Hello, I’m Don Kogen, and I am a gem hunter. I started hunting gemstones when I was 13 years old living alone in Thailand. Since then I have discovered numerous world records while circling the earth on the hunt for the rarest most beautiful jewels in the world. I am incredibly grateful that I discovered my passion at such a young age and I want to share that passion with you. Each week I invite you to join me as I showcase a gemstone discovery or interview an expert from our field. I will share trends in the market, details to look for if you are collecting and of course my own personal journey to the stone. We will celebrate the beauty of Mother Natures greatest work here together every week.
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World renowned gem hunter Don Kogen discusses the rare, evocative Paraiba tourmaline. Named after the state of Paraíba in Brazil, where much of the stone is found, this tourmaline is one of nature’s rarest geological phenomena. It is also found in Mozambique and Nigeria. Due to unusually high copper concentrations, the luminous gemstone has a rich, vivid coloration that ranges from emerald greens to neon blues to deep violets. Paraiba tourmaline is one of the most expensive gemstones today — and it has taken the world market by storm. Listen to our narrator share his personal journey with the Paraiba tourmaline, including anecdotes about discovering it in Mozambique, seeing it at the Tucson Gem Show, and making a key connection about its origin when viewing a map of the supercontinent Pangaea.
Gem Hunter Don Kogen explores one of the most storied gems in history: the diamond. He takes us to the Golconda region in India, source of famous specimens such as the Koh-i-Noor, Orlov, Hope, Wittelsbach-Graff, and Dresden Diamonds; the Letseng Mine in Lesotho, Debmarine Mine in Namibia, and Venetian Mine in South Africa; the Ekati Mine in Canada; and, most importantly, the Jwaneng Mine in Botswana and the Argyle Mine in Australia. In addition, he discusses the nuances of the most sought-after types: D Flawless and pink diamonds.
Gem Hunter Don Kogen discusses the Ruby. He takes us through the changing market demand for the beautiful crimson gem, starting with the Sunrise Ruby, which broke the world record for a colored gemstone when it surpassed 7 digits per carat at auction. Through his personal stories about gem hunting in Mozambique, Thailand, Tanzania, and Burma, Kogen illuminates the history of ruby mining and its influence on the world market today, and ends with salient points regarding the discernment of quality in rubies of different origin.
Don Kogen world renowned Gem Hunter discusses Sphene, a rare gemstone that has more dispersion than a diamond. He takes us through the remote Kola Peninsula of Russia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, and Brazil in the journey to understand Sphene. Sphene contains a rare earth element, cerium, in its crystal structure, which combines with its titanite to create a vivid luster. Learn all this and more — including how the Gem Hunter named his son after sphene — in this episode.
What is the Superman of tourmalines? What about the Wonder Woman? Learn the answer to these questions and more in this episode of Journey to the Stone, where Gem Hunter Don Kogen discusses tourmaline, the “gem with superpowers.”
Aquamarine, the brother of Emerald is discussed in this week’s podcast with Don Kogen. Aquamarine goes back historically hundreds of years. If you look at the scriptures, you'll see that Aquamarine is referenced back to the Maharajas of India. Aquamarines has been discovered in Brazil, the Himalayan belt and Africa. Listen to this week’s story and find out why no one wants “Black Rain”, and everyone wants Santa Maria.