Without risk, there’s no reward! The gem business is not for the faint of heart. In this ‘buyers beware’ market, even years of knowledge and experience can fail during any given moment. In the new original series “Gem Hunt,” premiering Wednesday, October 16 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, Travel Channel takes viewers inside the high-stakes business of gems, traveling directly to the world’s busiest and riskiest trading regions. Fascinating, exciting, unpredictable and embedded in some of the most remote locations, each of the thirteen hour-long episodes follows gem dealer Ron LeBlanc, jewelry expert Diane Robinson and geologist Bernie Gaboury as they maneuver through mines, markets and tense negotiations in search of the world’s biggest, brightest and most profitable jewels.
“From back-alley meetings to clandestine cash exchanges, ‘Gem Hunt’ is a captivating series that peels back the many layers of the gem industry, and transports viewers to exotic destinations and into cultures they normally might never experience,” says Andy Singer, GM, Travel Channel. “From the unique perspectives of Ron and his team, viewers are granted an exclusive pass inside the hustle and bustle of this huge international commerce.”
With potentially enormous payoffs and the aspiration of finding the perfect stone as guiding forces, eccentric LeBlanc and his partners set out to bring back gems for their own discerning clientele. From emeralds in Colombia and moonstone in Sri Lanka, to pearls in Myanmar and topaz in Brazil, behind the glamour of these precious stones, there’s always the risk of danger. The team must enlist the security and proper precautions to get in and out of each country safely. They quickly size up the players in each locale, ensure if the goods are authentic or potential fakes, and negotiate the best price before the stone is cut. If the stone is not cut flawlessly, it can render an entire purchase worthless.
In the season premiere, LeBlanc, Robinson and Gaboury travel to Vietnam to score high-rolling star rubies. Operating under the Government’s radar, things don’t always go as planned and almost immediately the team spots a fake stone being pushed on them. In hopes of finding better, they head directly to the rubies’ source – an area where no gem hunter has gone before. Riding into the heartland of communism, they’re tailed by a government agent who intends to make sure they leave empty handed. Finally the group connects with the big players who have the monster rubies… and cunning schemes to taint their judgment using homemade Vietnamese moonshine. With time running out, LeBlanc hooks up with a private dealer who has just what he’s looking for. But the negotiations put everyone in a tough predicament.
Additional locations that will be featured include Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Zambia.
“Gem Hunt” is produced by NHNZ for Travel Channel. For NHNZ, the executive producer is Craig Meade. For Travel Channel, the executive producer is David E. Gerber.
VISIT TRAVELCHANNEL.COM FOR EXCLUSIVE “GEM HUNT” CONTENT
Visit TravelChannel.com for additional “Gem Hunt” web content including exclusive photos, videos, gemstone trivia and facts, Ron LeBlanc’s travel tips, travel guides and more. Check out Travel Channel on Facebook and follow @TravelChannel and #GemHunt on Twitter for more exclusive content and updates.
TRAVEL CHANNEL (http://www.travelchannel.com) is a multiplatform travel lifestyle brand with the core mission of providing inspiring and compelling programming that takes viewers beyond their everyday destinations, making the unfamiliar familiar, whether it’s around the world or around the block. A dual feed network that is also available in HD, Travel Channel is the world’s leading travel media brand, and is available in over 94 million U.S. cable homes. Owned and operated by Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), Travel Channel has offices in Chevy Chase, MD, and New York, NY. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) also owns and operates HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country.
Source: tvbythenumbers.com, 8/13/13