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Our People

Coast-to-Coast Rare Stones was formed in 1987 as a cooperative between three rare stones cutters from different parts of the country, hence the name. Each already had many years experience, and had established a reputation for quality. Through the years, their customer base has expanded, and so has the Coast-to-Coast Rare Stones group. We are now a group of five lapidaries, and offer a variety of gemological services. Below are the backgrounds, experiences and specialties for each cutter.

John Bradshaw     Michael Gray     Brad Wilson     Nancy Pritchard       Art Grant    

John Bradshaw      

John has a background in chemistry and was working as an epoxy chemist when he took up faceting in 1979.  A short time later, he gave up his chemists’ job to become a full time lapidary.  He held the position of Curator of gemstones at the Harvard Mineralogical Museum for twenty years.

John specializes in the finer “jewelry” type stones although he cuts the whole spectrum from soft to hard.  He is the person in charge of filling orders for Coast to Coast so contact him with any questions or concerns.

EDUCATION
University of Massachusetts (Boston): B.S. Chemistry, May, 1979
Salem State College (1980-81): Mineralogy, Crystallography courses towards degree in Geology
Gemological Institute of America (1980-83): Gemologist Certificate

EXPERIENCE
1979-present: "John J. Bradshaw, Gemologist," Nashua, New Hampshire

  • Facetor and dealer of a wide variety of gems from jewelry type stones to the soft, difficult to cut collectors' gems.
  • Fully equipped gemological laboratory for the identification, grading and evaluation of diamonds and most colored stones.
  • Consultant on a worldwide basis to gem dealers, collectors, investors and mining companies.
  • Available as a speaker on all aspects of gemology and/or faceting for seminars, symposia, shows and education.
  • Several published articles on gemology and faceting in "Rocks and Minerals", "Lapidary Journal", "Lapis", and "The Gem Guide" as well as a chapter on Maine gemstones in "The Mineralogy of Maine, Volume II."

1985-2005: Harvard University, Cambridge Massachusetts - Associate of the Mineralogical Museum curating the Museum's collection.
1990-96: Maine: member of the investment team involved in reopening Mt. Mica (one of the oldest gem mines in the U.S.).
1996: Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: consultant, lapidary
1994-95: United States Department of Justice: expert witness in evaluation of rough tourmaline.
1992: Russia: worked for private investment company to evaluate rough diamonds, arrange for cutting and marketing of finished goods.
1991: Boston Museum of Science: worked as one of two primary consultants for the purpose of technical expertise in arranging, designing, and setting up the "Gems" exhibit on display from May through October.
1989: Central Africa Republic: involved with feasibility study with Tech Mining of Vancouver, British Columbia in alluvial diamond mining in Carnot and Bria.
1986: Pakistan: worked for private investment group and Gemstone Corporation of Pakistan on improved lapidary methods, emerald mining and marketing.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Member of Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT)
Member of New England Jewelers Association (NEJA)
Member of American Gem Trade Association (AGTA)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Member of International Colored Stone Association (ICA)

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Michael Gray

Mike started cutting in 1968, growing up around gem mining and cutting. In addition to working the Benitoite Mine in central California, he spent his teen-age years digging out pockets at the tourmaline mines in San Diego County, California. He put himself through college by faceting. After getting his degree, he decided that lapidary was much more fun and profitable.

Mike cuts just about anything and everything from tiny rare stones to gigantic quartzes and topazes. He spent two years in Bangkok, Thailand running a gemcutting factory and has consulted on other mining and gemcutting projects around the world.

DEGREES
1979: University of California, Riverside: B.S. Environmental Sciences (Geology)
1980: Gemological Institute of America, Santa Monica, California: Graduate Gemologist in Residence

ORGANIZATIONS
1980-94: Southern California Chapter Friends of Mineralogy, Founding Board Member, Corresponding Secretary, Vice-President, President
1982-85: California State Mineral Museum, Mariposa, California, Founding Board Member, President, Curator
1986-93: Gem and Mineral Council, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Founding Board Member, Vice-President
1978-92: Member, Mineral Museums Advisory Council
1995-present: Delegate (United States), International Gemological Conference

