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2 Gemstone Companies Announce Merger

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Market growing ‘almost faster than we can keep up.’

Columbia Gem House and Sapphires of Montana announced that they have merged.

The resulting company is called Sapphires of Montana by Columbia Gem House. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Columbia Gem House describes itself as “the industry leader in Fair Trade and responsibly sourced gemstones with mine to market traceability” and the largest supplier of gemstones mined in America. It also provides heating, cutting and U.S. jewelry manufacturing to customers worldwide.

Sapphires of Montana’s expertise lies in the branding, marketing and sale of Rock Creek Montana sapphires. The merger will help increase the production and availability of Montana sapphires, according to the release.

Columbia Gem House, a family business, was founded by Eric Braunwart 40 years ago. For the past 15 years, the company has focused on “producing Fair Trade gems with a transparent supply chain from mine to market.”

Braunwart said, “It’s a natural fit to bring in additional strength in sapphires of a Montana origin in a market that is growing almost faster than we can keep up.”

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Sapphires of Montana, owned and operated by women, was founded by Lisa Brooks-Pike and Margo Bedman in 2012. After a sell-out show on QVC the company expanded its focus to supporting a clientele of young up-and-coming millennial and established independent designers.

“Since Sapphires of Montana was modeled on the Fair Trade, mine to market principals of Columbia Gem House, uniting the brands is a positive next step,” Brooks-Pike said.

Bedman said the merger “allows us to provide a sustainable supply of Montana sapphires to the industry.”

Brooks-Pike, co-owner and vice president of sales and marketing for Sapphires of Montana, will continue with Columbia Gem House as marketing director.

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