Reena Ahluwalia, the Canada-based award-winning jewellery designer and artist, created a Tanzanite painting for a charity raffle, donating 100% of the proceeds to Gem Legacy, an NGO active in East African coloured gemstone mining communities. Gem Legacy was started by renowned American gem cutter Roger Dery of Roger Dery Gem Design who is celebrating his 40th year in business and 40th visit to the African continent.
The 24-inch, circular, hand-painted canvas is valued at $6,000. Ahluwalia brought the gem’s facets to life through her vision to express Dery’s philanthropic work in the mining communities. Raffle tickets are $40 each and can be purchased by making a direct donation to Gem Legacy.
Proceeds will be donated to Gem Legacy’s Miner Toolkit initiative, which is putting tools in the hands of artisanal miners to ensure they are mining safely and effectively. Each toolkit costs $125. Dery’s goal is to sponsor 40 toolkits, (totalling $5,000 in ticket sales). The raffle will begin on 1st October and finish on 18th October.
“My 40 years in the gem business have been my hobby, my job, and my ministry and I am excited to give back to the industry that has given so much to me,” said Dery. “Miners are my heroes – they spend their lives mining the gems I am honoured to facet. This is my tribute back to them: to put the right mining tools in their hands to ensure their mining is safe and successful.” Ahluwalia noted, “When Roger reached out to me to create a custom painting and shared the impact of Gem Legacy, I immediately got onboard. I always strive to create art that can touch people’s lives positively and make a tangible difference. I am honoured that my ‘Gem Legacy’ painting is able to contribute in raising funds.”