MINING EXPERIENCE
1968-2000: Benitoite Gem Mine
1971-80: San Diego County pegmatites, all aspects of mining, especially extraction of pockets, during a very active period of production
1979-85: Colorado Quartz Mine, Midpines, California, crystallized gold specimens
1990-96: Mt. Mica, Paris, Maine, one of the oldest gem mines in North America
General: Mined and field collected at many gem and mineral localities around the world, including North America, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

PRACTICAL GEMOLOGICAL EXPERIENCE

  • Learned faceting in late 1960's, worked as lapidary throughout high school and college for tuition and spending money.
  • Established Graystone Enterprises in 1978, offering custom cutting and rare gemstones.
  • Consultant for New Tiger Consulting (1996 - 1998), setting up cutting factory in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
  • Consultant for Kennecott Exploration and Kennecott Minerals, 1994-1996. Industry analysis, cutting, mining consultant for Red Beryl and Benitoite Projects.
  • Managed cutting factory in Bangkok, Thailand, 1988-89. In addition to managing 50 employees, handled all aspects of security, import/export, stone distribution, and public relations.
  • Auctioneer for River City Auction House, 1988-89, calling both antiques and gemstone auctions.
  • Appraiser at Altobelli Jewelers in North Hollywood, California, 1985-87, mostly valuing donation items under Cosmo Altobelli, Director of Appraisers, American Gem Society.
  • Faceted numerous stones now residing in virtually every major and minor museum in North America, and many museums abroad as well.

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Bradley S. Wilson  

Brad has been with Coast to Coast since 1995 making the company truly international.  Brad originally started a career in geology, earning two degrees in that science.  He discovered the thrill of gemstone deposits and faceting and went on to earn a degree in gemology as well.  Brad started faceting in the early 1980’s to help pay for his education.

Brad spends most summers working in the field both in Canada and internationally prospecting for gemstones.  His specialty is the gemstones of Canada but cuts just about anything from anywhere from soft to hard.

EDUCATION
1991: F.C.Gm.A. (Gemmology) Canadian Gemmological Association
1987: M.Sc. (Geology) Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
1982: B.Sc. (Geology) Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario

EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCE
1989-present:
- Owner/operator of "Alpine Gems" and since 1995, operator of the Canadian office of Coast-to-Coast.
- Faceter, lapidary and dealer in gemstones and minerals.
- Gemstone Exploration Consultant, offering a property evaluation and exploration service specifically for gemstones.
- Speaker on Canadian gemstone localities. Given dozens of different talks in the past decade.
- Author of numerous popular and scientific articles, primarily about Canadian gemstone and mineral localities.
 
1991: Present; Gemstone Exploration Consultant on twelve Canadian gemstone exploration projects located in 3 provinces and 3 territories.
1994: Present; Member of the editorial review board for the "Canadian Gemmologist" (the quarterly journal of the Canadian Gemmological Association).
1987-89: Co-owner of "Grenville Minerals". Kingston, Ontario. Mined and marketed crystallized mineral specimens to collectors, museums and teachers.
1980-85: Laboratory Teaching Assistant at Queen's and Carleton Universities. Subjects included mineralogy, optical crystallography, introductory geology and field school.
1978-89: Geologist for 5 major mining companies working on mineral exploration projects during 6 field seasons in Ontario, British Columbia, and Yukon.

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Nancy Pritchard

Nancy started cutting in 1987 under the tutelage of her father Art Grant (see below).  She began with quartz, garnet and beryl but quickly “graduated” to the more difficult, softer stones including scheelite, sphalerite and diaspore to name a few.

She graduated from SUNY - Cortland with a BSE in Physical Education in 1974 and taught school for many years in Hannibal, New York.

Nancy announced her retirement from Coast to Coast in 2016 to spend more time with her family, especially her grandkids.  She will certainly be missed!!

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Art Grant  

Sadly, Art passed away in 2015.   Along with John and Mike, he was one of the founding members of Coast to Coast.  For many years, he faceted some of the most difficult stones to cut, both large and small.  His specialty gave him the nickname of “Mr. Fluorite”, cutting hundreds of them from worldwide localities including the world’s largest, a 3965.65 ct blue fluorite.  It now resides at the Smithsonian.  Art made many friends during his more than thirty years in the gem and mineral business.  Elise Skalwold wrote a wonderful article on Art's life for InColor Magazine.  It can be seen here:  Written In Stone: Remembering Master Faceter Art Grant.

 
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