Text by Jaci Kennison, JLance Freelance, Rapid City, SD
Images courtesy Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman
In the mid 1870s, pioneers flocked west to the rumors of gold, struggling across the wide expanse of prairie in their quest to fulfill dreams of a better life. Aboard covered wagons and on foot they traveled for weeks and months with little more than hope to keep them moving forward toward the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Gold had been discovered there just after the Custer Expedition and the promise of untold wealth was the star upon which many young Americans hung their hopes. According to legend, one such young American – Henri LeBeau, a goldsmith from France – fell asleep believing he was dying of thirst and starvation, and dreamt of a mountain stream with grape vines growing on its banks. When he awoke, he discovered just over a nearby rise, the stream and grape vines of his dream. In gratitude for his life saved, he devoted his talents as a goldsmith to creating jewelry featuring the grapes, leaves, and vines that adorned the banks of the stream.
This tale of determination and success is forever immortalized, in the signature rose, green, and yellow gold of the grapes and leaves used in the designs of Black Hills Gold jewelry, a process that can require up to 40 different manufacturing steps. Skillfully trained artisans produce a wide variety of traditional and contemporary styles carrying the world-renowned designation of Black Hills Gold.
The legend of Henri LeBeau lives on in fine jewelry pieces exclusively crafted by Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman. The company exhibited their proprietary designs along with a full collection of Sturgis Buffalo Chip Jewelry at The CrossRoads during the Sturgis Rally. Each piece is meticulously finished with the mark of the legendary Buffalo Chip. The collection includes earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins, watches and key chains all encompassing the memory of an experience and preserving it for a lifetime.
Visit www.blackhillsgoldbycoleman.com to visit the online showroom and learn more.