WHAT IS ASTERISM? Literally, it means a star. In gemmological terms, it is a star-shaped figure that is enhanced by polishing (usually en cabachon). The star is viewed by holding the gem in the path of a single, bright light source (like the sun).
ASTERISM Services provides diverse services to the geological, mining, gem cutting, metallurgy, and jewelry businesses. We perform field work in geology that includes field mapping, underground mapping, sampling, modelling, and interpretation.
We provide consulting in mining especially for crystal and gem mining, including specialized blasting, materials recovery, and cleaning and preparation. We can identify your mineral specimens, take you on geological field trips, and we buy local mineral specimens. We specialize in Montana gems: Montana sapphires, Montana garnets, Montana quartz gems (amethyst, smoky quartz), and also Montana gold and other ores. We have the state's only privately-owned free mineral museum, open to the public year-round.
Our facilities include precious metals recovery and refining; in addition, we are consultanting metallurgists in the field of gold and silver extraction, recovery, and refining.
We are fabricators, designers, and casters of precious metals, specifically in the jewelry field.
We provide lapidary services to the public, from bulk diamond sawing to faceting, cabachon cutting, polishing, tumbling and lapping. Our specialty is cutting asteriated and chatoyant gems, from star garnets to sapphires, rubies, tourmaline, rose quartz, and most important gem species.
We have in stock many mineral specimens and crystals, from micromounts to thumbnail-sized, miniature, and cabinet-sized specimens. Butte copper mine minerals, Boulder batholith pegmatite minerals, Black Pine Mine minerals, and Idaho miarolitic granite minerals are available, along with a variety of miscellaneous localities.
LAPIDARY SERVICES: We have over 35 years experience in the commercial gem cutting business, but since it is a small operation, limited facilities so that we only take on small jobs. Slab sawing, cabochons, and most styles of faceting are accepted. We specialize in asteriated and chatoyant gems, like star sapphires, garnets, rubies, and cat's-eye gems; we facet many sapphires and local gems including varieties of quartz, garnets, tourmaline, topaz, chysoberyl, spinel, peridot, sunstone, tanzanite, and most "true" gems. We DO NOT cut "semi-gems" like apatite, spodumene, fluorite, calcite, barite, or those fragile or soft minerals that do not take the wear-and-tear of jewelry. Our fees start at $40 minimum for faceting, increasing by hourly rate at $65 per hour. Cabochons are cut on a per-stone basis and fees are a function of material type, size, style of cut, and additional services like slabbing or trimming, if necessary. We reserve the option to restrict the number of stones we take on at any given time, based upon available working time when ordered. Let us know by e-mail or phone your needs!
METALLURGY: We are metallurgists specializing in all areas of precious metals, from extractive to refining and physical metallurgy. We offer consulting services for mining companies involved in precious metals, and for companies needing services in recovery and refining, especially in the jewelry industry. We also provide lost wax casting services, vulcanized rubber mold and silicon mold manufacturing, and wire and sheet fabrication.
Are you a manufacturing jeweler, and do you have old scrap gold that needs cleaning up? We can take your scrap and refine it to PURE gold, and from there we can alloy it into various products (i.e., 10 kt, 14 kt, 18 kt., yellow, white, rose/pink, or green gold). We do this for a percentage of the recovery, with an additional charge if we do the alloying for you. Otherwise, you may choose to receive the gold in its pure state and you can produce the alloys without our assistance.
GEOLOGY: Our services in the field of geology are varied: we do surface and underground mapping, all types of sampling, drill site monitoring, property evaluation, claim staking and maintenence. We have experience in various types of mining and geology, specializing in pegmatites, precious metals deposits, granite geology, contact zone deposits, and crystals and mineral specimens. Our fees in these areas depend on the type, location, and duration of each individual project. We work by the hour, day, or week, and expenses are considered as extra fees. Please call us or e-mail with your specific needs.
WE DO SILVER!!
jewelers will not touch sterling silver, repair, or even design silver
jewelry. Most jewelers just sell jewelry and do not do repairs or custom
themselves; they are just “salespeople”! But we do all repairs, sizings, and custom-order work here in our Butte store. This includes Native American jewelry, which we have specialized in for over 35 years….most Native American jewelry (Zuni, Hopi, Navaho) we have successfully worked with, from rings to pendants, brooches, necklaces, earrings, watch bands, bracelets and even squash-blossom necklaces. We can size silver rings, repair broken bracelets, re-string squash blossom necklaces, polish and clean, and even replace lost or broken stones, especially turquois (red coral is getting difficult to find) and mother-of-pearl. There are SOME EXCEPTIONS, as not everything can be repaired or restored, so we ask our customers to give us a brief “heads-up” and send us an e-mail describing the piece you have and what needs to be done to it. A picture is worth a thousand words! There are some instances where it may be worth the trouble to send the piece to us so we can examine it here before we accept the job….anything can easily be returned, but please include adequate return postage (and insurance for full value if necessary) along with your name, address, and a phone number where we can reach you if needed.
We took in this sterling silver ring, broken at the shank where it joined the top half, removed all the stones, cleaned and prepped it, hard soldered the silver shank to the top assembly, and re-set all the stones, finished by polishing and cleaning!
Before............with stones removed...soldered................finished...like new!!