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About Us

In 1995 my family and I moved to South Africa.

We were inspired by the changes that were taking place there and after having several visits, I felt a connection, not only with the people of South Africa, but the very ground I stood on and the air I breathed.

Human life began in the riff valley of Africa, that and the sheer raw beauty of the place compelled me, to make it my home for the time being.

My children went to local schools barefoot where teachers hugged their students without fear of legal issues tainting the genuine love and care they had for their students. There was an emphasis on teaching “good” manners and developing good character.

Mangos, avocados, papayas and all kinds of fruits and vegetables abounded.

While in South Africa I had become interested in gemstones. Some of the local village people had brought me gem materials, stones they had dug up from their farms and smallholdings. I had also met some local folks who traded in rough gemstone materials. But it wasn’t until one day I was visiting my good friend and mentor that my life took on a new chapter and direction. We were in his vegetable garden, weeding out his tomato patch, when he turned to me and told me of a dream or vision that he had the night before about me. He said that he saw me sitting on a pile of gemstones. He added, that he did not know exactly what it meant, but that he felt strongly that if I pursue the meaning of this vision, a lot of good would come to me from it.

I felt moved by his vision and within days I was traveling to Johannesburg to search out a school to learn about gemstones. I found a chapter of the GIA (Gem Institute of America) and signed up with them to learn gemstone grading, identification and evaluation. I also did the same for diamonds, although I did not really want to get involved in that market because of the wars and corruption that is behind that industry.

For the next year I studied and graduated with certifications in all the three disciplines mentioned above. I was very proud to have been in the top 5% of the class.

From that point on I was developing contacts throughout the country, buying gemstone materials and having some cut and polished, others taking to the states and selling them in their rough condition.

When I returned to the states, I had started selling gemstone materials at trade shows and within a year, discovered, gemstone beads.

One thing leads to another and in 2005 we opened the Rare Earth Bead Shop.

At first it was a sublet of a space within an existing clothes shop, but after two years we took over the entire space and have been expanding ever since.

I have a passion for the natural beauty of the earth and sharing their appreciation with others.

Gemstones are a metaphor. It is amazing that everyone that comes into Rare Earth Beads, feels a connection in one way or another with the feeling or “energetic” reality of the stones. It is as though they are mirroring, reflecting something about ourselves, we become attracted too, to foster their meaning in our own being.

They are like the good qualities and character that are within each one of us. Some are blessed with them easily, like alluvial diamonds; others are a result of struggle and self-discipline. They are the gemstones of inner light and realization that have to be mined, cut, polished and actualized in our lives.

I am blessed with being the custodian of Rare Earth Beads Shop. It is more than a business to me it is sharing the mystery of the earth and to appreciate the beauty that it contains and the message that we are like this planet, evolving, turning and churning, everyone with the potential to produce a rainbow of sparkling lights.

David Sterling

Rare Earth Bead Shop



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