Who are we ?

It is the infinite beauty of the stones that prompted us to take the plunge
in the adventure
Bello Gems to share our passion.

Bello Gems, as you specify, is above all a story of a couple. Frédérique, tell us a bit about yourself and your husband, Mauricio.

Yes, that’s why we speak of “one stone for two Bello’s”.

The company Bello Gems it is really the result of my encounter with Mauricio. It was in 2002 in Mexico. I had just finished my Masters in Arts Management in London. Having grown up in the South and after several years spent in England, I wanted to find the sun again. So I swapped the London fog for themexican shores . I was working in an art gallery in Oaxaca and it was around this time that I met Mauricio, my future husband. He was jeweler , he was making all his parts entirely by hand. He also took care of finding and buying precious stones to sell them to his network of clients by traveling throughout South America.

Following this encounter, we both decided to go to Honduras and in the heart of Mexico to search and buy opals . This is where I discovered the world of stones, the world of opals. And it is love at first sight! This is how it all started. We came back with 60 kg of rough opals from Honduras. They were brought back by bus across Central America. It was the Adventure, it was magic!

Mauricio had a contact in the Czech Republic to whom he sold these stones. Shortly after we decided to come try our luck in Europe . We also went through Bulgaria and by Italy before landing, a few years later at Marseilles , where we finally put our luggage.

Why and how you
have you launched into
the Bello Gems adventure?

When we arrived in Marseille, we were aware that we would not make a living from the sale of precious stones. And our paths have led us to different professions. It was then that I took the road to studies and to the office. With a new Masters in hand, I worked for eight years in the field of ethics and compliance in a large international group. Eight years very rich in encounters and experiences. But I neededto give back meaning to what I was doing and regaining my autonomy. Quickly, the profession of gemologist seemed obvious to me. Like a desire to reconnect with my first loves. It allowed me to combine values and professional motivation , while allowing me to access a new way of life, based on the sharing of knowledge, independence and travel. If we have always had a close relationship with Latin America , we already have new projects in Asia, as in Africa… There are stones all over the world, and many remain to be discovered. The whole earth is one huge playground!

There is something magical about thinking that nature forms precious stones in the heart of the earth and that they gradually come back to us. I never tire of it!

As for the brand Bello Gems , she comes from Bello, who means in Spanish what is beautiful . It’s also my husband’s last name, Mauricio, and now mine. It is about this beauty that we wish to speak. The infinite beauty of stones that prompted us to embark on the adventure Bello Gems to share our passion.

A
Couple
history

Opale Bleue Facettée en France

You focus on the ethical approach of Bello Gems. Can you tell us a little more?

Indeed, we envisage our activity in a ethical and responsible approach . When he was in Mexico, Mauricio was already involved in many community projects. For him the aspect human is essential. The sharing and exchange are essential things. Trade is not an end in itself, it must also be the means of build lasting relationships . A “human” trade in stones in a way.

For my part, I am aware of these values thanks to my professional career. I have a more theoretical and academic vision of what ethics could be. And in today’s world where companies ask for charters, formal commitments… .this knowledge is necessary.

We want to set up long-lasting relationships based on trust because without it, we just don’t want to work. Especially since we cannot move around all the time as we would like. We really have to find ways to work together, to be aware of cultural differences and accept them. We mainly work with artisanal miners who often can hardly read or write. These are difficulties that must be taken into account and which require a lot of mutual understanding . You cannot arrive there and impose your rules.

It is truly a knowledge exchange where everyone expresses themselves and delivers their skills. On our side, we can give them advice on logistics, management of their infrastructure … We are in a way their hotline when they need advice and information related to their activity. We do not envision our activity without having a social impact, it is essential. One way or another, the human is at the heart of the process and everyone must be able to benefit from it in a concrete way.

Today, can we find blue opal on the site, a stone that is still relatively unknown in France? Why this gem? A favorite ?

Opal is really the stone that made me discover the universe of gems . First of all the fire opal from Mexico and the Matrix opal from Honduras. The amazing thing about opal is that each stone is a “universe” whose iridescent colors change with light and movement. Every time we look at our opal it’s a new world, we can observe it endlessly, we will always discover new things, new details.

So it’s true that for me opal is my first love and it is also my meeting with Mauricio. This project for two is obvious! As for the Blue opal , it reminds us of the daily blue of Marseille sky like the changing blue of the Mediterranean. It’s something that makes us both vibrate, it’s a solar universe that we love and that defines us. We are lovers of the sea, so for us it is a real pleasure to always take a little piece of the sea with us.

The common blue opal it is a rather rare stone . Today there are two or even three known sources in the world. Owyhee Opal can be found in Oregon with a slightly washed out tone like blue jeans. I know that we also get a little in Brazil. But the only site where you can get gem quality blue opal , is the Peru . We are the blue opal specialists in France . And we are the only ones able to offer this gem quality stone on personalized order: weight, size, shape …

Find the stones, enter
in contact with minors,
polish, cut, distribute ...
are you on all fronts?

Yes it is, and it is essential for us. Today we talk a lot about traceability precious stones. And traceability, we can only assure the customer if we control the chain from A to Z. The stones, we know where they come from, we buy them rough . We work certain stones ourselves and we entrust the others to trustworthy people with whom we establish long-term relationships. It also allows us to ensure that we purchase stones without treatment , which have not been tampered with. We are 100% sure of what we offer our customers. We stand surety all the way through the stone, from mine to polish.

Tomorrow Bello Gems will extend its activity to other stones. What do you offer to customers who have very specific requests?

It is true that we wish initially to orient ourselves mainly towards the Latin American gemstones , and there are a lot of them! However, it is not restrictive. If we have a specific command for a stone that can only be found in Africa or Asia, we will look for it on the spot. Our approach is to listen to customers in order to best determine their desires and be able to give them complete satisfaction. We will always have the solution so that our customers are satisfied with the order placed , it is a firm commitment that we are making.

Through my FGA course (Fellowship of Gemologial Association of Great Britain), which is technically recognized as the best diploma in gemology internationally , I have developed a very demanding stone selection process. It will obviously be linked to everyone’s budgets. My theoretical and field knowledge allow me to be sure of what I propose: I communicate in all transparency all the information concerning the stone .. Mauricio, for his part, has a more artistic vision thanks to his training in jewelry. He brings a creative eye and easily imagines upon seeing a stone end use.

We can create a personalized jewelry , from its conception to its manufacture. Through all of our travels, we have developed a global network . We have contacts in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa where I traveled a lot for my old job. Among these relationships, we work with designers, jewelers, lapidaries, and gem-setters who will be able to create and manufacture for our clients a unique jewel .