From Mine to Jewel: Upcoming Documentary “Sharing the Rough”

By Erika Winters

Grossular Garnet - Sharing the Rough Documentary - Ernest Rodriguez Photography
Grossular garnet from Sharing the Rough. Image by Ernest Rodriguez Photography via Sharing the Rough on Facebook.

As jewelry collectors, we understand that feeling we get when we fall head-over-heels in love with a jewel. And in the spirit of sharing, we often express our excitement by posting pictures of our treasured pieces on Pricescope’s forum or on social media. But we rarely get the opportunity to see the intense effort required to produce a single piece of fine jewelry–to learn the story behind the jewel. It is in this spirit of sharing that the documentary filmmakers behind Sharing the Rough are revealing the journey–from the mine to the finished piece.

In an unprecedented documentary, Sharing the Rough–set to be released later this year–traces the path of a colored gemstone jewelry piece. The documentary film team–led by director Orin Mazzoni, a third generation family jeweler–traveled to East Africa to film miners unearthing precious gemstones.

The film features award-winning gem cutter, Roger Dery, who not only creates innovative gem designs but also devotes substantial time to teaching and philanthropy. Dery has traveled to East Africa many times and has provided assistance to faceting schools in the region. The team will be shooting Dery in his studio, as he designs the gems for the finished piece. After cutting, the gems will be crafted into a piece by award-winning jewelry designer Mark Schneider. The jewelry piece created by Sharing the Rough will be donated to a museum. Watch this video for more information.

Though the film is still in progress, you can get an intimate look into the crew’s travels to East Africa at the blog, where editor and founder Monica Stephenson documented the trip. Monica has written a series of posts about the film, including Sharing the Rough Day One: The School That Gems Built.


Students at a Maasai primary school. Image courtesy of Visit to read Monica’s blog series on Sharing the Rough.

From Sharing the Rough:

Sharing the Rough is an endeavor that will capture the realism and appreciation of the world of colored gemstones. We will follow it through the hands of the East African miners who bring these treasures to the surface, to the faceter who breathes life into the gems, and finally to the designer who creates the work of art that will accentuate the beauty of the gem.

Never before has a film documented this process from start to finish! Our story will be conveyed in both an educational and informational way, while also using a style of filming that will create a visual force that will be dramatic and stimulating. We shall establish the world of the documentary in a factual yet narrative way, guiding the audience towards a journey of self-discovery through our characters and story, in a way that is genuine, inspirational, and entertaining.

**Visit Sharing the Rough to see a teaser trailer, and visit their Facebook Page for updates.

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