While serving as President of the prestigious 100-year-old firm, F&F Felger, Inc., Brad Garman received his American Gem Society Graduate Gemologist degree. He became an AGS Certified Gemologist® in 1976 and has met the annual educational requirements to maintain his membership to date. After achieving a thorough knowledge of manufacturing and gemology, designing fine jewelry became a natural progression.
Brad has traveled S.E. Asia extensively for 35 years where his passion for colored gemstones flourished. Brad Garman Designs maintains an office, manufacturing facility and staff in Bangkok Thailand. The attention to top quality manufacturing is exquisite.
He has developed a network of “artisan miners,” suppliers and friends that encompasses nearly every continent. This supply network has provided B G Designs with a selection of the finest quality colored gemstones which are the essential element in his designs. In developing the company’s suppliers, he has the confidence that “conflict stones” do not enter the market.
Brad has a strong belief that his designs should not detract from what nature has so painstakingly created. His philosophy of “clean” designs, letting the colored gemstone be the focal point, has allowed him to enjoy an extremely successful relationship with the top independent Retail Jewelers in the United States.
Inquiring minds want to know: What upcoming trends does Brad see for colored gemstones?
“Fancy cuts, fancy shapes, and specialty gems that no one else has. For instance, everyone carries ruby, sapphire, and emerald, but not everyone has the passion and focus for an electric Paraiba tourmaline, a gorgeous tsavorite, or a fine precious topaz.”
He adds that customers want to be unique. “They want something different, that no one else has. I also feel that they want versatility in their jewelry. I make, for example, slide pendants that you can wear horizontally or vertically and dangle earrings that convert into studs.”
Black opal is one of Brad’s favorite gemstones. “You will never see two that have the same play of color. I need to do very little design with them because they speak for themselves so beautifully.”