Gem Hunt is a Travel Channel show about the search for priceless gems in third world countries. While it has some history about the areas visited, it is really a boring show. There aren’t enough gems but there is more than enough frustration to make the viewer annoyed about watching it. While there are certainly lots of politics involved, buying gems from obviously poor countries just doesn’t make all that good television.
Ron LeBlanc is one of the treasure hunters. While I didn’t expect an Indiana Jones type of person, he isn’t all that interesting a personality. Sure, it is clear that he loves gems. But he also seems oblivious to his surroundings and the circumstances by which these jewels are found. The 0ther two hunters just seem to be relegated to the background and offer odd commentary at strange times.
The politics of this is probably the biggest deterrent to this show. Yes, it is difficult to work in third world countries and the police are watching carefully. But it just doesn’t offer any intrigue. Perhaps it is because the hosts treat this game with a casual and lackadaisical attitude that is completely devoid of respect for the country they are in.
I did like the fact that they explored some of the history of the countries, and of course seeing the gems is nice. But there isn’t enough of this evaluation or camera time given to the gems themselves. So, it often wastes time on meaningless traveling around in trucks through dirt. This search is often better relegated to not being seen rather than showcased in every single detail.
One has to wonder about the repercussions for these traders after the show is aired. Perhaps they are lucky that the countries they visit do not have wide access to the Travel Channel.
The show Gem Hunt airs on the Travel channel on Tuesdays at 10 pm.