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Biography

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Biography

 

I am Gary Kratochvil based in the Texas Hill Country. I have been fascinated by rocks since my early childhood. I've been picking up rocks everywhere I go for as long as I can remember. As a small boy I had rock sales on my driveway. At the age of 8 a family friend with an amazing lapidary shop ask me if I wanted to cut a cab. After that I was hooked for life. In 1972 I was 18 and just mined some Texas topaz on a ranch here in Texas. Of course, the next step was to get them faceted! At that time I met my mentor Onys Kelly in Austin Texas. He was 72 at the time and he took me in to show me how to facet. I feel fortunate to have an artistic and mechanical mind. Both of those abilities go well with the art and craft of faceting.

 

I find adventure in the search for gemstones. In 1973 at the age of 19 I flew to Bogota Columbia and walked the streets in the black market area looking for connections. What could go wrong? I spent many years on the road selling diamonds and colored stones and met a lot of interesting characters. I've been to quite a few countries around the world looking for gem connections. I enjoy the cultures of other countries as well as the gems that come from them.

 

I love mining for my own gems when I can. There's no bigger thrill than working hard and finding a piece of gem rough. You're the first person in the world to see this particular gem! When I look at any gem rough I usually see the finished stone hiding in plain sight. It's my job to remove everything else except my vision of what I think the rough is showing me. After many years and many stones I strive for perfection in every stone I cut. The time I spend on each stone means I do not produce a large volume of stones. It does mean that I am proud to put my name on each stone I cut. For anyone that ends up with a stone I've cut I would love to see what you did with it. Reach out to me any time. I hope you will enjoy looking at my custom cut gemstones as much as I do cutting them.

Gary KRATOCHVIL

USA

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