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The Artistry of Glenn Lehrer

| 8 min read

Glenn Lehrer is simply one of the world's finest gem carvers. From his 800-pound Bahia gemstone sculpture, via his remarkable couture carvings and through to his perennially popular TorusRing, QuasarCut, KaleidosCut, Man in the Moon and Cosmic Obelisk designs, Glenn is a true master of his craft.

Since falling in love with gemstones after being given a Quartz crystal by his brother, self-taught gem artist Glenn Lehrer has spent more than 40 years cutting and faceting almost every type gemstone discovered in the world to date. Among Glenn’s many groundbreaking achievements are his cutting of the "world's biggest pendant" the Bahia and his faceting of a huge 52 carat precious Sapphire. Glenn says, "The reason I love to cut and carve coloured gemstones is that they are all so different and unique. Each gem is a challenge and each offers a unique inspiration and concept of style and design".

Each of Glenn’s carvings is entirely spontaneous, purely a product of his creativity and experience. His artistic mastery ensures the individual characteristics of each gemstone are reflected in a unique finished gem. In partnership with Gemporia, Glenn has been able to adapt new methodologies to produce his masterpieces on a greater scale, providing our customers the opportunity to own one of his special creations. "If it's been done before, I am not interested in doing it. My work and art is about creating gem designs the industry has never seen before", Glenn tells us.

Glenn created and patented the iconic TorusRing cut, a faceted gemstone with a cylindrical portion removed from the centre. This revolutionary cut produces a gemstone with a magnificent display of light, generating incredible brilliance, which is then expertly set to create a true masterpiece. The overwhelming popularity of the TorusRing has led Glenn to develop the QuasarCut, followed (so far) by the KaleidosCut, Man in the Moon and Cosmic Obelisk collections. Gemporia is privileged to bring Glenn’s beautiful pieces to you at a price that belies their outstanding quality and uniqueness.

Here, Gemporia co-founder Steve Bennett talks about the visionary gem artist, and his very good friend, Glenn Lehrer.

During his period as a professional artist, Glenn spent three years in India. On return to his homeland of California his brother showed him a sculpture made of Quartz. Glenn was fascinated by its beauty and within weeks he had bought some basic tools, acquired a few stones and had begun cutting. He had no formal training, but his artistic background coupled with the desire to try something new led to him developing unique techniques that are not taught at gem schools. Glenn didn’t even have access to a lot of literature. Instead, whenever he came across a challenge he simply invented a technique to combat it. Within a few years Glenn gained a reputation for his work and it was not long before his gem cutting art was being featured in magazines. Glenn told me, “Nearly every other cutter you will meet has learned his art from his father or from the classroom. My learning was by trying to figure out how to do things on my own. I made both mistakes and discoveries. Today, I try and pass on some of my learning to those coming out of the gem schools, so that they can combine the techniques they have studied with some of my less conventional methods”.

Glenn Lehrer

"One of Glenn’s masterpieces is proudly on display at the GIA (Gemological Institution of America) head office in California. Although this is probably the best accolade you could have in this trade, photos of Glenn’s work have also been seen by millions on the front covers of over 20 different magazines. I asked Glenn where he gets his inspiration from, “Well, it’s not difficult living in San Francisco to be inspired by many things. I love my sports, in the past I would surf in the morning and drive to the mountains and ski in the afternoon. It’s really not a problem to be inspired by nature, especially when you are in a happy and open state of mind”.

My learning was by trying to figure out how to do things on my own. I made both mistakes and discoveries.

"Many big brands ask Glenn to make one-off masterpieces for them, but he is also frequently commissioned by gem hunters to cut their prized possessions. You see, if you have been mining for years and you discover that one very special gemstone, that one in a million piece, the one that could earn you the big pay day, Glenn is the sort of artist that many turn to in order to have their precious piece of rough transformed into a valuable treasure. I asked Glenn whether he felt the pressure was different working for a big brand or for the enthused hunter. He replied, “The pressure is the same as you are always trying to do justice to the wonderful works of Mother Nature”.

