About Robert Michael….
I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and at the age of nine I collected my first “crystal” in the creek behind our house. It was a Black Tourmaline embedded in White Quartz. I was fascinated by the mirror finish, the perfect replication of the sides and the geometric shape of the point. I had no idea that “rocks” could actually grow in this fashion. That was the beginning of a life-long hobby.
However, as you might expect, the hobby was put on hold in favor of college and a long career in Product Development with a number of major banking institutions. I quickly became known as a leader in designing and building the impossible. Myself and my teams successfully launched over 40 products and businesses, several of which are today’s primary payment tools, i.e., debit cards, prepaid gift cards and chip cards.
One career relocation brought me to Denver twenty years ago which opened new opportunities to collect a wide variety of minerals and crystals. I joined several Gem and Mineral Clubs and gained a tremendous amount of hand-me-down knowledge. I retired from banking 8 years ago and my rockhound “hobby” became my full-time job. My interests and efforts have now evolved into a full blown second career.
Just imagine… You’re driving in the Colorado Rocky Mountains headed for a very remote location in search of semi-precious gem-quality crystals. You park and begin your two-mile hike into the wilderness. You’re carrying 40 lbs. of equipment, food and water. That’s the easy part. The real work begins when you arrive at your targeted location. You’ve done your research and identified the right geologic formation. Now you “read” the rocks and dig, hammer and chisel for hours. You follow a seam in the rock and suddenly a crevice opens up filled with pristine crystals that glisten in the sunlight. You carefully extract them and take them back to your lab. After 4 to 8 hours of cutting you’ve produced a perfect gemstone. You envision a jewelry design for this one gem. You create a wax prototype and then cast the final version in gold or sterling. You polish the piece to perfection and set the gem. With that effort behind you, you’re ready to do it all again. You’re rock’n and roll’n now!
I thought I was having fun in my financial services career. My current activities absolutely blow my mind. What a dramatic career change. My oldest daughter, Lauren, is following in my footsteps and provides a great deal of assistance. Today, I can easily say I’m a Jeweler, Goldsmith, Silversmith, Miner, Gem Cutter, Jewelry Designer and Manufacturer specializing in Colorado Gemstones ™.
I’m loving every minute and every aspect. Who would have guessed?
I hope you enjoy perusing the site. It would be a pleasure to provide you with a quality piece of my fine jewelry.