Documentary Film Review | Sharing The Rough | A Colored Gemstones Journey From Mine To Market

Have you ever considered where a gemstone comes from? How far it has traveled and who was responsible for exposing its true beauty? I have.

Gemstones are on an epic journey from earth to adornment and I always want to know more.

I recently found out about a documentary called Sharing The Rough; envisioned and directed by jeweler turned filmmaker, Orin Mazzoni. I knew I had to see this film and I had the pleasure while attending JCK Las Vegas 2016. Jewelers Mutual and The American Gem Society sponsored the screening at the Summerlin Library. A bit off the beaten path of jewelry week and away from the hustle and bustle.

While waiting for the film to start I had lovely conversations with some of the people featured in the film. Roger Dery and his lovely wife Ginger with whom the film found its legs, greeted me upon arrival. Charles Carmona a fellow rockhound shared some of his gem hunting adventures with me. I only wish I had time to chat with everyone.

From start to finish of Sharing The Rough I was enthralled and inspired. The passion from everyone featured in the film and behind the camera is palpable. This film is a window into the heart, hard work, and dedication of the people that bring gemstones to life. Sharing The Rough is an extraordinary documentary.

About Sharing The Rough

True to the organic journey of a gemstone is the organic process in which this film came to life. Combining the talents of filmmakers, miners, gem cutters, jewelry designers, educators and community.

The film captures the passion of artisanal mining communities in East Africa. Showcasing hand dug mines in Kenya and Tanzania. The heart that the miners bring with them to the mines to find the ever elusive gemstones. The families and schools that are built and supported by the burgeoning mining communities. The relationships between people and gemstones from mine to market. Following a single gemstone and every hand it touches.

Sharing the Rough

Miners at work – Image courtesy of Sharing the Rough

Roger Dery, renowned gem cutter is followed on one of his many gem trips to East Africa. Roger and crew are on the hunt for the perfect gemstone. He visits with miners that he has built trust and relationships with over the years.

A Maasai primary school near a ruby mine is visited. Showcasing the philanthropic efforts to build and continue to build this school.

Education is paramount so that the mining communities can benefit from their precious gems. Arusha School in Tanzania supported by The Devon Foundation featured in the film teaches gem cutting and gemology. To learn more about the foundation and how you can support these efforts you can visit their website. 

Sharing the Rough Arusha School

Students at the Arusha School – Image courtesy of Sharing the Rough

STR Ending – Okeno Tribute from Orin Mazzoni on Vimeo.

After finding the perfect gem, Roger unlocks its fire by faceting the rough stone. The faceted gemstone is given to award winning jewelry designer Mark Schneider to create an exquisite one of a kind piece of jewelry. I will not give away where the piece of jewelry ends up or what it looks like. It is truly special and wonderful how the story of the gemstone unfolds.

This award winning documentary has been making rounds on the film festival circuit and offering screenings across the U.S. You can check the screening schedule on their website.

To find out more about Sharing the Rough and some of the people involved check out these websites Official website You can make a donation to help some of the schools featured in the film. Roger Dery award winning gem cutter Mark Schneider award winning jewelry designer Charles Carmona renowned gemologist and appraiser Monica Stephenson founder of Anza Gems, a wonderful project that came about as the result of Sharing the Rough

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