The van Ansem Group fur farm in Medford, Wisconsin, USA, produces the highly acclaimed Marble Mink offered under the Unicorn label.
This limited, fine quality collection made its debut 2018 but its origin is traced back to many years earlier.
In December of 2012 Bas van Ansem was grading mink on the farm when he noticed two mink with a distinct color variation sitting between the black mink. His first impression was that these looked like dirty pearl mink. Upon closer inspection he felt they might be special so he went to the general manager and he confirmed that they were special; these mink were what we known as “marble mink”. Both were males.
In the 2013 breeding season, technicians tried to breed the two Marble Males with different colors females to see what the outcome was going to be. During whelping, seven new kits were born …all male! Unfortunately, because there were no females the same experiment was undertaken for the 2014 breeding season. This time the experiment was successful and over 200 new marble kits were born. This marked the beginning of the Marble Mink herd for Unicorn USA.
The color variations where quite diverse from very dark to extremely light.
All of the animals were kept from the litter so in 2015 there would be a much greater number of mink to work with. Fall 2015 saw the color range getting smaller and the goal that had been set for color consistency was attained.
Unicorn Marble mink has darker spots on the hips, tail, legs and nose. Those are the areas on mink that have less body fat and these spots will get darker as it gets colder. This makes the farm in Medford, Wisconsin a perfect place to raise Marble Mink.
The quantity, as well as the quality, of the Marble Mink increased over the next two years and the decision was made to have the first offering in 2018 at the NAFA spring auction. The reaction by the international fur trade was excellent. Top designers and major retailers bought most of the collection and together with Unicorn created special promotions. The response at the retail level was equally as impressive. Consumers appreciated the natural beauty of the fur and the creative designs this mink inspired.