Nathan Renfro, a native of western North Carolina, developed an interest inminerals during his teenage years. He explored the rich geology of his home state with particular interest on pegmatite bodies in Mitchell County.As a result Renfro visited many mines and outcrops in western North Carolina in search of interesting minerals like beryl, kyanite, garnet, magnetite, feldspar, and mica.
This exploration fueled his undergraduate studies in geology. In 2006, he received a B.S. in Geology and Education in from Appalachian State University. While at ASU, he was a recipient of the Outstanding Senior Teaching Geology Major award.
Upon completion of his university studies, following his increasing interest in gem minerals, he enrolled in the resident Graduate Gemologist program at the Gemological Institute of America in 2007 in which he received the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation scholarship.
After completion of the Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) program, he was hired as a Diamond Grader at GIA. In July 2008, he transferred into the Gem Identification department at GIA and is currently the Lead Analytical Specialist of colored stones. While in this role, Renfro has authored or co-authored several gemological articles. He has also worked extensively with John Koivula, co-teaching several inclusion workshops.
Renfro’s other related interests include gem cutting in all its varied aspects. He began developing his lapidary skills in 2002 when he was employed by Emerald Village, a tourist gem mining attraction in western North Carolina.His gem designs focus on contemporary cutting techniques and freeform shapes as well as traditional faceting styles with high optical performance.