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Vibrant gemstones, unique designs trademark of The Collector


Last updated 6/21/2007 at Noon

Tucked away in the tranquil environment of Live Oak Park Road, visitors can immerse themselves in a tourmaline oasis at The Collector Fine Jewelry. At this sparkling haven, customers can rest assured that they are not only in the hands of exceptional professionals in their field but also in the hands of tourmaline pioneers.

“Mr. Bill Larson, the owner, originally started mining tourmaline in the area in 1968 and opened the store in 1971,” said Sandy Youngdale, manager of the store.

Youngdale describes their Fallbrook store as “nondescript” on the outside, so when customers step inside their establishment, the “wow factor” erupts. When first-time customers visit The Collector, they will immediately sense quality.

“We specialize in colored gemstones,” said Youngdale.

Pala International owns The Collector, which means this jewelry store has incredible access to the highest quality and largest collection of colored stones. Pala International is nationally prominent in the industry for selling loose colored gemstones. They are also highly recognized by the Gemological Institute of America.

When placing a commercial colored stone next to a Collector stone, even a novice can detect the difference in luster and heightened quality. “We are the expertise in our field and are able to give customers value and quality for their money,” explained Youngdale.

The manager of this fine establishment has some wonderful advice for future jewelry buyers. Youngdale says it is imperative to look at how a piece is constructed. Analyzing the polish of the jewelry, the balance of a stone’s setting and weight is critical.

“Lightweight jewelry is not going to hold up,” warns Youngdale. And once you possess your special pieces, Youngdale advises owners to keep them clean.

Youngdale also said she experiences sheer delight when able to show people their large variety of different colored gemstones, since these stones are not characteristically seen in a normal jewelry store. What The Collector offers is unparalleled in comparison to the average store.

Another aspect that makes The Collector special is the outstanding talent of their master goldsmith, Ilka Bahn. “She does beautiful work and a lot of our pieces are done by her,” Youngdale said.

“When someone wants a little something different, they come to The Collector,” explained Youngdale. Patrons often tell Youngdale that the jewelry offered in the store is unique and cannot be found elsewhere.

“And it is unique, because we make so much of it ourselves,” she said.

The Collector offers an opportunity for its customers to take a stroll through its mine pocket and witness the natural beauty of a mini tourmaline museum. The various colors are breathtaking, especially, the bi-colored gemstones.

This specialty store continues to fulfill their customers’ needs by selling beautiful jewelry, identifying stones, offering loose stones, showcasing a wonderful mineral section, unique fine gifts and objects d’art. For the youngsters, educational books and toys are at their fingertips, sparking a new learning opportunity.

The Collector invites people to visit their store and receive a complimentary jewelry cleaning at 912 South Live Oak Park Road, Fallbrook. For more information, call (760) 728-9121 or visit


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