Tonight’s episode of “Game of Stones” gave adventure fans more insight into the dangers faced by international extreme gem hunter, Don Kogen in this episode titled, “Million Dollar Gamble.”
As the episode begins the team is in Arusha, Tanzania, searching for one of the rarest African stones; tanzanite. He is not looking for the generic tanzanite, but the rarest of the rare; the Namunyak. When Don meets with a tribesman who knows the whereabouts of the stone, they give him a picture of a boy holding the stone, confirming its existence. As they head toward the area, near the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, they encounter the worst roads imaginable. When they get stuck in a giant hole, they decide to go the rest of the way on foot, but there are wild animals in the African bush. The lions alone, kill at least one person a week, and as they see giraffes running, they know something must be in the area; the only predator of the giraffe, the lion.
As they reach the camp of the Maasai tribe they are seeking, it is abandoned. As they come upon a tribe of baboons, they decide to set up their camp there. The baboons are a welcome sight, because they let out shrill screams when danger is approaching. After a good night’s sleep, they are visited by an elephant looking for food. As they crouch in the bushes, rather than run, she tears up their camp and finally gets bored and leaves.
Now without food, they must find the Maasai and some nourishment. They encountered some teenagers who are transitioning to adulthood, as they can tell by their face paint. They are taken to meet with the tribe elders and when they show the 40-year-old picture, and a man tells them it is him holding the stone. When Don asks how much they want, he tells them it is for sale, but not to them. The stone is legendary, and it will be up for auction in two days, which means the bidding will be high. They let Don stay in the village, as his team rushes back to Arusha to call Tony to have him fly in for the auction with as much money as he can get. The price of the stone rises to $400,000, the limit of their resources, but Tony has an extra $10,000 and the other bidder surrenders.
Before they leave Tanzania, Don wants Gavin to cut the stone, but when they discover a crack in it, they must delicately remove the part that is cracked so it does not run through the stone and ruin it completely. Finally, the job is completed and the finished stone weighs 563 carats and is worth $844,500. Before they left, they brought the magnificent stone to show the man in the picture. He was delighted and very happy that his tribe would survive for years to come, thanks to Don and his crew on this episode of “Game of Stones.”
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