life-changing experience, LeBeau designed the grape and leaf design we associate with Black Hills gold to this day.
Trained by Henri LeBeau, S.T. Butler opened the first Black Hills gold manufacturers in 1878. After dividing into two companies in 1919, both were acquired by Ivan Landstrom in 1944 and 1995. Based on this history, Landstroms claims to be the sole owner of the Black Hills design, although it is not trademarked. Other Black Hills manufacturers include Mt. Rushmore Jewelry, Gold Diggers, Coleman, and Stamper.
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Black Hills Gold In South Dakota
Black Hills gold is a precious gold that is manufactured exclusively in the Black Hills of South Dakota it is considered to be the South Dakota State Jewelry.
Set next to the Rockies is a small mountain range called the Black Hills, South Dakota. Considered sacred to many of the Plains Native Americans, the Black hills are home to the tallest mountain peaks between the Rockies and the Alps. The discovery of gold occurred in the 1870?s by General George Armstrong Custer of the 7th US Cavalry which led to a major gold rush in 1875 until 1878. Thousands of miners went to the Black hills, in 1880 the area was the most densely populated region of the Dakota Territory. From 1880 on, the gold mines yielded about 4 million annually, with an additional 3 million annually from the silver mines.
There are eight different jewelry manufacturing companies in Rapid City that create the world’s supply of Black Hills Gold Jewelry. Each design has a traditional tri-color design with green, rose, and yellow gold and is made with 10 and 12 karat gold or sterling silver. It even comes in white gold.
There are many places to purchase Black Hills Gold in this area, you can also take a free guided tour through the Mount Rushmore Jewelry Factory Outlet and see it being made right before your eyes.
Other Places to purchase Black Hills Gold are:
- Black Hills Gold Outlet
- Many More
Several tours of gold mines are offered around the area.
Jewelry As An Investment
When you purchase jewelry as an investment, consider the quality of all of the materials foremost.
The designer also contributes to its value by their name and the reputation of their design house.
A wise investment includes a piece with all of the raw materials pedigree documented.
You need to consider more than gold when purchasing jewelry.
Most Black Hills Jewelry contains gems.
The value of an investment piece relies on its materials, so with respect to gems, especially diamonds, those of a carat weight more than one carat typically hold value better than those of a smaller size.
Of course, all of the four Cs matter carat, cut, color, and clarity.
Choose a classic cut, such as round or oval.
Trendy shapes wont hold value.
If you have a choice between carat weight, and clarity, and color, go with a higher quality stone with respect to the two latter criteria.
This raises the value.
The higher the karat of gold, the better the long-term value of the jewelry.
Look for Black Hills Gold jewelry that uses 14 to 18 karat gold.
You wont find Black Hills Gold jewelry that uses 24 karat gold because that would mean the gold is pure.
The inherent design of Black Hills Gold jewelry requires it to include yellow, rose, and either green or white gold.
Each of the latter three must blend a secondary metal with gold to create the color.
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Black Hills Gold Jewelry For Gifts & More
The jewelry we sell is mined, designed, and made in the Black Hills area in South Dakota, a mountainous region in western South Dakota. Our Black Hills gold and silver jewelry includes necklaces, rings, bracelets, chains, accessories, and watches.
If you are searching for where to buy Black Hills gold, your search is over. Our Black Hills gold is a precious metal that is manufactured exclusively in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is often referred to as the South Dakota State Jewelry. In fact, any jewelry to be sold as Black Hills Gold must be made in the Black Hills area. Since as early as the 1880s, the Black Hills gold mines have yielded about 4 million ounces annually, with an additional 3 million ounces annually from the silver mines.
Our Black Hills gold refers to the unique design of the jewelry we have been selling for more than 12 years. We love the beauty and appeal of the tri-color Black Hills Gold jewelry and aim to provide a satisfying and enjoyable online shopping experience for our customers. Here you will find the silver and gold jewelry gifts you want to stand out in comparison to other brands.
Contact us with your questions or concerns. We are here to help you find exactly what you want, which includes our stunning selections of black hills gold wedding rings. Take advantage of our free shipping within the United States and enjoy shopping with us today!
