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When I turned 19, I left the home I grew up in and began traveling the world in search of the highest quality gems for my evolving clientele. I concentrated exclusively on genuine and untreated gems. I was a niche player in a giant industry filled with people who dealt with heated, irradiated, oiled, and diffusion treated products. I have always held the belief that Mother Nature could always out-perform the influences of man, and to this day I have built a successful career on this principal. The beauty, intrigue, rarity of natural and untreated stones will always have an important place in the market and allow businesses like mine to succeed.
Today, my business model is built around buying bulk quantities of gemstone rough directly from miners, and manufacturing the rough through partnerships with highly skilled master cutters from the European Union and the USA. These masters view their work as a form of art that can constantly be improved upon, and it is always exciting to see what limits they are willing to push.
Over the past 30 years I was involved in several mining projects in Eastern Africa, Mexico, and the USA. In 2017 I purchased the world famous PANA Mine in Oregon that has been consistently producing the finest, rarest, and most beautiful variety of Oregon Sunstone. To me, there is no other gem on the face of the Earth which is more rare and diverse in its beauty.
In 2016 I bought a 202 carat piece of Oregon Sunstone rough from Ales on ebay. I never purchased an Oregon Sunstone gem before, but noticed GIA's and AGTA's push to promote the stone through articles and awards. I sent the rough to world renown carver Dalan Hargrave, and to my luck, Dalan agreed to carve the piece and enter it into the 2017 AGTA spectrum award competition. The piece, named Henry, placed 2nd in the carving category.
After the AGTA spectrum awards were announced, I started to learn about the passion and rich history of mining Oregon sunstone and began asking Ales a lot of questions about the primitive economics of the Industry. We quickly came to an agreement that the success of Ales's mine, PANA-MINE, is correlated to the success of the entire sunstone market.
We talked through the ideas of creating a coordination device to help the Sunstone industry grow at all levels and in all segments and I am extremely excited to volunteer my time to assist Ales in creating this guide that will help the entire supply chain: miner, lapidary, jeweler, author, and end consumer.
There is so much potential for this market to grow over the next decade, and when the market grows, every individual participant wins. I feel lucky to be part of this project and ride on the success of so many remarkable individuals.
Like many of you, my interest in crystals, minerals, and gemstones spans into my early youth. One memory, in particular, solidified my future in the industry. When I was 14 years old I went on my first gem hunting trip. During that trip I found a once in a lifetime egg-shaped 770 carat Moravian Moldavite that was later cut in the into the world's largest faceted stone of 355 carats. As you can imagine, that 14 year old boy became completely obsessed with what the future could bring.
I am a stay at home dad and live with my amazing wife Maryam and 3 year old son Sylas in Denver CO. I became interested in colored gemstones in 2008, while traveling to Singapore to help a former PhD program adviser teach a Strategy course at the Univ. of Chicago's executive MBA program. For the past 9 years, I have continued to help and travel abroad, spending my free time visiting gem shops and dealers.