417 5th Avenue | Mon-Sat: 10am-8pm | Sun: 11am-7pm | 212-889-9000
The world’s largest gem and mineral gallery, Astro Gallery of Gems, is located in the heart of New York City's famous shopping district, Fifth Avenue, across from Lord and Taylor. Our 12,000 Square Foot showroom has thousands of minerals, gems, fossils and pieces of rare and unusual jewelry on display.
We have a long and rich company history, as we have been dealing in fine minerals since 1961. Through the years Astro Gallery has catered to clients like Salvador Dali, John Lennon, David Letterman, Goldie Hawn and Cameron Diaz and always remained a vanguard of the industry. We carry specimens suitable for the novice as well as the most advanced collector. We have everything from tumbled stones to 2000 pound Amethyst geodes.
Visit us at our flagship store in New York City where you will be amazed at the wonders of Nature and be able to touch the finest of specimens the Earth has ever produced.
Around 1967, gem grade blue zoisiste was discovered in Tanzania, and Julio was the first person to bring the crystal into the United States. Calling his new find Tanjeloffite, Julio proudly displayed his eponymous rock for sale throughout his stores. In a famous dispute with retailer Tiffany & Company, rather than use the name Tanjeloffite for the stone, Tiffany & Company marketed the rock under the moniker Tanzanite. The latter name stuck. It wasn’t until 2008, when the mineralogical record was amended to include the lesser known name, Tanjeloffite, as an official name of the stone, that Tanjeloff was properly honored.
Despite the dispute with Tiffany’s, business continued to grow; growing from just one store to an empire of over twenty Astro Gallery retail outlets in various department stores across the country. Julio also expanded his business streams, acquiring George Jensen boutiques, Cartier Wholesale Division, Mark Cross Ltd Wholesale, Klein’s department Store and Blum’s Department Store.
During this period, the total business was generating more than $35 million in annual sales as well as employing of 400 workers.
Over-extension and financial problems forced Julio to eventually pare everything down to his core business - gems and minerals.
In 1988, Julio unexpectedly passed away of a sudden heart attack. His grandson, Dennis, who had worked closely in the family business since a very young age, had joined full time to help run the company with his father.
Dennis had been involved in the family business since the age of four, when his grandfather began to bring the young Dennis with him around the world finding, buying, and selling minerals, gems, fossils, and related objects of art for the company. Their travels also took them to inspect the numerous exhibitions and retail stores operated by Astro Minerals around the country, where Dennis and his grandfather would check in on staff and operations. His passion for minerals was already ossified by his teenage years, when he began to take a more formal role at Astro, working summers and weekends in the gallery, learning all aspects of the business and demonstrating a keen ability to absorb the more than forty years of mineralogical business experience his grandfather had accumulated.
Dennis succeeded his father as president of the company in 1996 and has been running all aspects of the operation since then. He began to diversify revenue streams and continued to be a visionary, just as his grandfather was before him.
By 2004, Dennis had re-invented Astro Gallery from a retail gallery to a worldwide mineralogical powerhouse - advising and curating top collections and museums, running a vibrant online business, participating in mining investments and other related businesses.
When the global economy collapsed in 2008, and many high net worth collectors began to slow their purchasing frequency, Astro Gallery began to pursue new markets.