By Brecken Branstrator
This year, I was lucky enough to add a trip to Centurion while I was out west, a show that I really enjoyed.

I was spoiled with a week of warm weather, great people and some pretty spectacular jewelry. Here are six of my favorite pieces from my seven days in the desert.

1. Baguette beauties
Suzanne Kalan’s baguette collection never fails to impress. At Centurion, they had a wonderful variety of baguette cluster studs, drop earrings with baguette accents and baguette bangles, which they told me had been doing extremely well during the show, and I immediately saw why.

Suzanne Kalan

Delicate enough to be paired with other arm pieces but still with enough character and glam to be worn on their own, the bangles also were extremely comfortable to wear.

2. All about that ear
Anyone who knows my jewelry tastes knows I am a huge sucker for the earring trends that are happening right now. It was through Instagram that Kismet by Milka first caught my eye with an awesome pair of ear jackets, so I was only too happy to go meet them in person at the Fragments booth at Centurion.

Here’s the piece itself, and I also wanted to show the original image from Fragments’ Instagram account that caught my eye and attracted me to the brand. I just loved the way the front and back pieces are positioned to be askew like that.

Kismet by Milka

The booth also had a lot of great delicate diamond and jewelry pieces perfect for everyday wear or layering.

3. Emerging talent
I met Babette Shennan for the first time when I was in Tucson last year, and instantly was smitten with her collections, particularly the large cocktail “Gingko” rings. She had additions to both lines with her at AGTA GemFair, but she also does one-of-a-kind pieces, and this year’s standout to me was this pair of hand-carved Burmese jadeite earrings.

Babette Shennan

The detailing is stunning, and the rubellite and pink diamond accents perfectly contrast with the dark background.

4. A trade show sweet tooth
I love when jewelry takes a fun, fanciful turn. Gumuchian’s new ice cream cone rings are not only extremely wearable--the kind of piece you’d throw on days in a row--but they also put a smile on everyone’s face that saw them.


The shank of the rings were designed to have detailing like a real Belgian waffle cone and the colored gemstones were chosen for their designated flavor, with little accents that actually do make it look like scooped ice cream.

The chocolate cone features an obsidian in the center, pistachio is chrysoprase, strawberry is rhodochrosite, and vanilla features a very interesting opaque white stone called cacholong, also known as Kalmuck agate.

Needless to say, the Gumuchian team reported that they had gotten great response at the show, which doesn’t surprise me all. Combining a favorite sweet treat and great design? Count me in.

5. Octahedron attention
The look of rough gems and diamonds set in jewelry always has appealed to me, and the same can be said with raw stones. The octahedron diamonds that Todd Reed uses in some of his pieces creates the look of a classic piece with instant drama, and I can’t get enough.

Todd Reed

This was only one of many, many pieces that I loved and tried on while I was visiting the booth, but this particular combination of stone, gold and design was at the top for me.

6. Gem hunters
Visiting the Carelle booth was fun for me for a number of reasons; not only did I get to see all of their beautiful jewelry but I also got to talk colored stones with them for a while.

I’ve talked to them for a Rocks On story before, and we got into more gem discussions with team while I was there. They also showed me this beautiful spinel step ring in person.


This is a gemstone that I knew absolutely nothing about before I started at National Jeweler but which has become one of my personal favorites, and I think that the color in this particular stone is perfect. Combine that with the great design and I think it’s one pretty great package.

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