Brilliant Designs with an Inner Fire in Sapphire and Tourmaline

When passing by the Brilliant Designs booth at the JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry show, it’s impossible not to stop. Every piece is carefully tucked away behind glass, but Abdul Gardeezi and his wife will proudly pull out any of their ‘brilliant’ pieces for a closer look. Brilliant Designs has been operating in Tucson for over 33 years.

jogs-brilliant-designs-booth Brilliant Designs booth at JOGS Tucson

Abdul buys stones from all over the world. He then brings them home, and sometimes re-cuts the stones, adding more facets to bring out their inner fire. He says that it’s easy to buy commonplace stones by the carat, but he seeks out special stones for his designs… with the caveat, “if it’s not special, we will cut it to be special.”

jogs-brilliant-designs-green-ring Ring by Abdul Gardeezy

Abdul sketches the designs himself, and a jeweler in Los Angeles, California, creates the finished jewelry for him. He used to do a show every weekend across the USA, but now he just does Tucson and a few local shows in Arizona.

jogs-brilliant-designs-beautiful-blue-ring Ring by Abdul Gardeezy

The stones for his designs come from all over the world, including countries like Bangkok, India, Pakistan, Germany, Thailand, and many African countries. Abdul told me a story about some Tourmaline cabochons he brought back from Bangkok, which were then bought during the show by a group of out-of-country buyers from Hong Kong.

jogs-brilliant-designs-tourmaline-pendant Tourmaline Pendant from Brilliant Designs

When I asked Abdul about how he learned his trade, he laughed and told me it was from “too much travelling.” When he traveled all over the world, he learned how to make things that nobody else could by observing with other jewelrs had created and noticing it was often missing a “catch” – something that would make a customer stop and turn around to take a second look at it as they walked by.

jogs-brilliant-design-yellow-ring Ring from Brilliant Designs

“I see someone will have this stone – but it’s not ‘Abdul’ – the stone doesn’t have fire, the diamond doesn’t have a fire, and so they say we will copy it from Abdul… but you have to have a certain stone, with a certain color, and a certain fire in it, otherwise… it doesn’t look good.”

jogs-brilliant-designs-customers Abdul’s wife at the Brilliant Designs Booth

Brilliant Designs carries older designs, in a style that you often can’t find anymore. Abdul says that customers get really excited when they see the more traditional designs in his work.

Carved Gemstone from Brilliant Designs

Abdul showed me a beautiful blue carved gemstone. Gemstone carving and engraving used to be considered a major luxury art form in the ancient world, and is now rarely found as a beautiful curiosity. Abdul says, “That’s why at any show, I don’t have much competition, because it’s very unique.”

jogs-brilliant-designs-rings Set of three rings from Brilliant Designs: left – marquise ring, right: men’s Green Tourmaline ring, bottom: Golden Sapphire ring

When I asked him which of his designs were popular, he immediately pulled out a trio of three rings. The first was a ring with a clean marquise and diamonds. Abdul said because the stone is so clean, he had to create a very special design for it to make it stand out. The second was a fashionable man’s ring showcasing a green tourmaline with a very unique cut, surrounded by princess cut diamonds. The third was a Golden Sapphire set in 14kt gold, and Abdul says it’s very rare to find a ring like this… except at his booth.

jogs-brilliant-designs-unique-saphire-ring 75ct Unique Sapphire with Cat’s Eye, also known as “chatoyancy”

The next ring he showed me sported a 75ct Unique Sapphire with good color, which naturally had a cat’s eye stripe down the center, something you don’t see often in that size.

jogs-brilliant-design-orange-pendant Museum piece from Brilliant Designs

When I asked Abdul about his newest pieces, his wife pulled out a large pendant that was almost glowing. He says the pendant is a museum piece, and that you can’t find a stone this big or with this color today. He says the cut is very good, and it’s a one of a kind and very unique.

