Bruce Maclellan, founder of Mountain Gems Ltd, wasn’t always in the gem stones business. In fact, he was initially an accountant for many years, but he knew it wasn’t quite for him. “There were a lot of dull numbers and no interesting rocks at all,” Bruce remarked. Thus, in his spare time, his hobby began. It all started as a fascination for the earth and the way that rocks form. Bruce began with tumbling, which is using grit and water to polish rocks. Later, he started shaping rocks and gems individually, and his knowledge and skills progressed from there. His hobby eventually grew into his own business, and he has never looked back.
Bruce has been a resident of the Heights since the 1960’s. He was drawn by the funky, eclectic feel of the Heights, and is always excited to see new unique businesses opening up. “I just love this neighbourhood,” Bruce says, as he describes stumbling upon this particular location for his store as a combination of “rationale and serendipity.” Mountain Gems has now been on the Heights for 21 years.
Mountain Gems is a niche business where you’ll find a little bit of everything; from collectors materials to crystals, lapidary services and supplies (cutting and polishing of gems) to beads, jewelry to books, and everything in between. “We are lapidarists and we are silversmiths,” Bruce explains, describing what sets his store and staff apart. “I only hire people who have an interest or a knowledge of the business.” Everyone working at Mountain Gems has genuine passion for what they do.
Members of staff also teach the classes offered at Mountain Gems. “We have a passion for rocks here; some of us just can’t stop ourselves!” laughs Kelly, teacher and staff member. Classes are offered at Mountain Gems for silversmithing, wire working, metal clay, and casting. Many people who have taken their classes continue the activity as a hobby and some have even started their own businesses using what they learned. Bruce is happy that what was once just a hobby now inspires others. In his free time Bruce enjoys painting, and you can see some of his work displayed at Mountain Gems. He has also taken up collecting cameras and taking photographs, “I love film, it’s tactile, archival, and long-lasting.”
While walking around in Mountain Gems you’ll see beautiful and intricate crystals that come from all over the world, and each is unique with a story to tell. You may even see some crystals that were featured in movies such as “Night at the Museum.” If you have a question about anything don’t hesitate to ask the team at Mountain Gems. Not only is it a welcoming environment, but everyone there wants to spread their knowledge. You are sure to get more than simply an answer to your question, but rather, a great conversation. As Bruce says, “We’re a friendly group, we’re a knowledgeable group, and we are willing to share both.”
Tuesday: 10am – 6pm
Wednesday: 10am – 6pm
Thursday: 10am – 6pm
Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Sunday: 10am – 6pm
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