Black Hills Gold Faqs
Will black hills gold tarnish?The answer is all jewelry will tarnish except for pure 24k gold. Here in the US we do not really have 24k gold jewelry being produced in large quantities due to the nature of pure gold being very soft and the price of gold currently.
What Karat is Black Hills Gold?Black Hills Gold is produced using 10k gold. 10k gold will tarnish faster then 14k, 18k, 24k but 10k is more durable then all the higher karats. 14k which is the standard karat being used in today’s main stream jewelry lines is softer and has a greater chance for the band or prongs to bend on a ring then 10k does.But Landstrom’s has developed a unique process when they craft their black hills gold that the large jewelry manufactures could learn from.
Landstrom’ original black hills gold developed a process in which the base of the jewelry is 10k for the strength and then the 10k gold is dipped in a 24k liquid gold bath for the non tarnishing properties. So the final outcome of Black Hills Gold by Landstrom’s and Mt. Rushmore Gold will be more durable because of its 10k strength and will tarnish less due to the 24k gold bath it receives.
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History Of Black Hills Gold
It is said that Black Hills Gold was first made in the 1870s by Henry LeBeau, a French goldsmith, who claimed that the idea for the jewelry design had occurred to him in a dream after he had passed out from starvation and thirst.
Other sources claim that Black Hills gold jewelry was created by S.T. Butler, a local goldsmith who lived in the area in the 1860s.
In 1919, Butlers grandson, F.L. Thorpe, started a company manufacturing Black Hills gold jewelry in the city of Deadwood.
Today, there are many jewelers in the area making Black Hills gold jewelry.
In fact, for a piece of jewelry to be sold as Black Hills Gold, it must be made in the Black Hills area.
Shop All Black Hills Gold Jewelry
Our craftspeople understand the value that you, our customer, are placing into a piece of jewelry, whether you are purchasing it as a gift for a loved on, or youre investing in an engagement ring to propose with, or treating yourself with a beautiful piece of jewelry. Thats why our mission is to provide each and every one of our clients with a stunning, one-of-a-kind piece that will last a lifetime.
Our name Mount Rushmore Black Hills Gold not only represents the location we operate in, but it pays homage to the history, heritage, and art that inhabited this region decades before our time. Within 14 years, a big group of gold miners-turned-craftsmen carved into a granite mountain what is now a world renown American national monument Mount Rushmore. Their descendents, our craftspeople, aim to carry on the tradition of intricate, quality work, and in each piece of jewelry we design and manufacture, we strive to incorporate the same quality of craftsmanship that our forefathers set forth before us.
Today, each piece of Black Hills Gold jewelry is produced in a series of 40 steps. Attention to detail and intricacy are only a few words to describe the process of manufacturing our one-of-a-kind designer jewelry. Many, many steps are involved in handcrafting a Black Hills Gold design. From casting, shaping, grounding, polishing, soldering, cleaning, wriggling, and engraving, our skilled artisans settle for nothing less than perfection when bringing to life this jewelry.
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The History Of Black Hills Gold
Even if youve never heard of Black Hills gold, youve likely seen its signature design. Alloys of rose and green gold, along with bright yellow gold, are used to form polished grapes and textured leaves. This motif adorns everything from rings, to cross pendants, to earrings. Black Hills gold is neither a brand, nor a style, but it does have a fascinating history.
Black Hills Gold History
Black Hills Gold Jewelry features a unique design of grape leaves, clusters and vines in tri- colored gold. By federal mandate, this style of jewelry must be manufactured in the Black Hills of South Dakota in order to be described as Black Hills Gold Jewelry.Over a span of 14 years, 360 gold miners – turned craftsmen carved a rough granite Monument. Today in dozens of intricate steps, their descendants our craftspeople, carry on this tradition of quality and excellence with every piece of Mt. Rushmore Black Hills Gold – South Dakota’s official state jewelry.
What makes this Jewelry so unique is the yellow gold grapes with leaf designs in shades of pink and green gold. The colors are actually achieved by alloying gold and silver to produce green and alloying copper with gold to produce pink. The frosty appearance is achieved by wriggling, or engraving, the leaves.
