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- custom jewelry, Gemstone Roundtable, Roger Dery, Sapphire, Scheherazade Jewelers
It’s often said that travels abroad can change your perspective. That certainly applies to gem cutter Roger Dery. Back in 1981, Roger embarked on a three-month journey to Europe, Egypt, India and Sri Lanka. During this gemstone junket, he got hooked on colored gemstones and thus began his career as a colored gemstone wholesaler and award-winning cutter.
Roger Dery and his wife Ginger bring their fine goods, expert cutting and passion for colored gemstones to Scheherazade Jewelers for two special Gemstone Roundtable events on the evenings of Wednesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 19. (Roger and Ginger will also be available to meet with customers in Scheherazade Jewelers’ showroom by appointment only.)
What is a Gemstone Roundtable?
During a Gemstone Roundtable single colored stones wrapped gemstone papers are passed around a table. After all the gemstones are reviewed by invited guests they can hold a particular gemstone or several gemstones for purchase. Gemstone Roundtables are hosted mainly to create or further a customer’s passion for colored stones, but goods can be purchased.
Gemstone Roundtables hosted by Roger have many unique benefits (starting with tasty foods and wine), but most importantly his intimate knowledge of bringing colored gemstone rough and faceted goods sourced from around the world to fine jewelers like Scheherazade Jewelers. Roger’s other secret weapon is his wife Ginger. His business partner of many years, Ginger writes many of the marketing pieces for Roger Dery Gem Design and works alongside retailers that host Gemstone Roundtables.
The ultimate goal of Gemstone Roundtables is creating or building on a passion for colored gemstones, from amethyst to zircon. When people fall in love with a colored gemstone from Roger and Ginger, it becomes Scheherazade Jewelers’ goal to work with the couple, the customer and even the jewelry store’s design team to take a loose gemstone and turn it into a thing of beauty that will be worn and admired for generations.
Roger Dery Gem Design gemstone event also include in-store appointments with Roger to review the many gemstone creations he has brought to life. (For Scheherazade Jeweler’s customers that wish to be part of the Gemstone Roundtable, please contact the store at 952-926-2455.)
The Early Days
Igniting a passion is easy. Giving passion purpose is the hard part. Roger began as a gemstone dealer carrying standard-sized goods. As Roger’s knowledge for colored gemstones expanded during this phase of his career, he recognized the importance of education in the jewelry industry. He played a key role in regularly bringing gemstone education to the Midwest (Roger and his wife Ginger are based in Michigan).
After nearly a decade of educating US retailers and gem enthusiasts in the 1990’s Roger became involved in a jobs development project with the Namibian government. Known as a source for many gemstones, Roger’s goal was to help the Namibian people directly benefit their country’s mineral wealth by developing gem-cutting facilities. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity led to many contacts that would be instrumental in his gemstone sourcing and faceting career.
In the 2000’s Roger continued to hone his gemstone cutting skills. He became a “purist” of sorts with a laser-like focus on classic cuts and classic colored gemstones. Sapphires, in their top color of rich, cornflower blue, cut into antique cushion shapes, became a strong favorite. After the classics, Roger started exploring options of re-inventing them, giving traditional gem cuts deeper, richer color and vibrancy. After mastering these gemstones and spins on conventional cuts, Roger became enamored with out-of-the-ordinary gemstones such as golden beryl, kunzite, morganite, iolite and zircon in its many colors.
Awards, Accolades and Film Making
Roger’s strong interest in working with unusual colored gemstones eventually earned him his first industry award. In 2007, Roger earned the prestigious “Cutting Edge Award” from the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) for his 14.22-carat radiant-style square emerald cut golden scapolite. He also won a “Cutting Edge Award” in 2012 for his 8.77-carat Merelani Mint Garnet Trillion.
With his gem trading and cutting business firmly in place, and his wife Ginger and daughter Rachel at his side, Roger developed key relationships with gemstone sources throughout the world’s key sources for top-end goods. Be it close to the mines of Arusha, Tanzania for tanzanite rough to polished colored gemstones and rough in global trading hubs in Bangkok, Thailand, the world’s leading sources for fine colored gemstones are part of Roger’s worldwide workplace.
In 2011, Roger and his good friend Orin Mazzoni, Graduate Gemologist and film director, embarked on a journey to create a one-of-a-kind documentary called Sharing the Rough. The documentary captures the realism of bringing gemstones from mine to market. Equally important, Sharing the Rough features the relationship Roger and his film crew developed with miners, their families and what mineral wealth has done to improve living and working conditions in gemstone mining communities.
Roger, his wife Ginger and Scheherazade Jewelers’ staff look forward to seeing customers during the scheduled Gemstone Roundtable evening events on Wednesday, February 18 and Thursday, February 19 or by appointment during the day.