Artful Hands: Scott Gauthier

<< Back to Robb Report, November 2004

Scott Gauthiér enjoys relaying an ancient legend about how the Ming Dynasty traded two cities for a single cat’s-eye chrysoberyl, a captivating yellowish-green gemstone that reflects a band of light across its center. He believes the Ming family got the better of the exchange. “If I want a beautiful blue sapphire or ruby, I have hundreds of great gems to choose from,” explains the 36-year-old, who opened his Scottsdale, Ariz., gallery and workshop at the age of 21. “But if I want a spectacular cat’s-eye chrysoberyl, I might be able to locate one or two—if I’m lucky.”

This genre, known as phenomenal gemstones, is distinguished by chatoyancy, a changeable luster or color with undulating bands of light created by natural, reflective fibrous inclusions. Unlike a sparkling brilliant diamond, these subtle, unfaceted stones appear opaque and do not attract attention at first glance. A closer look, however, reveals their magical properties.

Gauthiér, who began collecting the stones five years ago, has amassed a cache of about 70 high-quality phenomenal gems, including a few alexandrites, which change from red under incandescent light to green in daylight. One of his prized stones, an exceptional-quality 96-carat blue star sapphire, recently sold for $760,000. But not all phenomenal gems are so costly, says Gauthiér, adding that his 15-carat lavender star sapphire is a great value at $16,000.

To enhance the distinctive optical characteristics of the gemstones, Gauthiér crafts striking geometric gold and platinum settings. “Each stone has a life of its own,” he says. “It has a history and story that is waiting to be uncovered once you place it in a piece of jewelry, and people can discover the magic.”

Photo by Emanuele Marietti
A fresh wave of jewelry elegantly emulates coastal flora and fauna…
A new jewelry collection reveals African roots with refined designs…
New butterfly designs from some of the world’s most esteemed jewelers take flight for summer…
The founder and designer Cindy Chaplin gives distinctive antiques new life…
FREE PREVIEW: Wallace Chan is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best selections…
Chanel, Mikimoto, Todd Reed, and others reinterpret the classic gem…
The reportedly $2 million Pearl Egg is Fabergé’s first piece in a new series of private commissions…
Photo by Doyle New York
In its 53 years, Doyle has auctioned the estates of Gloria Swanson, Bette Davis, and other film...
The show will spotlight a selection of rare pieces from seven of the world’s top diamond houses…
Photo by Bertrand Moulin
A cloak of secrecy has long kept the jewelry trade hidden from public view...