There was a time when banks weren’t trusted as they are today, and if you had something of value, you hid it in a wall in your home. These are three instances of valuables hidden in walls that we are aware of happening in western Maine because we bought the gems. One treasure was a gold pin with a large green tourmaline and four aquamarines from Paris Hill. Another was a cash of grey tourmaline crystals found in a wall, again on Paris Hill. The third find was boxes of aquamarine, also found in a wall in a house in Stoneham, Maine.
Interestingly, all three discoveries were in a kitchen wall and found in the late last century as the current homeowner prepared to expand the kitchen and took down an adjoining wall. The boxes of aquamarine crystals were bought by one of our gem cutters. Over 20 years, he cut a couple of dozen aquamarine every year. We had first choice and selected our favorites every year. Our cutter called this collection his “Kitchen Wall Aquamarine” We, too, call them Kitchen Wall Aquamarine. We have acquired aquamarine from several Maine gem mines. Our favorite Maine aquamarine is Kitchen Wall aquamarine because the cut, color, and clarity are superior.
The gems came from a small house near Mine Road in Stoneham, Maine. The current population of the Town of Stoneham is 281.
Historic mining in Stoneham, Maine, was for feldspar. Finding gems stopped the operation because the mining crew, following a blast that opened an occasional gem pocket, would suddenly be out on their hands and knees picking up gems.
The story of legend was that day in and day out, mining at the Stoneham feldspar mine proceeded smoothly. A dynamite blast would be set off. Rock loosened would be loaded and shipped, and then every once in a while, the feldspar blast would open a gem pocket of aquamarine and scatter gems across the surface of the pit, sending miners scurrying to find and pick up gems. The temptation to hunt for gems was strong.
Legend holds that the moment the mine boss knew they had hit a gem pocket, he would blow a whistle, assemble all his miners, and send them all to another part of the quarry to continue mining for feldspar while he, the mining boss, would hang back to pick up all evidence of the aquamarine crystal distractions. Over the years, the mine boss assembled a formidable collection of aquamarine gems. To deal with it, he boxed it all up, hid it in the kitchen wall, plastered it shut, and painted it over.
The mine boss’ house was small. It was near the beginning of the mine road in Stoneham, Maine. After the re-discovery of crystals in the kitchen wall in the 1990s, our gem cutter bought the crystals and began cutting gems.
Our twice-a-year visits with this gem cutter were focused on Maine tourmaline. We always took the opportunity to review his latest Kitchen Wall aquamarine gems, and over this 20-year period, we acquired our best Maine aquamarine in color and cutting.
We have limited styles of designs we set our Maine Kitchen Wall aquamarine into. We do these limited designs because the gems are not cut to standard sizes, and all gems are different. This means we must make custom designs for every Maine aquamarine. We make necklaces and, occasionally, a ring or earrings. If you see something in Maine aquamarine and you like it, simply decide, don’t wait. Nice Maine aquamarine is rare. There are no possibilities or options in depth. We have created a few exquisite pieces of jewelry.
I was a rock collector as a kid. I had a few crystals of nice gems. I can feel, even now, what the miners probably felt following every dynamite blast. They walked carefully, they studied the ground with intensity. They were looking for blue, and at moments they reached down and picked up a fine shaped crystal. A nice crystal sends a ripple of excitement through the body.
A feldspar mining site is bland. Feldspar is typically cream-colored, to almost white. When the sun catches a flat surface of feldspar there is a bright reflective sheen that glances off the surface. A fine blue gem crystal would stand in dramatic contrast to the monochromatic feldspar background. In Maine we had a dozen locations where feldspar was mined. All of them had a potential for aquamarine gems. The Stoneham location was particularly fine for aquamarine.
Precious Metal: 14K White Gold
Gem: Maine Aquamarine = 7mm round (1.14 carat)
Gems: 22 Diamonds = .23 carat total weight
Measurement: 15.5mm (5/8″) from top of bail to bottom of necklace
Chain: 18″ 14K White Gold
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