Robert Bentley’s booth No. 322 at the AGTA GemFair Tucson is a wonderland of beautiful stones. And when he applies his artist’s eye (he’s a painter) for shapes and colors to the bounty of rough gems he sources from Brazil and enlists his factory workers in Teófilo Otoni, Brazil, to cut, the results are awe-inspiring one-of-a-kind selections for which designers—and this editor—fall hard.
Bentley told me yesterday that he sold out of six strands of Brazilian emeralds on the morning of opening day, but that aquamarines (with a strong emphasis on unique crystal structures) and tourmalines were also selling well.
“It was a challenging year for sourcing,” he explained. And while he had a decent inventory of Paraiba cabs, he wasn’t selling as many—not yet at least—as in years past. Still, the show is young (it ends Feb. 8). “There’s usually a buying frenzy early in the show for the one-of-a-kinds, and then there’s more reflection on other high-end stones before other purchases,” he observes.
To see more new jewels live from the show floor, follow me on Instagram @JenniferHeebner.
Brazilian Emerald Strands
About: Six strands of plates were available
Treatment: Oil as a by-product of cutting
Keystone price per piece: Not available because they sold out to one high-profile jewelry designer on the morning of the first day (contact Bentley for future purchases when more material is available)
Watermelon Tourmaline Strands
Editor’s note: There is a filter on this image to make the color pop, but this shade isn’t too far off from what you’ll see in person.
About: Eight strands of plates are available
Keystone price per piece: $7,012 for this strand
Mixed Gemstone Strands
About: Three strands are available and contain tanzanite, spessartite garnet, grossular garnet, yellow beryl, aquamarine, and others
Treatment: Tanzanite, aquamarine, and tourmaline are heated, the rest are not
Keystone price per piece: $3,500 to $4,000 per strand
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