To remove the veil of mystery from diamonds and colored gemstone buying through customer education, and to provide extraordinary gems at a fair price. Our desire was to create a buying experience unique in the Columbia/Chapin metro area. Gemstones are beautiful creations of nature, and the jewelry they are in usually represents a loved one, or a special occasion. The buying experience of items such as this should reflect those same emotions…in that it should be fun, memorable, even comfortable. It can only be comfortable if first, you trust the people with whom you are dealing, and second if you are buying goods of a quality that you can be proud to have to represent your expressions of love.
About Tom Shofner
I grew up in central North Carolina in a little place called Burlington. After graduating high school, I went to N.C. State for a year in their engineering school. The problem however, was that I was not ready to study like I needed to, so I quit and joined the navy. That was a great plan, because I was accepted into their elite nuclear program and promptly went back to school in their Nuclear Power School where I was in class for eight hours a day and studying 2-4 hours each night. So much for not being ready to study! I spent six years in the U.S. Navy, four of which were on a Fast Attack Submarine…the USS Hawkbill. The first two years were spent in the Navy’s nuclear training program, the remaining four on board my sub stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During this time I qualified on my boat, (subs are called “boats”, everything else are called targets…some like to call them ships), and earned my Dolphins. This is a BIG DEAL in the submarine world, and a proud moment for me! I also went to the Navy’s diver training school to become qualified as a Navy diver. But the Navy, while a great experience, had its drawbacks. There were weeks and months at sea, (or under the sea), away from my family. So I said farewell to the submarine service and immediately afterwards worked as a commercial diver for a while in Hawaii, before moving back to the states. Upon arrival back on the mainland, I spent the next two months zig-zaging across the states on my motorcycle, starting from San Francisco, visiting friends along the way and seeing points of interest until I arrived back home in North Carolina. Using my nuclear training from the Navy, I started to work at a commercial nuclear power generating plant in South Carolina. During that time I also acquired a BS degree in Nuclear Science Engineering. Finally, after putting off studying gemology for some time, I yielded to my passion of colored stones and diamonds, and earned my Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America and became a Certified Gemologist with the American Gem Society. The next logical progression, (at least to me anyway…not necessarily to my wife), was to go into the business of gemstones and jewelry. And that step has culminated in moving into a full-time job in my new retail store, which I opened in November 2006, and this website as well.
Other interests include most any activity outside; motorcycling, backpacking, boating and any other water related activities, snow skiing, music…playing guitar and singing in a local band, and perhaps most importantly, playing and spending time with my grandchildren.