Mother Earth dazzles with gems, minerals, and crystals. ©Kathryn R. Burke
[December 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage | Linda White]
Time and tide. Yesterday and today. The paintings on the wall might still be damp. The stones in the middle of the room might be millions of years old.
Mother Earth on Main Street showcases ancient minerals and fossils, contemporary art, and strings of colorful beads. A casual elegance belies the gravitas of what surrounds the visitor. The sense of awe is natural because the objects are natural and surprisingly familiar, a timeless reminder of survival amid ever-changing elements. Earthquake, wind, fire, and all the thriving and danger that humanity is heir to is etched in the terrible beauty around us.
Opened in November, the store’s eager staff is very knowledgeable and enjoys talking about the crystals, where they’re from, and how they’re formed. More than a new store on Main Street, Mother Earth is an ongoing education for the neophyte, a reminder for the professional, and a wonderful experience for all of us who walk the planet and marvel at the beauty underfoot or up ahead, and continue to wonder.
Wellness abounds in bundles of sage, essential oils, and CBD products. Striking oils, acrylics, and photography enhance the wall space. Children’s fossil excavation kits, coloring books, and small fossils and minerals connect them to their world in the “Kids’ Corner.” Nearby is a geode cracking station where you can discover your own rock and mineral surprise.
Mother Earth also features jewelry derived from natural crystals, mineral beads, opals, topazes, and more. David LeBlanc, the in-house jeweler, offers unique original designs and jewelry repairs. This is especially appropos because—for nearly half a century—jewelry was being made in this building by the DeVinnys, a family enterprise dating to 1926. This was their third and final location. That long tenure is remarkable for any enterprise, geologically commensurate to the millions of years on display now. The handoff complete, the dedication goes on. *
By Linda White
DeVinny Jewelers first opened their doors to a world in transition. The year was 1926; Henry Ford had recently announced the 40-hour work week, the first SAT college admissions test was administered, and U.S. Route 66 was created connecting Chicago to Los Angeles, and the DeVinny family purchased the Farrell-Frandsen Jewelry Company (which was established in 1906.) With the arrival of the Denver and Rio Grande track terminal extending just north of the early downtown trade district, businesses relocated to what is now Main Street. Erected around 1889 for $10,000, the building at 321 Main, housed a drugstore and the brand new Western Slope Bank on the ground floor, with the Knights of Pythias lodge upstairs. The building retains the original cast iron front, pressed metal cornice and the spirit of hard work that reflected the ranchers, farmers, and miners who were their many customers. This was also the third and final location of DeVinny’s Jewelers. When the last owner, David DeVinny, took over from his father George after his education and army service, he brought the same dedication to customer service and quality. The DeVinny participation in downtown development, nonprofit and youth program support has left a profound mark on the valley. The unique designs by David’s brother, Mark, are still seen around town. The memories of passing through the front door and pausing under the shine of the hammered ceiling reflecting in the glass-encased jewelry linger on.*