We love color! Colored Gemstones are much more than just the birthstones (though we love them, too). Gemstones come in every color of the rainbow, in many gorgeous hues. Mother Nature gives us more of some than others, so there are a wide variety of prices. Something for everyone! Our collection ranges from the well-known, like amethyst and sapphire, to the rare, like alexandrite and demantoid garnet.
We’ve had the exciting opportunity to travel to East Africa with world-renowned gem cutter Roger Dery, to see how gemstones are mined, to meet with miners and mine owners, and to understand in an intimate way the path gemstones travel from their rough form out of the earth to their brilliant-cut form in a beautiful piece of jewelry. Very few people get to experience this adventure! Along with this opportunity comes the ability to buy a little closer to the source, and to know that source.
Traveling to Tanzania and Kenya opened our eyes to the many basic needs there, so along with our local philanthropic efforts, we now partner with Gem Legacy. Gem Legacy is a non-profit that supports education, vocational training and local economies in East African mining communities. We sell African handcrafts and donate all the proceeds to Gem Legacy, as well as hold events to fill specific needs (for example, we’ve raised funds to buy a compressor for Precious Women Mines and supplied bed sheets for the Mwatate Children's Home and Rescue Centre). 5% of the sales of the gemstones we purchase from East Africa are donated to Gem Legacy as well.
All of this is possible because of our relationship with Roger Dery. He is a world-renowned gem cutter with decades of experience. He is an award-winning precision flat faceter who draws on a comprehensive knowledge of traditional gem cutting techniques, modern optics, and the inherent physical properties of each gem to create true works of art. Roger has a unique approach to sourcing gems. He believes gems have a mission, so rather than relying on what the marketplace offers, Roger has made dozens of trips throughout Africa, South America, and Asia, traveling directly to the mines where rough gemstones are found. His focus is dedicated to East Africa, working with miners to secure singularly beautiful colored gems and holistically impact their communities. When Roger chooses to work with a mining area, he is making a long-term commitment to invest in the miners, their families, and their futures. He seeks to meet them where they are, often providing for basic needs: food, water, and cooking oil. This approach to making the world a better place has touched us all here at Continental Jewelers, and Roger is our first source (of many) for beautiful colored gemstones.
The Roger Dery Collection tours the country and is not available on a daily basis at Continental Jewelers. Enjoy browsing and inquire or call ahead to ensure we have your favorites available to play with!