Dyer is happiest when he is surrounded by colored gemstones. He grew up
traveling the globe with his missionary parents. John first discovered
his interest in these fascinating “pebbles” as a boy when he discovered
a book on gemstones and cutting. Home-schooled by his parents in
Brazil, it was this locale that would change his course forever; here,
people gave John his first loose gemstones: amethyst and aquamarine.
a young age, John Dyer exhibited entrepreneurial savvy. He sold donuts
as a street vendor in Brazil. Donuts were an unknown product, so John
offered free samples. He created a market for them and began to build
|At age 16,
Dyer and his family returned to the
United States. John Dyer and his father David decided to go into the
Dyer and his father went to Zambia to purchase
emeralds and aquamarine rough.
Machine-gun fire did not dissuade
the Dyers, they purchased the rough material and returned
home. They gave the material to a faceter, but they were outraged by
the price and poor quality. In fact, two of the three emeralds were cut
so poorly, that the emeralds had to be recut later. John decided to
take on the cutting himself with his first Ultra Tec faceting machine.
was difficult in the beginning. John’s cutting skills improved with
trial and error, and he read everything he could on gemstone faceting
and buying rough. “I learned a lot of good lessons on what to buy and
not to buy,” said Dyer. About five years later, the business finally
broke even from the Zambia trip.
John’s father, David Dyer
is the “big idea guy.” David has played an integral role in making
machinery and improving aspects for their company, John Dyer &
Company. As an inventor and machinist skills, David created their first
concave-faceting machine in 1999. John quickly began experimenting with
concave cutting. A few years later, he experimented with a combination
of carving and faceting. John Dyer likes to experiment with new
faceting techniques, and his father is always there to create new tools
his first AGTA Cutting Edge Award in 2002
for a 37.16 ct Pakistani Peridot. Dyer took home 2nd place in the
According to John each competition has different parameters, some
involving a particular theme or the use of a particular material.
“For the AGTA
competition, I try to make the most awesome gem possible.”
he must be doing something right, John has won 28 AGTA Cutting Edge
Awards, an Idar-Oberstein Award and a Gemmy Award. In fact, the gem
artist swept the Faceting Category in 2005 and 2007.
(Awards page here.)
A Gem in the Rough
Dyers travel widely to Asia, Africa, South America and other locations
to find good values and a wider diversity of rough gemstone materials.
John Dyer wants to provide high quality at the lowest possible price.
a good piece of rough is difficult. But a seasoned gem cutter like John
Dyer knows exactly what to look for. “It is hard to judge color, so I
imagine what it will look like and choose the orientation.” Since each
piece is unique, Dyer envisions the best use for it and uses many
different styles of cutting to create his vision. Color, shape, depth
and so many “little things” come into play when cutting. "
great pride when he can juggle creativity and beauty in an economical
manner. “I love the challenge of trying to reconcile so many factors -
creating the most beautiful gem from the rough is always my goal.
the gemstone has been cut, Dyer engraves the JD
trademark below the
girdle. The logo stands as a mark of excellence in faceting and
reinforces how special the gemstone truly is. The fact that it came
from John Dyer’s workshop shows the customer that it is a piece of art
worthy of his signature.
To learn more about John Dyer and his designs, visit his website at
Images from left to
37.16 ct. Peridot. 2nd Place. AGTA Cutting Edge Awards Winner 2002.
119.60 ct. Morganite. 2nd Place. AGTA Cutting Edge Awards Winner 2006.
27.23 ct. . Imperial Topaz. 1st Place. AGTA Cutting Edge Awards Winner
Pair of Ametrines (28.91) 1st Place. AGTA Cutting Edge Awards Winner
106.84 ct. Aquamarine. 3rd Place. AGTA Cutting Edge Awards Winner 2009.
44.74 ct. Citrine. Honorable Mention AGTA Cutting Edge Awards Winner