FOLKLORE OF BLACK HILLS GOLD JEWELRY

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The Fate of Henri and the Wild Grapes...

A young Frenchman, Henri LeBeau, came to the Black Hills of South Dakota hoping to stake his clam to a fortune in gold, A master goldsmith by trade, he was ill-prepared for the rigorous physical work of prospecting.

His search for gold met with little success. Tired and discouraged, he fell into a deep sleep, dreaming of the beautiful vineyards of his homeland. He awakened refreshed. With renewed spirit, he was determined to make his fortune, not with pick and shovel, but by applying the skills of his trade. Inspired by the visions of his dream, he cast grape leaves and clusters of the three colors and created Black Hills Gold Jewelry


THE BLACK HILLS GOLD RUSH

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1874 South Dakota Gold Rush

Black Hills Gold history begins when Horatio N. Ross, a scout for General George Armstrong Custer, discovers gold in the Black Hills.


ORIGINS OF BLACK HILLS GOLD JEWELRY

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1876 Henri LeBeau

Inspiration for the Black Hills Gold grape and leaf designs in three colors of gold is credited to a prospector/goldsmith named Henri LeBeau. These designs began in the mining towns of California during its Gold Rush days in 1849 and worked their way through the mining camps in Idaho, Nevada, Montana and Colorado. Henri LeBeau brought these designs from Montana to South Dakota in 1876, when he opened up a shop in Central city.


1878 S.T.Butler

Henri LeBeau trains S.T. Butler who starts a jewelry manufacturing store and produces Black hills Gold jewelry with his son, George M. Butler in Deadwood, SD.


1900's Clarence Thorpe

Clarence Thorpe, nephew of George - grandson to S.T. Butler, takes over business.


1919 F.L. Thorpe Company

Clarence Thorpe sells his business to his brother, Frank Thorpe. Frank forms a partnership with Ed "E.O' Lampinen under the name F.L. Thorpe Company. Frank Thorpe and ED Lampinen dissolve their partnership and divide the original molds and dies between them. Frank Thorpe continues the F.L. Thorpe Company. Ed Lampinen buys George Butler's tools and equipment and founds the Black Hills Jewelry Manufacturing Company.


LANDSTROM'S BLACK HILLS GOLD HISTORY

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1944 Ivan Landstrom

Ivan Landstrom buys the Black Hills Jewelry Manufacturing Company and moves it to Rapid City. Ed Lampinen stays on staff to train employees in the traditional methods of creating Black Hills Gold jewelry.


1968 Constance Landstrom Drew

Black Hills Jewelry Manufacturing Company doing business as Landstrom's Original Black Hills Gold Creations passes to Constance Landstrom Drew, daughter of Ivan Landstrom.


1981 Federal mandate

Black Hills Gold Jewelry features 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".


1995 Landstrom's acquires F.L. Thorpe Company

Black Hills Gold history comes full circle when Landstrom's buys F.L. Thorpe Company of Deadwood in 1995 making Landstrom's the sole owner of all the original Black Hills Gold designs.


2006 Third Landstrom Generation

Landstrom's passes to Connie's daughter and son. Landstrom's continues to be dedicated to handcraftsmanship and to maintaining the highest standards in the Black Hills Gold industry.


GYPSIES BLESSINGS OF BLACK HILLS GOLD

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"To one who wears the Black Hills Gold..."

Gypsies traveling through the Black Hills in the 1950's started a legend which says, “To one who wears the Black Hills Gold, good luck and fortune will unfold".


MYTH ABOUT BLACK HILLS GOLD

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Pink and Green gold is mined in the Black Hills...

There is a myth that pink and green gold is mined only in the Black Hills. The distinctive colors of Black Hills Gold are created through an alloying process, which mixes other metals with pure 24 karat gold. The delicate green color is achieved by adding sterling silver with gold. The rose color is made by combining gold with copper.


BLACK HILLS GOLD MANUFACTURING

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Black Hills Gold is Handcrafted

Black Hills Gold is a unique American art form created the way it was originally made...by hand. No two pieces are alike. Each piece reflects great pride in craftsmanship by talented artisans with skills taught by their predecessors over 100 years ago.



24K Gold Bars

The process of making Landstrom's Original Black Hills Gold begins with 24 karat gold bars... and a vision.



Gold Sheets

Alloys of 12 karat gold are rolled into sheets of gold.



Leaves

Leaves and other component parts are punched out of gold sheets.



Wax

Each new design begins with a two-dimensional drawing and becomes a three-dimensional design carved in wax.



10K Cast

The wax is surrounded by a plaster-like substance. When it is heated, the wax melts and leaves a void that molten gold can be poured into. This creates a casting in 10 karat gold.



Solder

The 12 karat gold punched out leaves are individually hand-soldered to the casted gold frame.



24K Gold

Depending on the design, select pieces of Landstrom's are dipped in liquid 24 karat gold to create a bright eye-catching finish.



Wriggle

"Wriggling" is a handcrafted finishing method that creates the rich frosty depth in Landstrom's leaves.



Engrave

The veins of each leaf are meticulously hand engraved to produce unique light-catching, prismatic cuts.


LIFETIME GUARANTEE OF BLACK HILLS GOLD

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Landstrom's Original Black Hills Gold Guarantee

Landstrom's handcrafts each piece of Black Hills Gold jewelry with quality and precision, and guarantees your jewelry to be free from any manufacturing defects. This guarantee does not include coverage of physical damage due to normal wear and or exposure to chemicals. Complimentary chains, vendor parts and gemstones are also excluded, unless demand to be a manufacturing defect. With any fine jewelry, be sure to have your stone settings checked regularly to help avoid the loss of a stone. For guarantee coverage, return the jewelry to the store where you made the purchase.


Mt. Rushmore Black Hills Gold Guarantee

Mt. Rushmore Black Hills Gold handcrafts each piece of Black Hills Gold jewelry and guarantees your jewelry to be free from any manufacturing defects. For guarantee coverage, return the jewelry to the store where you made the purchase.


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SHOP FOR BLACK HILLS GOLD


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BLACK HILLS GOLD HISTORY'S SUGESTED RETAILERS

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BERG JEWELRY & GIFTS DEADWOOD, SD

Berg Jewelry Black Hills Gold


BLACKHILLSGOLD.GOLD

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MORE INFORMATION ON BLACK HILLS GOLD

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