RAPHAEL GRIFFON

Photo credit: Louis Brunet

During a trip in French Guyana, I come across a gold prospector, and that is the epiphany. Back in France, it is settled ! I want to change my job and become a jeweller.I was an electrical-technician in those days, so I quit everything to go back to school.
I have attended the Jewellery School in Saumur, Loire Valley, for five years.
After three years I have my degrees of jewel maker and high jeweller (gemstones enhancement) as well as gemologist ( knowledge in gemstones). I am ready to join the family jewel workshop.

However, I haven’t started my carreer at the family workshop before leaving in 1998 to explore the wide world, with a video camera and just an idea in mind : make the people better know and enhance the link uniting substance and spirit, the splendour and the darker facets of gold.And so I launch my first movie, highlighting the gold prospectors deep in the Amazon rain forest, entitled « Gold Prospectors in French Guyana ». This movie will be the first chapter of my journey to meet the man, the metal, the gemstone.

Two years later, new departure to the African continent in order to meet the diamond.
Under the earth, with a candle, men are digging and secretly hoping to discover the exceptional diamond that will bring them a much covetted prosperity.
From Ivory Coast to Antwerp, via Vendôme Square in Paris, this documentary recounts the extraordinary epic of this fabulous gemstone, intertwinned with the men who work at it .

In 2008, new departure to Madagascar and its sapphires ! Some years ago, an incredible deposit has been discovered in a quiet village of merely hundred people named Ilakaka. Within a few months, the rush is welling up… And here again, I share and shoot the prospectors daily life, and delve into their hopes and faith in the future.

In 2012, after more than 10 years working in the family workshop, my father hands me over the business definitly. As a genuine gemstone lover and passionned by my job, I feel committed to transmit my know-how in each new shooting project. Other far-fetched destinations are already scheduled, to make the most of us familiar with the story of the gemstones.