One of downtown Crown Point's most enduring visible retailers is diversifying its business to keep up with the times.
The jewelry store Moriarty's Gem Art at 126 S. Main St. on the courthouse square has added a new crystal, mineral, and fossil showcase to expand its product mix.
"It's another area in the gem trade that has been gaining popularity lately with those who are into 'crystal healing' or even just collecting natural objects from the earth," jeweler Michael Moriarty said. "We have been collecting minerals for a long time, 42 years to be exact, and we just recently put in a new display that has over 80 items that available for sale to the public."
His father, store owner Steve Moriarty, has long been buying the naturally occurring mineral specimens from exotic locales like Madagascar or Tanzania. He often showed customers what natural crystals looked like before they were faceted, but never previously offered them for sale.
Michael Moriarty however saw there was a growing interest among the general public in uncut minerals and crystals.
"I actually got into collecting minerals about three years ago when visiting the Tucson gem and mineral show. It's the largest gem, fossil, and mineral show in the world," he said. "While we were out looking for faceting rough or small clean cutable crystals, the beauty of the unique natural crystals caught my eye and that is how I started my collection."
Michael Moriarty said he enjoyed the unique characteristics of each crystal and mineral.
"Since then, I've been collecting, so Steve and I thought that we would bring a small part of the Mineral World to Crown Point, as it would be a great addition to our shop to make these specimen available for viewing or to purchase for those who are interested," he said.
For more information, visit moriartysgemart.com or call 219-662-1390.