From the backwaters of Sri Lanka to the bazaars of New Dehli, mining in Tanzania to busy market stalls in Madagascar, Roger has traveled the world in search of precious gemstones, but always, after he finds his treasures, he returns home to unlock the beauty of the gems.
Back at his cutting machine, surrounded by tools and instruments, Roger takes the treasures of his travels, works his magic, and makes them sparkle. These, the unique gems that have taken a journey all their own, inspire the creation of heirloom jewelry that will be cherished for generations.
Roger has been in the gemstone business since 1981. His fascination with colored gems began on a three month journey to Europe, Egypt, India and Sri Lanka. By the time he returned, his fascination had begun and to this day his passion continues to be fulfilled. Roger operated as a general colored stone dealer carrying a full line of calibrated gemstones until 2001.
Soon after he entered the business, Roger recognized the importance of jewelry industry education and served on the Gemological Institute of America Alumni Association Board for six years and on the GIA National Committee for two years. He was the first vendor to serve on the Michigan Jewelers Association Board, served as the Education Chair and was instrumental in bringing gemological classes to Michigan on a yearly basis. Roger was also part of an industry consortium that developed a four-year jewelry arts degree program at Kendall College in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Roger’s work in the gemstone industry extends far beyond the United States. Roger was recruited by the Namibian government for a project to promote jobs for the Namibian people and he was consequently instrumental in establishing two gem cutting facilities in the country. His desire to serve and maintain relationships with the local people in mining regions has led to various giving opportunities of time, resources, and knowledge. If you are interested in contributing to the miners and their families in East Africa, please contact Roger.
Roger’s passion for the “thrill of the hunt” also inspired the recently released documentary, “Sharing the Rough,” a film in partnership with jeweler-filmmaker Orin J. Mazzoni III. The film highlights the miners of East Africa and the life, history, and culture of the region, while following the lifespan of a gemstone, from mine to finished jewelry. To learn more about “Sharing the Rough” and the journey of a gemstone, mine to market, please click here.