Roger Dery

Roger Dery Cutter

From the backwaters of Sri Lanka to the bazaars of New Dehli, mining in Tanzania to busy market stalls in Madagascar, Roger has traveled the world in search of precious gemstones, but always, after he finds his treasures, he returns home to unlock the beauty of the gems.

Back at his cutting machine, surrounded by tools and instruments, Roger takes the treasures of his travels, works his magic, and makes them sparkle. These, the unique gems that have taken a journey all their own, inspire the creation of heirloom jewelry that will be cherished for generations.

Roger has been in the gemstone business since 1981. His fascination with colored gems began on a three month journey to Europe, Egypt, India and Sri Lanka. By the time he returned, his fascination had begun and to this day his passion continues to be fulfilled. Roger operated as a general colored stone dealer carrying a full line of calibrated gemstones until 2001.

Soon after he entered the business, Roger recognized the importance of jewelry industry education and served on the Gemological Institute of America Alumni Association Board for six years and on the GIA National Committee for two years. He was the first vendor to serve on the Michigan Jewelers Association Board, served as the Education Chair and was instrumental in bringing gemological classes to Michigan on a yearly basis. Roger was also part of an industry consortium that developed a four-year jewelry arts degree program at Kendall College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Roger’s work in the gemstone industry extends far beyond the United States. Roger was recruited by the Namibian government for a project to promote jobs for the Namibian people and he was consequently instrumental in establishing two gem cutting facilities in the country. His desire to serve and maintain relationships with the local people in mining regions has led to various giving opportunities of time, resources, and knowledge. If you are interested in contributing to the miners and their families in East Africa, please contact Roger.

Roger’s passion for the “thrill of the hunt” also inspired the recently released documentary, “Sharing the Rough,” a film in partnership with jeweler-filmmaker Orin J. Mazzoni III. The film highlights the miners of East Africa and the life, history, and culture of the region, while following the lifespan of a gemstone, from mine to finished jewelry. To learn more about “Sharing the Rough” and the journey of a gemstone, mine to market, please click here.

Peter Torraca

Peter Torraca Cutter

From early childhood, I was always fascinated with rocks and gemstones. My mother quickly learned that checking pockets was essential at laundry time, otherwise small, pretty stones would inevitably be found banging around the laundry machine. Being the son of a small-town New York bench-jeweler, the jump from pretty pebbles to gemstones was completely natural. Over the years, my love of gemstones gave me opportunity to work in various parts of the jewelry trade from behind-the-counter retail sales to wholesale diamonds to estate jewelry. Yet, none of these aspects of the jewelry trade really satisfied me. I learned that I was more interested in the gems themselves than the finished jewelry they were used in.
After college, I decided to formalize my love of gemstones. I began working on my Graduate Gemologist degree from the GIA. One of the benefits of the GIA training is the opportunity to study A LOT of loose gemstones. But as I worked through the courses, I found a strange disappointment with most of the stones I studied. I began to realize that that while most diamonds are very well cut, most colored stones are very poorly cut. I had a feeling colored gemstones were getting short-shrift, though I wasn’t certain why.

Then in 2002 I visited a local rock & gem show in Indiana. It’s always been fun to walk through the displays of specimens and chat with the old timers who are always willing to share knowledge & colorful stories of field trips past. But one display stopped me cold. Two professional gemcutters were set up with their equipment demonstrating how they worked rough. The finished stones they displayed were amazing — bright, shiny and mesmerizing. I had only seen that kind of performance from diamonds. Then it clicked: fine colored gemstones need not be windowed and poorly polished. Properly cut, even humble rock-crystal quartz can catch & throw light.

I went home and began researching gemstone faceting. The more I read, the more I was hooked. That small rock-show “discovery” ultimately lead me to take up faceting as a trade. I now use state of the art faceting equipment and techniques to create exceptional, fine gemstones that stand well apart from common commercial stones.
Since taking up custom faceting as a trade, I’ve been able to travel in search of gem rough and stones for recutting. I attend the Tucson gem shows annually have been blessed to travel to Tanzania and Kenya in search of prime gem rough.

Personally, I’m an unapologetic Christian, the father of twins, and husband to a highly intelligent and beautiful wife who works for a small Western NY college. When I’m not faceting gemstones, corralling kids, working in the garden or on an ambulance call, I pursue theology, fiction, martial arts and rock-hounding. In between all of that, we roast our own coffee and I’m always looking for a legitimate excuse to brew some up.

Beth Stier

Beth Stier Cutter

I live in the metro-Detroit area and became interested in jewelry and gemstones in high school. My decision to pursue a career in the industry intensified while attending The College of Creative Studies, where I graduated in 1991. I’ve always enjoyed the creative aspects associated with designing custom jewelry and spent over 20 years as a bench jeweler for various boutique stores. It was during this time that I met Roger Dery, a world-renowned Gem Cutter, who taught me the techniques that I use today. My favorite part of working with gemstones is planning the cut based on the stones shape and then trying to find the perfect facet pattern to match it. While it helps to refine techniques by using the same patters repeatedly, I try to test myself by using a variety of facet styles to enhance my skills.

Ryan Quantz

Ryan Quantz Cutter

I’m a 30 year-old artist from Las Vegas, NV. My focus is mostly gemstones, but I started doing jewelry in 2010. My interest in gems transformed into passion after I took a Gemology class at College of Southern Nevada in 2005. I modified my personal Dremmel tool and taught myself how to cut gemstones. Starting with opal because it is one of my all-time favorites, I learned the basics and expanded more towards the carving end of the spectrum, even doing experiments in inlay and intarsia. I branched out to other gem species and in 2009 I faceted my first stone. In early 2011 I bought a cabbing machine and have been doing lapidary work professionally since. I also purchased my first faceting machine in August of 2012, so I now am able to offer faceted stones once again. I took a jewelry class at College of Southern Nevada in Fall of 2010 and have been doing jewelry work with my own designs on and off since then.

My background consists of training and/or experience in almost every form of fine art there is. I am mostly self-taught- either from books or from good old-fashioned trial-and-error. Being a Fine Arts major at College of Southern Nevada I have done everything from learning design and color theory, to life drawing, painting and sculpture. Outside of school I have done all sorts of things from wood working to tile work, building hyper-realistic model cars to wood carving, wood turning, automotive restoration, music, poetry, photography and more. I am an Accredited Jewelry Professional from GIA and am working towards Graduate Gemologist.