Set of blue rings and pendants from Brilliant Designs

JOGS Gem & Jewelry also interviewed Abdul four years ago at the Tucson show, where he shows off some more of his designs that have his signature fire. These pieces have come and gone from his display, replaced by newer designs and stones as they go into jewelry galleries and private collections around the world.

If you’re interested in talking to Abdul Gardeezy, you can call him at 1 (480) 580-5327. If you live nearby in the Arizona area, he also gives private showings to special clients, going so far as to inviting them into his house to show them his private collection.

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Beautiful Ametrine from Bolivia, the Bi-Colored Gem

When Ametrine’s stones were first brought into our JOGS office in Los Angeles, California, we were shocked by their beautiful color and clarity.

Ametrine is a natural mixture of Amethyst and Citrine

Many visitors to our show have never seen the eye-catching stone, which is a naturally occurring mixture of purple Amethyst and Yellow Citrine. It’s usually faceted in an emerald cut, with a 50/50 split that showcases the often seamless transition between the stone’s two colors.

Ariel Gamboa and Miguel Toranzo at their booth at the JOGS Fall Show

Ametrine is one of our long-time JOGS exhibitors. At the JOGS Show I met with Ariel Gamboa and Miguel Toranzo, who spoke to me about their business from Bolivia, a beautiful country located roughly in the middle of South America, and bordered by Peru, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.

Ametrine’s stones and artisans are from Boliva, in South America [map, photo]

Although the company is named after the uniquely colored stone, they say that the stone’s real name is “Bolvianita”, because it hails from their home country of Bolivia. They work closely through all steps of the process, starting with buying the natural stones, and then work with cutters and artisans from Bolivia as their business.

Ariel says the company started as a hobby. He was looking for great stones in Bolivia, to cut and make jewelry from. He wanted to make a big collection – with thousands of stones and 50,000 pieces of handmade jewelry.

Some of these pieces were on display at our show, and he showed me everything from raw uncut Ametrine to finished pieces of all shapes and sizes.

Raw Uncut Ametrine Raw Uncut Ametrine

During our interview he proudly held up a large piece of raw Ametrine, to show me the way the colors are displayed in the light. Even the name of the stone is a portmanteau of the stones Ame-thyst and Ci-trine, and both colors of quartz are easily visible even in the raw form of the stone.

Pinwheel raw Ametrine Pinwheel raw Ametrine

To show me the difference in the way the two colors can meet in the stone, he held up a second pinwheeled version of the raw stone, which had a more even proportion of the two natural colors.

Although Ametrine stones are often cut in a 50/50 split to showcase the stark difference in color, Ariel had pieces that showcased other proportions, including some of my favorites like tear drop pendants that held a 30/70 mix of gold graduating into a light heather-purple.

Triangular Ametrine pendant with inner golden glow Triangular Ametrine pendant

His finished jewelry with larger pieces of Ametrine varies from piece to piece – often taking advantage of the stone’s composition.

jogs-ametrine-big-pendant Oval pendant with central yellow glow

He showed me large oval-shaped pendant that didn’t have the usual 50/50 split, but instead seemed to glow from within due to the location of the honey-colored Citrine in the stone.

Ametrine pendants in different cuts and styles Ametrine pendants in different cuts and styles

In his booth he also had pendants of all shapes and size on display, set in both gold and silver.

Ametrine rings, see center for simple settings Ametrine rings, see center for simple settings

The Ametrine rings were one of the most fascinating types of jewelry he carried, because of their simple settings. Due to the stone’s striking color composition, it does not require a complex setting to stand out. Many of Ametrine’s rings spotlighted the stone alone with no extra ornamentation. The Bolivian designs are a mix between modern and traditional styles.

Cut Ametrine, a naturally occurring gradient Cut Ametrine, a naturally occurring gradient

During our interview, Ariel asked me what kind of stone was my favorite – and I had to reply it was the enchanting Ametrine stone that had come into our office months before the show. We’d never seen anything like it – we asked, is it fake? Is it synthetic? And we were shocked to find out it was a naturally occurring coloration called Ametrine.

