rough gemstones

Larger than Life: A Tribute to Gichuchu Okeno

I am numb. Stunned. Two weeks ago today I was FaceTiming with Gichuchu Okeno, gem dealer, mine owner, father, husband, and friend. And today he is gone. I’ll never hear his laugh again. It’s hard to reduce a life down to its essence, to mere words. Okeno…

Happy New Year! Words, Numbers and Intentions

Wow, 2015. A blur of beauty, experiences and great moments, from my first week in January at the GEM Awards and then faceting my own gemstone, to winning the Award for Excellence in Media from the Women’s Jewelry Association, to ending the year officially launching…

Announcing…ANZA Gems

I have an exciting project I’m finally ready to announce officially–ANZA Gems! Many of you know that I have traveled to East Africa several times since 2014. You can read about my adventures going into a mine, buying rough gemstones, and why you need to pack toilet paper. I was struck by the passion and [...]

#idazzletravels: Gem Hunting or Why I Go To Africa

I’m just back from my latest trip to Africa. I wish that I could post relatively live from Tanzania and Kenya, but it turns out that WIFI there is short for “Works In-Frequently and Intermittently”. I have some souvenirs: Maasai beadwork and some impressive bug bites. Despite…

#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

idazzle Goes to Africa: First Days and Impressions

As I was on my way to Africa to join the crew making Sharing the Rough, I had some thoughts about making a trip to Africa that was focused on the gem mining trade. I’ll be posting more about what I’ve actually experienced…