About Don Kogen
With over 20 years' experience in the gemstone and jewelry industry, Don Kogen's
lifetime passion for gemstones started when he
travelled to Thailand with his
Father, only to be abandoned on the streets of Chanthaburi at the age of 13.
While still in his
familiarized himself with every aspect of the local gem industry found in Chanthaburi, Thailand - from mining and cutting, to trading in the weekend gem markets.
While watching dealer's haggle and trade Don
taught himself how to speak Thai and quickly picked up the vocabulary of making deals.
During Don's travels he
was fortunate to gleam a huge amount of knowledge and some well-guarded secrets of the trade from seasoned gemstone traders, but it wasn't until the 80's that his
professional career seriously took off.
Frustrated by the inefficiencies of traditional gem trading, where numerous middlemen can increase the price of a gem, often by figures in excess of 1000% from mine to market, Don
believes in developing businesses that give consumers the opportunity to purchase direct from the primary source, enabling the most direct connection between individual miners and customers, creating additional value for both sides.
Internationally respected and admired, Don
has a huge impact on the gemstone industry.
As a professional member of the ICA (International Colored Gemstone Association), an organization whose members include the top gemstone miners, cutters and dealers throughout the world, he has represented Thailand at the GILC (Gemstone Industry Laboratory Conference) on several occasions and was formally the ambassador for the CGA (Chanthaburi Gem and Jewelry Traders Association).
Apart from numerous trade press articles, Don
has also appeared in the international media multiple times regarding his
influence on new gemstone discoveries.
has dedicated himself to his
passion for over 25 years, traveling through 100 countries across 6 continents - relishing in the thrill of tracking down gemstones from around the globe, no matter how deep or how remote the area is.
Don has been working with the Gemguys® for over 15 years, slowing building and developing the team to what we see now.
With its head office in Houston, Texas, Don regularly travels to and from all the Gemguys® bases.
Don's focus in life is to introduce the world to the rarest and most beautiful treasures that Mother Nature provides.
Coming from humble beginnings, Don
has always been grateful to Chanthaburi and the gemstone industry for giving him his
passion and purpose, and as such Don gives much back to the town he
called home for so many of his
youthful years, by financing Schools, local businesses and the town municipal needs.
Through all these adventures Don's
four children remain his
states, "I just want to give my children the opportunities I never had.