Home News Canada’s Premier Indigenous Gemstone Lapidary Stands Out

Canada’s Premier Indigenous Gemstone Lapidary Stands Out

by Madonna

Ryan Ross is part of an exclusive group in Canada – only around 120 people share his profession of gemstone cutting.

Unlike many in his field, Ross didn’t inherit his skills. His journey into gemstone cutting began unexpectedly while he was searching for an engagement sapphire for his partner. Fascinated by the unique reflections and designs of gemstones, Ross found himself drawn to the craft.


Hailing from Montreal Lake Cree Nation and residing in Saskatoon, Ross was working at Dakota Dunes Casino when the COVID-19 pandemic led to layoffs. Seizing the opportunity to pursue his newfound passion, he delved into research on gemstone cutting machines, eventually purchasing one from India. Armed with determination and self-taught knowledge gleaned from books and online tutorials, Ross honed his craft over nearly two years, culminating in the establishment of his own business, 3 Sisters Gem Stones, named after his three daughters.


Ross aspires to transition his business into a full-time endeavor, aiming to fill a gap in Saskatchewan’s market. With no other dedicated gemstone cutting businesses in the province, Ross sees an opportunity to cater to customers’ specific needs, offering customized cuts and designs that are often unavailable locally.


Recognizing the cultural significance of gemstones, particularly within Indigenous communities, Ross is committed to elevating the quality of materials used in traditional art forms. He laments the prevalence of plastic gemstone substitutes in Indigenous beadwork and advocates for a shift towards authentic materials.

While Ross possesses the skills to polish diamonds, he opts to specialize in cutting colored gemstones, noting their increasing popularity, especially among men. Despite this growing interest, Ross observes a decline in the practice of gemstone cutting, particularly among Indigenous artisans. Determined to preserve and share this heritage, Ross has invested in a second cutting machine for the purpose of teaching others. Through a two-day course, he empowers students to create their own gemstone designs, envisioning a future where his daughters might continue his legacy.

Ross showcases his work and services on Instagram under the handle 3sistersgemstones, offering cutting and polishing services, as well as commissioned work.


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