When Roger Dery of Spectral Gems asked me if I would like to go to Africa with him to visit gemstone mines I jumped at the chance. Roger would be buying rough and I wanted to talk to the miners and see where the stones came from. If you’ve been to my store and talked with me about gemstones then you’ve probably heard me go on and on about my interest in sustainability and fair trade. I am passionately interested in the environmental impact of gemstone mining and I want to learn as much as I can about the different techniques used to bring the rough to market. Roger said I can not only see it happening first hand but maybe get a chance to participate. I started making plans to go with him on his next trip in January of ’11.