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Finding Inspiration in The Treasure State

Montague’s Jewelers seeks the guidance of nature when creating extraordinary, custom pieces. 

Article by Stephanie Hower

Photography by Oluanai Photography

Originally published in Billings Lifestyle

Although most often referred to as Big Sky Country, Montana boasts another nickname alluding to its rich trove of natural resources. The “Treasure State” has long yielded bountiful deposits of gold, silver, palladium, platinum, and the coveted Yogo sapphire. At Montague’s Jewelers, they strive to pay homage to their state’s breathtaking landscape as well as its treasures. 

“We’re inspired by Montana’s natural splendor,” says Owner Chris Montague. “Shimmering ice-capped mountain peaks, emerald pools atop the Beartooth tundra, crystalline summer skies, well-worn trails that weave and loop through pristine wilderness. For three generations, we’ve helped customers find timeless pieces inspired by the elegance of nature.”

Found only in Montana, the stunning Yogo Sapphire is renowned for its naturally brilliant blue hue. 

“With the closing of the Yogo Gulch Mine, these exquisite sapphires have become increasingly rare,” explains Chris. “We have a large inventory of beautiful Yogo Sapphires, as well as an exclusive relationship with the world’s premier Yogo supplier.”

The custom-designed sapphire ring (pictured) was created by Montague’s. 

“Yogo sapphires are quintessential Montana,” he continues. “It is our state gemstone, it is completely natural, and it is the color of our famed skies.” The ring  is comprised of a .85 carat emerald cut Yogo Sapphire, with 1.17 carats total weight of oval, square, and round brilliant cut accent diamonds. 

While emeralds are not distinctly Montanan nor found in the region naturally, they do offer an enchanting hue reminiscent of lush forests, grassy fields, and mountain top lakes. The emerald bracelet (pictured) is unique in its perfect and extensive symmetry. 

“I picked this piece because it is fairly rare to see that many perfectly matched emeralds,” Chris confides. The bracelet is comprised of 6.04 carats total weight of oval cut emeralds and nearly 4 carats total weight of round cut accent diamonds. 

A tiered design, almost evocative of the cascading motion of a river or waterfall, makes the diamond pendant necklace (pictured) an eye-catching piece suitable for all occasions, whether date night casual or black-tie elegant. It contains .69 carats total weight of round cut diamonds. 

In embodying the majesty of nature, Montague’s is able to offer one-of-a-kind pieces meant to set the wearer apart, spark conversation, and enhance any ensemble. Since 1937, they have served the Billings community, now with two locations to fulfill every jewelry need. 

“Montague’s Jewelers offers all types of jewelry service from engagement rings to anniversaries, from repair to custom design and everything in between. We don’t pigeonhole our customer base, we offer all price points. From our silver store - Montague’s Silver - we offer items from $20-$500. At our main store we have higher price point items in platinum, palladium, and gold with every gem you can think of,” concludes Chris. 

Montague’s Jewelers 2810 2nd Ave N. Billings 59101 406.294.9370

montaguesjewelers.com

Fine Jewelry Care

1. Gemstones and diamonds can be cleaned with warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft brush. Clean your jewelry in a bowl of warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly, then dry with a lint‐free cloth.

2. Proper storage of fine jewelry pieces is critical to maintaining their flawless appearance. Diamond, gemstone, and especially pearl jewelry should never simply be tossed into a drawer or box haphazardly as they may be scratched.

3. Exposure to common household chemicals, like ammonia or bleach, can damage both metals and gemstones. Even chemicals that are worn on the body – like hairspray, perfumes and lotions – can affect metals and dull gemstones. It is best to apply any perfumes, lotions, or hairsprays before putting on jewelry.

4. While ultrasonic cleaners are great for cleaning metals, diamonds, and certain gemstones, they are not appropriate for all. Gemstones that have been fracture‐filled with oil, resin, or glass may be damaged. Most emeralds, for example, are fracture‐filled and should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.

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