There are about 175 professional gem cutters working in the United States right now. Of those, between 30 and 35 have made rare, periodic excursions out of the country to source the rough stones they work with. Most meet with gem brokers at industry trade shows.
Roger Dery takes a more hands-on, holistic approach, putting his relationship with the miners as the utmost priority. To date, he’s made 30 trips to Africa, 6 to Sri Lanka, 3 to Thailand and 2 to South America. This willingness to go directly to the source eliminates the need to deal with multiple middle-men, streamlining the process to securing truly spectacular gems and ensuring the highest level of transparency.
The mines are dark, hot, and potentially dangerous. The miners work long hours using the most primitive of tools. It’s not unusual for a crew to work for years without finding any significant gems. With only the presence of indicator minerals to guide them, the miners delve deeper and deeper into the earth in search of beauty. When they find it, it is contagious…they return to the ground again and again.
Spending time with the miners, in the communities where they live with their families, is extremely important to Roger and Ginger. This allows them to form a partnership for progress and education, the result of their holistic sourcing philosophy. Directly sourcing gemstones where they’re produced helps build the local economy, enables parents to send their children to school, and inspires hope for progress. These initiatives are funded by Gem Legacy, our partner nonprofit organization.
East Africa is rich with beautiful gem rough. Roger meets with the mine’s designated representatives to purchase gem rough. Tanzania is home to the Garnet family, Spinel, Tourmaline, and of course its namesake, Tanzanite. Kenya boasts select varieties of Garnet and Tourmaline, such as Tsavorite Garnet found near Tsavo Park, and Chrome Tourmaline found in Southern Kenya, among many other species. With over 35 years in the industry, Roger has an expert’s understanding of each mineral’s unique qualities. This means he can choose the pieces of rough with the greatest potential. These are purchased, documented, and imported into the United States legally.
The majority of the world’s modern gem cutters work from published diagrams, using standardized plans to fashion serviceable gems from the rough they’re provided. Roger believes the gems deserve better. His exhaustive knowledge of current and historic faceting designs allows him to customize his approach to every individual piece of rough, maximizing the gem’s natural appeal and potential. This one-of-a-kind approach is unique in the world. As a custom gem cutter, Roger Dery shepherds stones from fresh-mined rough to polished dazzling gems that tell the story of their heritage.
Roger works exclusively with retailers to assist their customers in appreciating colored gemstones in an entirely new way. Their Gem Events appeal most to those with curious minds and a strong love for beauty, as well as anyone who appreciates adventure and learning more about the people they’re sharing a planet with.
Over the course of on an evening, you have the opportunity to see over a hundred colorful gemstones – including many unusual species you may have never encountered before. Roger and Ginger will be happy to answer any questions about the gems, including where they came from and what makes that individual stone special. Each gem is one-of-a-kind! There’s never any pressure to purchase; the focus is on appreciating the Earth’s unique treasures – dazzling gemstones and the company gathered around them.