INTERVIEW – Gembridge Brazil Ambassador Manuela Soares is at the cutting edge of digital gemstone trades


Dealer Manuela Soares talks about her first and her most satisfying digital gemstone sales as Brazil’s Ambassador for the Gembridge online marketplace.

What led you to join Gembridge as its Brazil Ambassador?

We began the digitization of our business in Brazil, ArtOuro, six years ago. The pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of the gemstones and jewellery business because of the cancellation of the gem shows. When I decided to become Ambassador, I did so because I believe that Gembridge’s model is the best for the gems trade: based on trust, security, and ideal for cross-border transactions.

Gembridge promotes more business, manages counterparty risks and reduces transaction costs.

Also, it has been great to be with with some of the best minds in the gemstones business.

Dealer Manuela Soares
Manuela Soares

What is your background as a gems dealer?

I am the third generation of a traditional gem dealing family in Teófilo Otoni, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

My city is one of the most important trading centres of coloured gems in the world. Brazil is one of the largest producers of coloured precious stones, in both quantity and variety.

My parents, Marcelo and Vitoria Soares, started the company in 1986 and I am in charge now with my mother. I began developing my talent as an entrepreneurial woman from an early age, helping my parents in the office.

After a long experience in business abroad, I decided to bring what I had learned to the family company and in 2013, inspired by my passion for innovation, relating to people and entrepreneurship, I took over the marketing and sales area at our company, ArtOuro.

In a short time, ArtOuro became the first online jewellery store specialized in gemstones for the Brazilian market.

What was your first sale at Gembridge?

My first sale was an amazing pear-shaped imperial topaz weighing about 10 carats.

We sold it to an Australian buyer, a new client. Also it was his first purchase using Gembridge.

pear-shaped imperial topaz 10ct

What have been your other most satisfying sales at Gembridge?

I think it was the first Paraiba tourmaline that I sold, a one-carat Mozambican oval blue.

It was interesting because we had been working hard to get the best image of a Paraiba. We had been striving in the last few years to capture the neon of the Paraibas in pictures — and it’s been a very hard job. And I really think that we are very good at that, because the client loved the stone and he subsequently bought from us again.

1ct Mozambican oval blue.

Gembridge has opened up a consumer marketplace for gemstones and jewellery, in which so-called “Friends of Gembridge” can buy gems and jewellery. What is the future for digital selling of gemstones to enthusiasts and collectors?

This market is growing fast, even here in Brazil. A few years ago, we could not have foreseen a high demand for gemstone investments directly for final consumers. But it has been changing.

Rubies, emeralds and diamonds have been beloved of collectors, based on their solid returns.

But newer entrants like Paraiba tourmalines and indicolites have been performing even better as investments.

Like all investments, gemstones carry risk, and profits are not assured. But for anybody interested in building a collection, Gembridge is the best place to be, because it encompasses some outstanding gem dealers.


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