Made in Michigan: The Shelby Gem Factory

6:05 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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SHELBY, Mich. (WZZM) - Jewelry is usually a well received gift on Valentine's Day. And Michigan jewelry can make the gift more special.

A factory in Oceana County has been making unique jewelry with gem crystals since 1970. That's when Larry Kelley opened The Shelby Gem Factory. Jewelry with gems from Kelley's factory are sparkling across the country and world. The company makes a wider variety of gem stones than any other company in the world.

The top selling gem are simulated diamonds. Authentic diamonds usually have spots of carbon and cracks. Kelley says his diamonds do not have those natural flaws.

"There is no possible way for anybody to tell just using your eye," says Kelley.

The Shelby Gem factory makes aquamarine, rubies, and emeralds.
Some take months to make in high temperature furnaces. They eventually end up in 14-karat gold jewelry.

"We cut those up into small pieces, facet them, and then put them into jewelry and sell them" Kelley says.

Orders from the company's website are filled at the Shelby location where master jewelers select and set the gems.

It may be too late for this Valentine's Day, but next year the Shelby Gem Factory could play a role in making the day unforgettable for your Valentine.

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