The gold and silver, which was used to make the first Black Hills Gold Jewelry, had been mined at the Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota, at the time it was the largest gold mine in the Western Hemisphere. Henri LeBeau, a prospector from France, did not discover this gold however, he did create the legendary jewelry with the leaves and grapes which he sold to other miners and prospectors.
One hundred twenty years have passed since that first piece was made and some people still say that wearing the jewelry brings them “good luck!”
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The Story Behind Black Hills Gold Jewelry
Black Hills Gold pieces are timeless and one-of-a-kind, staying in families for generations. It’s named after the mountain range of the North American Great Plains that were once inhabited by Native American tribes.
Back in 1874, the rush for gold was on after a scout for General George Armstrong Custer discovered it in the Black Hills.
“Legend has it that in 1876, there was a French goldsmith named Henri LeBeau, he came to the Black Hills in search of his gold fortune. When he got here, he was unfamiliar with the terrain. He became hopelessly lost and then he eventually stumbled onto a patch of wild grapes that saved his life. So when he went back to the camp, he honored the life-saving grapes and started designing good luck jewelry, which also became known as Black Hills Gold Jewelry,” said Mount Rushmore Gold Outlet Store Manager Jesse Riddle.
One of the original companies was called Thorpe, which Landstrom’s bought out. A partnership then came to be with Mount Rushmore Gold.
All of the gold is found here in the Black Hills and all of the jewelry is handmade in Rapid City.
There’s one spot in the factory where all the designs happen. It used to be done by hand, but now, employees use a computer program called “Matrix.” It’s a high tech jewelry design software program that employees can use and send a file quickly to the 3D printer.
Then, the wax is carved out and a silver master copy is made.
Something unique to the company is diamond cutting.
K Gold Vs Black Hills Gold
Hi. I am new to this pretty much too, and have a lot to learn.There is so much here in this one spot, it is wonderful. Ihave always wondered about the difference between regular 14K gold,and Black Hills gold. Im sure it is an alloy of some kind, butwhat? Thanks. Syl
Black Hills gold is a trademarked product. I believe it is now knownas Stamper Black Hills Gold. It is usually 10 karat and the averageatricle is usually a product made up of leaves and grape clusters, inpink, green and yellow gold alloys. I expect others will offer finepoints on this. . .
Black Hills Gold is more descriptive of the design than the gold itsself. Im guessing that Stamper is a manufacturer like Landstroms andthe multitude of others belching out the grape leaves. It is stillknown as Black Hills Gold and will be forever, this is too good of amarketing scheme for them to give up.
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History Of Black Hills Jewelry
Black Hills jewelry refers to any piece that was created from 1876 to the present.
While a bar of gold from that region holds the same value as a bar of gold from any other location, pieces of jewelry can vary in value.
If you ever watched the Antiques Road Show on PBS, you know that the age of an item can add to its value.
If you own a ring crafted by LeBeau in 1877, that holds a higher value than a Black Hills gold ring crafted in 2020.
The quality of gold also contributes to its value.
If the mix of metals to create the rose and yellow gold sways it in the direction of the less precious metals, then the piece loses value.
If the ring contains a significant amount of 24K, it rises in value. The components of the jewelry matter.
Black Hills Gold jewelry containing gemstones increases the value of the ring or necklace or other jewelry items.
Diamonds increase in value the greatest amount, followed by rubies and sapphires.
Gold blended with copper produces the pink or red color referred to as rose gold.
Iron blended with gold produces green gold.
White gold combines gold and silver.
Other alloys include zinc and platinum.
When gold and silver are naturally mixed in their geologic development, we refer to this as electrum.
A piece of Black Hills Gold must have at least one pure band and one blended band to achieve the required design.
What Is The History Of Black Hills Gold
There is a mountainous region known as black hills in South Dakota, United States of America where its said that a French Goldsmith named Henry LeBeau is believed to have made such kind of gold and its unique jewelry designs. However, another study suggests the grandson of S.T Buttler, F.L Thorpe, a local Goldsmith of the region, set up a company manufacturing these marvelous jewelry designs in a city called Deadwood. And today, youll find several Goldsmiths and jewelry selling black hills gold jewelry all over the world.
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