Cut Ametrine Stones Cut Ametrine Stones

Ariel showed me trays of his cut stones – although he keeps a few raw stones on hand, they’re mostly for display and to show customers where their stone comes from originally.

Cut Amethyst, Ametrine also carries cut Citrine and cut White Topaz Cut Amethyst for sale at Ametrine’s booth

He also sells the stone’s two halves individually as brilliantly cut Amethyst and Citrine, and other quartzes and White Topaz, which is so clear it appears to be made of glass.

If you are interested in speaking with Ametrine, they can be reached by calling their office in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, at +5-917-314-8483 or emailing Miguel Toranzo Claure at

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Patricia Perez of Designer Jewelry Firm ‘Talia Jade’ Interview

One of the great reasons to visit JOGS during the Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show is the abundance of quality jewelry designers. Their styles and knowledge are invaluable to the wholesale buyers and retailers across the globe.

Talia Jade - Italian Leather and gemstones variety jewelry

Patricia Perez is certainly one of the most popular designers at the show, and with good reason. In this video, we have a great conversation with her about the styles and materials she brings to the table, along with some tips for the buyers who visit.

Featured in this video are some really beautiful pieces. They incorporate a wide variety of materials including sterling silver, stainless steel, Italian leather and a variety of gemstones-including topaz and opals- both cut and cabbed. Join us while she explains which necklaces and bracelets are helping set the trends in the industry, and how to best select them.

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High-end Jewelry with KP Jewelers

One thing we always enjoy, is to see the culmination of generations of endeavor in any field, especially in jewelry. Here, in KP Jewelers, we have a firm that has been in business for generations–4 at least–producing some extraordinary jewelry. Fortunately, this firm has found a home at JOGS every February, and their presence draws some top-dollar clients.

KP Jewellers - Fine Jewelry Bracelets

Why do they flock to this firm? What is it that appeals so strongly? Designs based on a rich history of the combined cultural influences from Europe and India both. KP Jewelers uses the influence of 17th and 18th century treasures and the particular stylish flair that is indigenous to sub-continental India. Using skills and techniques that have all but died out in the rest of the world, this firm has its diamonds cut in the style of old, especially using ‘mine cut’ diamonds. These are set in 14k gold which is then dressed with sterling silver-which imparts a gorgeous and warm glow to the piece, letting the diamonds do the sparkling.

Take a few moments and join us in admiring the fine creations from this jewelry firm, and perhaps you too will feel compelled to come visit them…

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KCT Implex and Gems at JOGS 2012

We have the pleasure here of speaking with Rajeesh from KCT Implex, a Bangkok firm specializing in semi-precious and precious stones. Due to a limited amount of time, we only had the opportunity to discuss a few of his stones, but even such a short chat brings out some interesting information.

KCT Implex - Semi-precious and precious stones

Our conversation focused mostly on the citrine, ruby, and cubic zirconia arrayed on tidy white trays at their booth. Feel free to listen as we discuss the markets for various stones and the qualities they desire. For example, citrines-the beautiful yellow/gold stone, great for using in silver jewelry, are more popular in their light yellow form amongst the Asian market, with Europeans and Americans preferring darker yellows in their rings and pendants.

There is more to hear and to learn, and the dealer is a knowledgeable and friendly person to talk with, so please join us in enjoying this video.

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Joryel Vera Premium Sterling Jewelry Collections

In the world of jewelry retailing, there is a huge variety of choice, and a myriad of price points to consider. At the annual JOGS Show every February in Tucson, the world’s buyers find ample selection. For those buyers looking to purchase ‘fashion’ jewelry, but hoping to avoid the label and quality of ‘costume’ jewelry, there are few design houses equal to Joryel Vera.

Taking pride in keeping their designs affordable to a wide swathe of the market, while maintaining impressively high standards, this firm is one to watch. Wholesale jewelry for the mass market, designs suited to ‘fine’ jewelry, using premium affordable materials.

