The number of stone types available in beads may seem endless.. (Jasper beads alone return over 5 million hits when searched online.) So it may go overlooked when one disappears, until you need that particular stone type to complete a project. Semi-precious stones are a natural product, which means there is only a finite amount available. Each stone type has a product cycle, and there are many reasons why a stone type may disappear from the market.
Here are a few of the most common reasons stone types become unavailable:
* The material grade drops below Dakota Stones quality standards.
We constantly monitor our production quality to make sure it meets our strict standards.
* The factory runs out of material. In the first two situations we need to acquire new material from various locations around the globe.
* There is a lack of material available on the market. Often a mine digs enough material at one time to sell for years and may not be able to dig more in the near future. Many factors prevent a company from mining more materials such as expense to operate machines, the weather is not conducive to mining, or the government has restrictions on mining.
For example, there are currently government restrictions on mining turquoise in China.
* The material is literally mined out. This does not happen often, but stone types can go extinct. This is more common in rare or unusual stone types that formed in only one region on the globe. This was the case with Gaspeite an eye catching chartreuse green stone discovered while mining copper in Widgiemooltha, Australia. There is still small amounts of rough on the market for those willing to pay, but for the most part it would be considered "mined out" or extinct.
The above scenarios can occur to any stone type during the production cycle, and we do our best to meet the challenges and keep your favorite stone types in stock. Occasionally there are factors beyond our control, and that is why sometimes you find that your beads have gone away. Know that we are working hard to bring them back.