Bernd Munsteiner is a revolutionary gemstone cutter known for fantasy cut gems. This is a technique he brought to the lapidary world in a way others never did. Until he came into the gemstone scene in 1969 lapidaries had been primarily concerned with maximizing beauty and more importantly holding carat weight. Bernd started his training as a stone cutter when he was fourteen before going on to study at the design school in Pforzheim from 1962-66. Seven years later he set up the Munsteiner in Stipshausen. Well positioned just near Idar-Oberstein. Purchasing the harder to sell rough pieces his stones were often highly irregular in shape with asymmetric patterns yet accomplished what other traditional cutters were not, weight saving and striking design. He was granted honorary membership to the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in London as well as awards with the American Gem Trade Association. Andrew Grima and other designers saw the new style and capitalized on his work. Other lapidaries such as John Dyer and Michael Dyber were greatly influenced by his work and craftsmanship. Bernd's son Tom joined him in the business in 1997 after years of training. Together they have created and won many awards and cut famous gems such as the Dom Pedro aquamarine in the Smithsonian Museum’s National Gem Collection Gallery. Tom runs the family business with his wife Jutta in Stipshausen.