Our Story




Both Lornie and Rose Mueller were born and lived their early lives in the mountains of western Montana; Lornie on a cattle ranch and Rose in the city of Missoula. While Lornie was off to Vietnam as a reconnaissance Marine, Rose left for Europe to paint and write. They later met at the University of Montana in chemistry class. Naomi and Sean Mueller, their children, filled their lives along with the four business they established. Growing up with stories of gold, sapphires and fossils, the natural progression was to a study of jewelry and gems. With a geological background and a pioneer spirit, prospecting for the Montana sapphire began a hobby that would eventually evolve into the opening of their store, Lithos Jewelry, in 1984. They learned to facet sapphires and import from the orient. They bought at the markets in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, dug for tsavorite garnet in Kenya, negotiated for jade in the Chinese language in Hong Kong and dove for pearls in the beds in Manihi, French Polynesia. Lornie set up the program to train goldsmiths for the state of Montana. Lornie and Rose became Graduate Gemologists with the GIA.  With both children at universities in different states, they decided to move. They settled in St. Pete Beach, FL. They faced not only cultural and geographical changes, but also a change in the direction of their jewelry store. Diamonds, not colored stones, were the gems of choice. There were thousands of jewelry stores instead of a few. The focus had to be “the unique” for clients to find them. Along with their Lithos Jewelry designs, they introduced Couture Designer Jewelry to Tampa Bay. The education continued with both becoming Certified Appraisers of Personal Property with the International Society of Appraisers, two of 28 in North America for Gems and Jewelry. The next obvious step was to become Certified Gemologists with the American Gem Society.  In May of 2014, they relocated to Houston, TX.  It is a thriving, exciting market and a new challenge in a life of adventure. Here they will continue to live their passion of jewelry, underwater photography and diving.