Our story begins in 1987 on Gem Mountain in Philipsburg, Montana, when Dale Siegford began digging for Montana sapphires. While working two other jobs to pay for the kilns, Dale experimented with bringing sapphires to high temperatures and teaching himself the art of heat treatment. In order to intensify the colors of Montana sapphires, Dale experimented to enhance the elements already present in the sapphires to showcase the best colors in the stones, learning how to turn pale mined stones into brilliant pink sapphires and blue sapphires
In 1988, Shirley, ranch wife, mother of three, and former special-ed teacher, began selling Montana jewelry at the Gem Mountain Shop. Her instincts for customer service were heightened by her passion for sapphire jewelry, assisting customers in their search for the perfect blue sapphire ring , pink sapphire earrings, and sapphire necklace. Shirley's talents soon became evident, and she was quickly promoted to shop and pond manager in 1989.
Shirley had heard of Dale's heat treating expertise on Montana sapphires, that his blue sapphire treatment was good, but his work with Montana sapphires' fancy colors- pink sapphires and yellow sapphires-was peerless. Shirley knew Dale's heat treatment of Montana sapphires meant more value for sapphire customers. So she got him on the horn, and he agreed to contract the heating of sapphires for Gem Mountain customers. And hoo-wee! did his results bring those sapphire hunters back for more, with over twenty-five hundred pieces of custom sapphire jewelry shipped across the U.S. and Europe!
Two and a half busy years later, Shirley and Dale lit out on their own. Dale had Montana sapphires by the boxfuls, and with his heat treating expertise and Shirley's experience in crafting and retailing artisan sapphire jewelry, it was the making of a great team! In January of 1992, they embarked on their new prospect: the wholesale beginning of Sapphire Gallery, Inc., in Philipsburg, Montana. By summer Dale had purchased an empty building, once the oldest family-owned grocery store in Montana. Working in the unheated building, their experienced staff sold and created sapphire jewelry from a start-up collection of only sixty pieces, while Shirley, Dale, family, and friends completely renovated the premises, which became the Sapphire Gallery home in a grand opening on December 12, 1992.
Since then, the Sapphire Gallery has built and maintains a worldwide collection of over three thousand pieces of sapphire jewelry and ruby jewelry. With more than twenty years in the Montana jewelry business, we have sold over 25,000 pieces of custom and Wear it now sapphire jewelry, from pink sapphire earrings to yellow sapphire necklaces. So whether you're searching for a pink sapphire engagement ring to say "I do," or those perfect blue sapphire earrings to mark a special occasion, let us help you create a life-long treasure. Come visit us and participate in finding your own sapphires right here inside the Gallery or take a tour online of our ready-made sapphire jewelry, and enjoy the wonderful world of Montana sapphires!