Jim Barzee

Jim spent the earlier part of his life moving from one air force base to another with his family, and one place in particular that became special to him was Thailand. It was his first glimpse into a world that would later become a cornerstone of his life today. Having lived two years in Thailand, one of the gem capitals of the world, it was guaranteed he would be exposed to gem cutting and gem rough. However, it wouldn’t be until years later that Jim would be involved in the gemstone world again as he spent the next years being drafted in the army or involved in professions such as logging, horseshoeing, and mining. In the early 1990s, he went to his first gem shows and realized his love and passion for what he once experienced that long time ago. In 1995, Jim was given the opportunity to buy an old faceting machine from a friend for $1,200; it was a price he couldn’t refuse. With no formal training, he was left to his own devices and trial and error to gain the experience he has today as a successful gem cutter.