In this video, we learn about those steps which are taken–higher grade semi-precious stones, thicker rhodium plating, sterling instead of white gold–and the thinking behind their 11 separate lines of jewelry.

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Buying Quality Native American Jewelry with Indian Touch of Gallup

Here we get to speak with one of the better known large dealers of Native American jewelry–Indian Touh of Gallup, represented by Mike Aish. After many years of bringing their wares to the Tucson Gem Show, and four of those years exclusively with JOGS, these folks have shown they really have what it takes to make it in this competitive market, and we were fortunate to have them walk us through a little of what they’re experience has tought them.

Indian Touch of Gallup - Native American Inspired Sterling Silver Jewelry

Mike, representing the third generation of this family-run business, tells us about what he notices in the general trend of the jewelry market. Currently, he’s seeing a resurgence of the ‘vintage’ style, echoing the era of the 60s and 70s. Though the combination of sterling silver and turquoise seems timeless, there were general trends over the years, and Indian Touch of Gallup’s designers and Native American artisans are busy bringing times gone by into the here and now.

We also discuss the pitfalls of the market as well as the hidden treasures. How do we avoid buying fakes? Why invest more in authenticity if the materials are the same? Take a moment with us and learn these things and more!

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Top Quality Opals from Grand Opal LLC of Australia

Every year at the Tucson Gem Show, treasures from the ‘land down under’ are brought to JOGS, and among the finest of these are those brought by Grand Opal Pty Llc of Sydney, Australia. Ronald and Edwin Chen, the two family members we were fortunate to speak with, take a few minutes to discuss the famed gems which they bring to town every year. Having owned the firm since 1997, they have built on its previous reputation and now bring more than 30 years of tradition to the market.

What is it about these stones that draws so much attention? The variety of colors and styles embodied in the fire hidden in each is a simple answer to that. Fortunately, we have these gentlemen to give us some guidance regarding the qualities and characteristics to be aware of when shopping for opals.

Of course, the play of colors and intensity of same, is of premium importance. What is it about the black opal and other Australian opals that sets them apart from the rest of the world’s produce? Join us as we learn the answers to these questions and how to choose quality and how to buy for our markets.

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World’s Largest Aquamarine -120,000 Carats!

We had the great pleasure of viewing what is considered the worlds largest aquamarine, a gem weighing an astounding 120,000 carats. Brought to JOGS 2012 during the Tucson Gem Show, this gem was shown to us by its discoverers and owners at BMG NY, a firm based in Pakistan. Discovered in 2010 by one of the brothers from this family owned firm, this gem has an astounding shape and color, never found in this sized crystal before.

During our time with this wonderful dealer, well known for their huge gem quality cut amethysts and citrines, we also get a brief education on selecting beautiful gems for ourselves. So please join us for the visit to this record-worthy aquamarine and the friendly people who are rightly proud to possess it.

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A Buying Guide for Turquoise with Sunwest Silver

Sunwest Silver - Turquoise pendant and bracelet

Ernie Montoya started Sunwest Silver years ago, and has built it into one of the world’s largest turquoise suppliers, with six mines of its own, and over 30 different varieties of turquoise in stock. Famed throughout history, this beautiful blue stone has had a special place in the hearts and minds of the Native American peoples of the American Southwest, and every year at JOGS the world gets a chance to purchase some of the finest materials available.

Sunwest Silver - Turquoise Necklaces

Join us as we speak with Stacey Turpen, the man who is in charge of Sunwest’s turquoise from the time it is mined, while it is shaped and cut, and finally matched with the right buyers. Stacey explains how to judge turquoise on hardness, color, and matrix; how to avoid buying fake or imitation turquoise; and which types of turquoise are most appropriate for various uses.

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Address: 3750 E. Irvington Rd., Tucson, AZ 85714
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Los Angeles, CA 90014, USA
Phone: (213) 629-3030
Fax: (213) 629-3434
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JOGS International Exhibits, LLC
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Tucson, AZ 85714