Colored Stones / Industry

JCK Asks… Gem Dealer Dave Bindra


50 plus carat Mozambique paraiba tourmaline
A 50+ ct. Mozambique paraiba tourmaline

If you’re a gem lover, you might know Dave Bindra from Instagram, where, as @gemfluencer, he posts enviable photographs of exquisite gemstones—how does he get those perfect pics?—in various locales, sometimes simply hovering over his color-coordinated kicks. And if you’re a gem buyer, you undoubtedly know Bindra from B&B Fine Gems, the Los Angeles–based family business selling fine-quality, and often rare, colored stones.

Bindra described what B&B showed at the recent JCK Las Vegas expo like so: “Our sapphire collection is hot this year. I see blue making a strong push, especially in the medium to pastel tones. We also have a few spectacular Tanzanian spinels in neon red to pink tones. They’ve been one of the most desirable items in the market in the last year, so we are very excited to showcase what we’ve been lucky to acquire.”

Bindra family
The Bindra family

Age: 38

Number of years in the biz: 15

Number of employees you oversee or work with: 7

Family and pets: My mother, Lavi; my father, Ruben; and my sister, Sabrina—that’s my core team. Lucky to have family so close to me in my business and life. Unfortunately no pets at the moment, but I’d love to have a dog!

Your personal style: I don’t know that I have a specific style. I value comfort and quality over anything else. Fine Italian fabrics are a love language.

10 plus carat Malaya garnet
A 10+ ct. Malaya garnet

Favorite gemstone: Hands down, spinel—it is the gem of the past, the present, and the future.

Most underrated gemstone: Garnets are about to have their moment.

Best piece of advice you ever received: “It takes a lifetime to build a reputation of integrity, and a split second to wipe it away.”

Worst piece of advice: “Talent beats hard work.”

First job ever: I’ve always been an entrepreneur. My first gig was deejaying and throwing parties in high school.

How did you get started in the gem business? I had no plan to ever join my family’s firm. I grew up around the gem business and have been traveling to Tucson since I was 5, so the magic of the material we work with has always enchanted me. I was lucky enough to join this business and fall in love with both the gems we handle as well as the incredible human element of the international community we are a part of.

Sri Lankan sapphires
Loose Sri Lankan sapphires

If you weren’t in the gem business, what would you be doing? Anything in the design space would be a dream. I’ve always wanted to design hotels/facades.

What’s your secret to taking such great gem photos and videos? Patience and lighting. Lighting is everything!

Shah and Shah lagoon tourmaline necklace
Shah & Shah Distinctive Jewelers lagoon tourmaline pendant

Jewelry you’re wearing right now: GMT-Master II Rolex, Kabana opal ring, Victor Velyan gold chains, Shah & Shah Distinctive Jewelers lagoon tourmaline pendant


Five items on your desk right now: Triplet Hawk loupe, tweezers, calculator, a parcel of gray spinels, and a chunk of pink opal rough

Five songs on your playlist: “Heavy Love Affair,” Marvin Gaye; “N.Y. State of Mind,” Nas; “Do Like You,” Stevie Wonder; ­“Quitate la Mascara,” Ray Barretto; “Sorry Not Sorry,” Tyler, the Creator

Exercise regimen: I try to practice yoga and meditation daily and do get in the gym a few times a week. My favorite is hiking, though. We’re blessed with some incredible terrain in L.A., and there is no greater feeling than conquering that hill.

EspressoWhat did you have for breakfast? Four egg whites with an espresso—very Cali.

Guilty pleasure: Trader Joe’s dark chocolate truffles

Drink (daytime/evening): Green tea/fine extra añejo or reposado tequila (preferably Amor Mío) on a big rock with an orange twist

First websites you check every day (not your own!): The New York Times and The Economist

The Creative Act a way of being book coverScent: I use a combination I can’t reveal, but let’s just say it’s heavy on the bergamot.

How do you unwind? Low lights, great music, perhaps a good book.

Book you’re reading: The Creative Act: A Way of Being

Book you’ve been meaning to get to: Tao Te Ching

Favorite movie: The Godfather or Gladiator 


Who would play you in your life story? I’d rather have a biography than a biopic.

Personal motto: “Faith is what you make it.”

Garnet: Jeff Mason; Shah & Shah pendant: Dave Bindra; Nas: Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty; Gladiator: © DreamWorks/courtesy Everett; espresso: Cyril Aucher/iStock/Getty

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By: Melissa Rose Bernardo

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