I first met this source at the 2006 Tucson Gem Show. At that time, I was working for a crystal shop in Utah and was at Tucson primarily as a “pack mule” to help carry all the stones. The business specializes in exquisite Amethyst geodes and large stone statues. The owner is an energy-worker who has worked with many celebrities. Since they didn’t carry tumbled stones, I took no note of them when I started my own business.
In 2018, my usual source for Black Tourmaline was sold out and I happened to run into my old boss. She quietly gave me a wink and a nod, and sent me to “the statue tent.” While their basic business had not changed, they now sell a variety of small polished stones as well. The amount of middlemen involved does give me pause. I only purchase stones from this source if I can’t find the stone elsewhere and I am confident about mining and lapidary conditions in the country of origin.