INTERVIEW-Gembridge Chairman Tony Brooke, visiting Tucson show, sees increasing take-up of online trading


The global gems community increasingly accepts that the digital transformation of gemstone trading is under way and irreversible, as reflected in growing registrations on the Gembridge digital gemstones and jewellery marketplace, its Founder and Chairman Tony Brooke tells Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough after a visit to Tucson Gem Show earlier this month.

Gembridge Chairman Tony Brooke

Tony Brooke

As Chairman of Gembridge, what was your objective in attending the Tucson gem show? 

Primarily to introduce existing and potential members of Gembridge to our new partnership with a large Chinese “e-retailer” which will open the way for Gembridge members to sell their gemstones in the burgeoning retail jewellery market initially in Shanghai but then countrywide. Gembridge has initiated a reseller programme with our Chinese partner which will ultimately lead to a business model which we intend to roll out in other major markets worldwide such as India and Indonesia.

Had the gem trade community attending the show heard of Gembridge and what did they think about digital trading of coloured gemstones? 

Virtually every booth holder at both the AGTA and GJX shows had heard of Gembridge and were in full agreement that the time is right for the online trading of gemstones and jewellery to take off. Indeed, the desire to increase their online sales through Gembridge was exciting and we are looking forward to working with the many current and new members of Gembridge over 2022 to open multiple markets around the world with a hassle-free experience and big upside for sales growth.

Tucson show

Did your meetings trigger enquiries to register to join Gembridge as trading members? 

All targeted major wholesalers of coloured gemstones at both the AGTA and GJX shows are in the process of registering with Gembridge. Our technical team will be working with each new member to upload their digital catalogue together with the images and videos that we know will give online buyers the confidence to purchase.

Tucson show

How do you see the future relationship between trade shows like Tucson and digital trading of gemstones and jewellery? 

I see a symbiotic relationship going forward, with physical and virtual shows working for the benefit of the gemstone and jewellery industry worldwide. In Gembridge’s case, this might include physical stones and a virtual presence at stand-alone booths at various shows worldwide which will highlight Gembridge members’ stones for sale.

Tucson show