Game of Stones – Billions of dollars in precious stones are unearthed each year, but the rarest never make it to the open market. That’s where Don Kogen, America’s most extreme gem hunter, comes in. Kogen is CEO of Gem Guys, Inc., and a legend in the business. He specializes in rare stones from the most dangerous and lawless places on earth, racing the clock to be the first to each new find, always staying one step ahead of the competition.
Kogen left school in Houston, TX as a pre-teen to travel to Thailand with his father. As a teenager, he was left to his own devices in a sink or swim situation and began to sell stones on the streets of a Thai gem trading town to survive. Kogen sacrificed much along his path to success, chasing his dreams for bigger and rarer stones which kept this gem addict’s blood pumping. Kogen later returned to the U.S. and last year traveled to 50 countries in search of the rarest stones on earth, including Cambodia ‘Sunset’ Rubies, Royal Blue Sapphires, Canary Yellow Tourmaline and Transvaal Emeralds.
Kogen cornered the market on rare stones by building a tight and trustworthy team that includes Australian born Gavin, a gemologist who will do anything to get his adrenaline fix. Tony is the broker, the money man, who has an acute understanding of the ups and downs of the rare stone industry. Fear is ex-military and a former bomb disposal unit member whose many talents are crucial to each success – he also protects the team and their cash, up to one million dollars at a time. Rounding out the crew is Kat, Kogen’s right hand woman who handles the logistics. From visas, passports, schedules, airplanes, choppers, boats, trains and cars, Kat helps pave the way and sets the team up to win with seamless approaches and successful getaways.
Each episode features Kogen and his team in all-new countries, including Thailand, Turkey, India, Tanzania and Brazil, racing against fast and fierce competitors to be the first to the rare stones – because in this industry, there is no second place. As Kogen and his crew carry large amounts of cash, they are at constant risk of being robbed, car jacked and ambushed. But they are prepared, at all times, to protect their rocks and their lives.
Channel: Discovery Channel
Producer: Double Act
TX: 28th February 2014
Source: Discovery Channel press release