Glenn Lehrer and Steve Bennett

"Whilst I appreciate and marvel at the art in Glenn’s gemstone sculptures, it was his re-cutting of a 20ct Sapphire that lacked life, a gem that despite its size was bordering on being dull, into one of the most fascinating pieces I have ever seen that makes me rate him as one of the finest cutters in history. Glenn and I first met in Brazil when we were both on mine visits. His knowledge of gemstones, mineralogy and gem cutting is mind blowing. Every time we visited a mine, Glenn was able to pass invaluable experience to both the people we met and myself. That’s what I love about gems, you learn and discover new things every week, but when I am with Glenn I learn something new every hour! Be sure to try and tune in to Gemporia TV, or online at www.gemporia.com, when Glenn comes onto the show. I can guarantee you will find him fascinating to listen to."

Steve Bennett

Glenn Lehrer Gemporia Jewellery

We've been bringing Glenn's phenomenal gemstone creations to our audience of gemstone and jewellery collectors since 2011. Supply of the Glenn Lehrer collection is always outstripped by demand, but over the years we've been able to bring many different pieces from Glenn's imagination to your jewellery collections. Below we briefly discuss the designer collections that Glenn has created and there are links to click if you'd like to learn much more about the exquisite artistry behind these different creations.

TorusRing by Glenn Lehrer

Glenn Lehrer TorusRing

The Torus is one of nature's most prevalent forms, and inspired Glenn to spend 15 years developing the shape and concept into a gemstone. Think of swirling galaxies, liquid whirlpools, hurricanes with their central eye and, of course, the human eye itself. The unique cut of the TorusRing allows a magnificent play of light within the stone.

Learn More About TorusRingBuy TorusRing

QuasarCut by Glenn Lehrer

Glenn Lehrer QuasarCut

Quasars are distant, celestial bodies that emit an unfathomable amount of light. Inspired by this and wanting to build on his TorusRing cut, Glenn cut the stone so there was a concave facet on the table of the finished gem. This created an incredible optical illusion that appeared to make the centre of the gem infinitely recede from the viewer.

Learn More About QuasarCutBuy QuasarCut

KaleidosCut by Glenn Lehrer

Glenn Lehrer KaleidosCut

As with all Glenn's cuts, the KaleidosCut is a wonder to behold. Each gem features a smaller stone in a complimentary colour hidden behind incredible facet work. These cuts are of such precise angling that while you can't see the smaller stone, its colour bounces around the bigger gem like the shards of light from a kaleidoscope.

Learn More About KaleidosCutBuy KaleidosCut

Man in the Moon by Glenn Lehrer

Glenn Lehrer Man in the Moon

Inspired by a fascination with the Moon and the sheer number of stars in the sky, Glenn's Man in the Moon designs feature a detailed side-on face within a crescent Moon partnered by a rare gemstone to represent a star or planet. Each piece is delicately hand-crafted into a variety of Quartz and wrapped in gold to finish the design perfectly.

Learn More About Man in the MoonBuy Man in the Moon

Cosmic Obelisk by Glenn Lehrer

Glenn Lehrer Cosmic Obelisk

The idea of trapping and bouncing colour through an elongated piece of Quartz first came to Glenn in the 70s and 80s. When revisiting some of his earlier designs he decided to update it and bring the resulting art to Gemporia. Each Cosmic Obelisk has a small piece of coloured gemstone laminated near the top and the facet angles at the base reflect this light outwards for a unique look.

Learn More About Cosmic ObeliskBuy Cosmic Obelisk

Whether you're looking for rings, earrings, pendants or necklaces, we have the perfect Glenn Lehrer jewelry piece for you. Use the quick links below if you'd like to see Glenn's designs by jewelry type rather than sorted by which Lehrer Collection they belong to:

Learn More About Glenn Lehrer