|Gem Stone cutter since over 80 years ...
1920 Mr. Robert Stützel startet as an Agate cutter in Hottenbach.
Mainly geometric shapes were cut for jewelry, such as rollers, discs, spheres and similar, which were mainly produced for the so-called 'black money'
The black-white photo shows him 10 years later with his 3 sons at work.
1950 his sons Hugo and Hermann took over this handicraft in their own grinderies. Everything was cut on the sandstone wheels and polished by hand and this happened in partly laborious demeanor.
There still exist well-preserved photos of agate cutters at work. You can still visit old agate grinderies with original equipment in Idar-Oberstein and surroundings.
Techniques were gradually more advanced and convenient. Especially the grinding (smoothing the surface) and the polishing increasingly were done in receptacles, the `tumblers'.
Then there was a boom in the gemstone industry in Idar-Oberstein.
The then young gas station chain Fina started an advertising campaign. They needed millions of a giveaway. Each of their customers should get a stone with a little eyelet. And after refuelling 10 times, they could acquire a bracelet on which the pendants were mounted (similar to today´s charm bracelets). It didn´t matter how the stone looked like, it had to be small and cheap, and quality didn´t matter.
All over the country many cutters began to process their waste material which at that time was stacked behind their houses.
So did the agate cutter Hermann Stützel who together with his daughter Elke and his son-in-law Dieter supplied the Fina company. They put the stones in concrete mixers to roughly roll them and then in tumblers to get them round and polished.
From this advertising campaign, a technique for processing stones arose and matured and a new cutting form was born:
The tumbled stones
But the name had not yet been established.
In those days the stones were called 'Klunker', 'Abgerollte' or 'Kiesel', partly even pejoratively, because they were mainly produced from waste material.
In 1969 Elke and Dieter founded their own company. Mr. Welsch concentrated more and more on this new form of cutting and began processing stones in small, partly self-built tumbling equipment. But he didn´t use waste material, instead he bought interesting rough stones in a good quality from the rough stone dealers in Idar-Oberstein and the surroundings. Then he tumbled these and worked them into pendants, the then so-called 'Klunker'.
Then there was another boom.
Many thousands of these little pendants were sold at home and abroad.
And to mention the product by name, former Klunker or Abgerollte became "Trommelsteine" - derived from the receptacle or drum in which they´re ground and polished.
After a few years already, the company Welsch sold 60 different types of tumbled stones in top quality.
The term was quickly adopted, even internationally they soon spoke of Tumbled Stones, as a cutting form for irregular, roundly cut gemstones.
The company Welsch worked the tumbled stones mainly into pendants, bracelets and necklaces, partly in strands, but also in finished necklaces. Everything from our own production with drilling workshop and always in strict adherence to quality.
But they also became soon popular as 'Schmeichelsteine', and even then Herr Welsch had the idea and imagination to offer the tumbled stones as good-luck charms and mascots, as zodiac stones and for healing purposes.
At this time there was no literature in German language about healing power of gemstones, except the statements of Saint Hildegard of Bingen.
He then obtained, for a lot of money, excerpts of the "Physika". From a Swiss publisher he got black-white copies, from which he gathered information about the different types of stones and their healing power.
A large and decorative information board originated from these documents which was sold several hundred times. Unique and the first known information document for trade, with statements about the healing power of the gemstones after Saint Hildegard of Bingen, and the assignment to the birthstones and zodiac stones.
A brilliant sales idea was born! But first only laughed over.
But who would have thought that this idea changed an entire industry.
Soon you could read everywhere `healing stones, therapy stones, lucky stones´and in the following decades authors and stone healers were shooting out of the ground.
And that, 40 years later, to the benefit of our entire industry.
For today, the buyer not only acquires a most beautifully gemstone or a decorative piece of jewelry, but at the same time a part of alternative healing.
Since that time, the company Welsch has continually specialized in tumbling gemstones.
Decades of cutting experience and strict adherence to quality are privilege and tradition.
Passed on to the next generation, this assures consistent quality of tumbled stones in the future.
The rough stones now come from all over the world. You currently find over 400 different stone types in our assortment.