When on a business trip to China in November 2006, Ken and Michelle's host called in to see on of his other busineses, which happened to involve Chrysanthemum stones. Due to the impending dam construction of the Three Gorges, the stones were at risk of being lost beneath three hundred metres of water indefinitely, the businessmen needed someone to export it out of China. Ken said jokingly "I'll take them back to Australia" and within half an hour, he was effectively exporting large chrysanthemum stones to Australia in a world first.
Chrysanthemum stone is a rare stone found in the bed of the Yangzi river in China, surrounded by the famous Three Gorge's. The stone is black and white rock made up of gypsum clay, dolomite and limestone, with internal crystals of calcite, feldspar, celstite or andalusite in patterns which can resemble Chrystanthemum flowers or star bursts, and are around 270 million years old, revealed by water pressure over thouasnds of years. These stones symbolise longevity and is known as the stone of wealth and honour. For generations the Chrysanthemum stone has been the official symbol of the Imperial Family of China, and the stones are also believed to have healing powers. These Chrysanthemum stones are often carved with intricate detail, exploiting the white on black contrast of the minerals contained in the stone, with the final pieces often resembling the chrysanthemum flowers the stone is named after. The designs of the carvings also incorporate the tangled appearance of a live bonsai plant, and all stone carvings and unique.
The carved stones in the private collection range from operational teapots to two metre tall edifices, and is the largest collection within Western Australia.