Started in 1961 in Zimbabwe, Africa, African Gemstones and Tanganika Trading began working exclusively with the elite cutting houses in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. AF and TT, guided by Hilmar’s expertise and ideal placement in Africa, provided gemstone rough from Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
In 1982, Hilmar immigrated to South Africa with his family and simultaneously expanded his gemstone rough business. We have been providing fine, facet quality gemstone rough by mail order to lapidaries all over the world ever since. 54 years of unique material and great cutting!
Hilmar, a man always looking to be ahead of the curve, was an early adopter of the internet and developed the first African Gemstone website in the early 1990’s. No more postcards and paper lists in the mail! Logan, as a new generation and agent for the business, is working hard to follow that history by expanding the services, payment and shipping methods, and shopping ease with this new website, customer profiles, and an easy to use e-commerce system. With the implementation if this new site, as Hilmar says, we might even show up on The Google!
We currently supply rough to tradesman and women- lapidaries, carvers, and jewelers- as a wholesaler and we source our rough from many more countries than the three we started with over 50 years ago. We obtain rough from Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi, Tanzania Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Madagascar, Brazil, Bolivia, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Zimbabwe, China, Pakistan, Canada, and The United States. We ship to even more countries!
With an eye towards preserving the art of lapidary and supporting independent lapidaries and cutting houses alike, we strive to provide only facet grade rough of high clarity; we promise to always disclose as much information about the stone as we can obtain, including origin, treatments, color, and clarity; and we aim for excellent, personal customer service- we can’t promise to be perfect, but we’ll always attempt to make your transactions and interactions with us smooth, straightforward, and pleasant.
I am of Dutch nationality and have been in the gemstone field since 1961. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and, as a youngster, traveled extensively throughout Africa. I completed my education in Harare, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). After two years at university studying geology, I decided my future was with gemstones and left in 1963 to obtain my Fellowship Diploma in Gemmology from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. I started the Gemmology and Gemstone Cutting courses at the Harare Polytechnic and was head lecturer for a number of years, as well as operating our jewelry manufacturing and gemstone cutting factory. I’ve been the gemstone business for over 50 years and am currently located in South Africa.
I am a second generation jeweler born, raised, and currently residing outside of Washington DC where I have continued the family business, Hunt Country Jewelers. My dad, Edwin Cutshall, has won multiple AGTA and international design awards and was even an adjunct professor at George Mason University where he taught gemology for a couple semesters. My mother, Claire Cutshall, has been a lapidary for over 20 years now.
My personal background includes a BS in Geosciences from Virginia Tech (2007) and a Graduate Gemologist degree from GIA in 2005. Growing up in the industry, I have been graced with some amazing experiences including a four week work/study with the late Campbell Bridges at his Tsavorite mine in southern Kenya, tours of the Stuart mine and Oceanview mine in Pala, California and have had opportunities to meet many others within the industry.