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We are located in the town of Highlands in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Owned and operated by the Jellen's grandson, Matthew Schroeders and his wife Laura.  They have two girls, Jordan and Sydney.

Matthew received his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida, Gainesville.  In addition, he obtained a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America, headquarted in Carlsbad, CA  and New York, NY.


Our Story

A marriage between Archie Jellen of Fresno, CA and Hazel Griffin from Miami, FL  was the beginning of The Highlands Gem Shop.

While on their honeymoon, Archie and Hazel discovered Highlands and decided that this was where they would spend much of their lives.

As a former hand-cutter of precision optics for military binoculars, Archie adapted his skill and started cutting the rubies and sapphires native to Macon County, NC.  Hazel's love of rocks and Archie's lapidary ability soon led to selling gems and minerals out of their home.  After building a following, the decided to open a business.  In 1952, Jellen's Gem Cutting and Mineral Shop was born.

In 1956 the Jellen's purchased the current business location, the vacant Jackson County Bank building, and we have been ongoing in this location ever since.