About Us

D&J Rare Gems was founded by Donna and John Rhoads in 1985 as a source for rare gems for the gemologist and collector. Initially a mail order company for rare gems, D&J Rare Gems expanded into fine gems in 1988. Lapidary services were added in 1989, providing well cut fine and rare gems to the industry. In 1990 we opened our retail jewelry store in Salida, Colorado offering fine jewelry, wholesale gemstones, and minerals and crystals to the public as well as gemstone cutting and repair.

We moved to 112 F Street in Salida in June of 1992. Full casting capabilities were added in February 1996 making us one of the most complete service jewelry and gem stores anywhere.

After several more years of sustained growth, it was official - D&J Rare Gems was a huge success!  By July of 1999 the expansion of D&J Rare Gems had reached a point where a division of the company's duties was necessary.  The company was subsequently restructured into two separate divisions with John and Donna Rhoads assuming full control and responsibility for all critical customer-related services.  These essential duties included, but were not limited to, writing and distributing a regular newsletter, providing mail order customers with top-notch delivery services, establishing a website and transitioning business functions to an online platform, and endless amounts of planning, organizing, and executing the myriad of components required for show sector business.

Seeking to further his knowledge and skills, in October 2005 John Rhoads enrolled in the Gemological Institute of America's extension program and, upon successfully completing the series of required courses, was awarded a Graduate Gemologist diploma.  By attaining the title of Graduate Gemologist, a.k.a. G.G., John has earned the most prestigious credential in the gemology industry.  His extensive experience, education, talent, skill set, and passion for gemology has made John one of the world's foremost gemstone experts.

If you are planning to come to Salida and would like to purchase gemstones or visit, please give us a call in advance to schedule an appointment.  Although we no longer maintain a public showroom, we encourage and welcome our customers to visit.  We are always happy to show you the latest and greatest in the gem world.  Its a privilege to provide an uninterrupted opportunity for you to view and purchase gems in a relaxed and friendly enviornment.


Over the years we have offered the following gems:

Achroite, actinolite, afghanite, andesine, adularia, agate, albite, alexandrite, allanite, almandite, amazonite, amber, amblygonite, amethyst, ammolite, analcime, anatase, andalusite, andesiten, andradite, anglesite, anorthite, apache tears, apatite, apophyllite, aquamarine, aragonite, augelite, aventurine, axinite, azurite, barite, benitoite, beryl, beryllonite, bixbite, blende, bloodstone, boleite, boracite, bornite, brazilianite, bronzite, brookite, brucite, bustamite, bytownite, cairngorm, calcite, cassiterite, catapleite, celestite, cerussite, ceylonite, chabazite, chalcedony, charoite, chert, chiastolite, childrenite, chklavite, chrysoberyl, chrysocolla, chrysoprase, cinnabar, citrine, cleavelandite, clinohumite, clinozoisite, colemanite, copal, coral, cordierite, corundum, covellite, creedite, crocoite, cryolite, cuprite, danburite, datolite, demantoid, diamond, diaspore, dinosaur bone, diopside, dioptase, dolomite, dravite, dumoriterite, ekanite, elbaite, emerald, enstatite, eosphorite, epidote, ettringite, euclase, eudialyte, fayalite, feldspar, fibrolite, fire agate, flint, fluorite, forsterite, friedelite, gahnite, garnet, goshenite, grandidierite, grossular, gypsum, hackmanite, hambergite, hauynite, heliodor, hematite, hemimorphite, herderite, hessonite, hiddenite, hodgkinsonite, hornblende, howlite, huebnerite, hi\umite, hyalite, hydrogrossular, hypersthene, idocrase, indicolite, iolite, jade, jadeite, jasper, jeremejevite, jet, kaliborite, kammererite, kornerupine, kunzite, kyanite, labradorite, lapis lazuli, larimar, lazulite, lazurite, legrandite, lepidolite, leucite, liddicoatite, linarite, londonite, ludlamite, magnesite, malachite, manganotantalite, marble, marcasite, melanite, microcline, microlite, milarite, mimetite, mohawkite, monazite, montebrasite, moonstone, morganite, moss agate, musgravite, natrolite, nephrite, neptunite, obsidian, oligoclase, olivine, onyx, opal, orthoclase, pargasite, parisite, pearl, pectolite, peridot, petalite, petrified wood, pezzottaite, phenacite, phosphophyllite, phosgenite, phosphophyllite, plagioclase, pollucite, powellite, prase, prehnite, prousite, pyrargyrite, pyrite, pyrope, pyroxmangite, quartz, rhodizite, rhodochrosite, rhodonite, rhodolite, rubellite, ruby, rutile, sanidine, sapphire, sapphirine, sard, scapolite, scheelite, schorl, scolecite, selenite, sellaite, serandite, serpentine, shattuckite, shortite, siderite, sillimanite, simpsonite, sinhalite, smithsonite, soapstone, sodalite, spessartite, sphalerite, sphene, spinel, spodumene, staurolite, stibiotantalite, strontianite, sugilite, sunstone, taafeite, tanzanite, tektite, thaumasite, thomsonite, titanite, topaz, topazolite, tourmaline, trapiche emerald, travertine, tremolite, triphane, triphylite, tsavorite, tugtupite, turquoise, ulexite, unakite, uvarovite, uvite, vanadinite, variscite, vesuvianite, villiaumite, viridine, vivianite, wardite, wavellite, willemite, williamsite, witherite, wulfenite, wurtzite, xenotime, zincite, zircon, and zoisite.