East African gemstones

#idazzletravels: Boston, Harvard, and Quadrum Gallery!

So many exciting projects going on for idazzle and ANZA Gems! I just returned to Seattle from the Portland Jewelry Symposium, where I had a great time catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, and participating in some interesting conversations…

#idazzletravels: Kenya and Tanzania Part Two: The Mines

As I described in Part One, I’m obsessed with the gems I find in East Africa, both mineral and of the human variety. But I’m not gonna lie. Seeing the gem mines is a huge reason that I travel to East Africa. Who knew that I’d tolerate cargo pants and snarled hair and red dirt [...]

#idazzletravels: 2014 Arusha Gem Show in Tanzania

“Karibu!” This word means welcome in Swahili, and welcomed I was throughout my visit to Tanzania. The word feels like a hug when spoken by the generous residents of Arusha. I traveled to Tanzania for the November 2014 Arusha Gem Fair

Sharing the Rough: Into the Mine!

I am on the precipice. Can I do it? The sun beats down on my uncovered head, dazzling my eyes against the dark hole yawning about seventy feet down below. I’m standing on the edge of a gemstone mine in Kenya, with a decision to make. It is now or maybe never. The mouth of [...]

Sharing the Rough Uncut: Adventures in Rough Gemstone Buying

Our days are dense with experiences…

Today we’re on location at a local gem dealer’s office in Voi, Kenya! It’s an exciting day, to say the least. Not only are we on set, we’re in front of the camera!
The filming process is…

Sharing the Rough Day Two: Another Facet of Africa

Day two in Africa with the Sharing the Rough* film documentary team illustrated how East Africans are adding value to the gem trade there. It was a visceral reminder that hope and significance can come from unlikely places…

BYOTP or Tips for Travel in Africa

I was very lucky, preparing for my trip to Africa with Sharing the Rough jewelry documentary, to have expert guidance from Roger Dery. Roger has been to Africa something like nineteen times, and has assembled extremely helpful information…