The most stunning aspect of the gorgeous gemstones Roger works with is the power they have to transform the lives of the people who find them. Mining is not easy, yet all around the world, crews delve persistently into the heart of the earth in search of gemstones. We conduct our business in a way that keeps a greater share of the proceeds from gemstone sales in the hands of the people who do the actually digging.
Dealing directly with the miners and their chosen agents keeps more of the wealth in the countries and communities where the gems come from. Buying gems this way means communities have more funds for schools, infrastructure like wells and improved roads, and investments in developing and growing the local economy.
For more than twenty years, Roger has been focused on advancing local gemological education. Finished, cut gems command higher prices than rough stones. Training local gem cutters means more money will flow into the community, strengthening the economy and improving lives. Roger’s dedication to forwarding local gemological education began by launching a gemstone faceting school in Namibia in 1999. We’ve also worked extensively with The Devon Foundation to support gem cutting schools in Madagascar and Tanzania. Currently, we’re working on a project to launch the very first gemological and gemstone faceting school in Southern Kenya. A portion of each gem sale supports education in Africa.
The nuances of colored gemstone mining and sourcing aren’t well known, even within the jewelry industry. We’re determined to do our part to raise awareness of the entire process. We provide extensive education through our Gemstone Roundtables, exposing people to a wide range of gems that they may never have seen before.
Additionally, we’re very proud to have been involved with the documentary “Sharing the Rough,” directed by Orin Mazzoni, which tracks the life of a gemstone from its initial discovery in an East African mine, through the selection and cutting process – it’s a great chance to see Roger at work! – and finally into a customer’s life as a treasured piece of jewelry.