Operating from Miami, Queensland, Facets Australia is the culmination of a vision started by Orestis Palos (formerly Papaeliopoulos) in the gem fields of Umba, Tanganyika, now known as Tanzania. Orestis and his family were instrumental in the development of the mining industry in East Africa and specialised in the mining of fancy coloured Sapphires and many varieties of Garnet, Tourmaline and other speciality gemstones, including colour change Sapphires and Alexandrite.
Moving to Australia in 1969, Orestis continued his love affair with fine coloured stones by forming Gempalos & Co. and trading originally from his home and then from a city office where he continued his work until his passing in September 2000. His passion for beautiful gemstones was passed on to his son, George, whose passionate affair with all things coloured was cemented by his attendance at G.I.A in California in 1980.
After Orestis’ passing the business was sold and in time faded from the jewellery industry. Facets Australia came into being in early March, 2002 with George travelling far and wide in his search for the finest coloured stones for the jewellery industry. Specialising in Sapphire, both blue and fancy coloured, Tourmaline, Tsavorite, Aquamarine, Morganite, Heliodor, and many other varieties of exotic stones. His travels take him to exotic locations such as the Union of Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand, Vietnam, Tanzania, Kenya and many other exciting ports.
Each and every gemstone chosen for the Facets Australia range is handpicked to ensure it meets quality standards second to none in the Australian coloured stone market, whether it is an Alexandrite or an Amethyst. George’s passion is such that much of his time is spent in educating both the jewellery industry and the public through product knowledge lectures throughout Australia.
The culmination of George’s dream was the re-acquisition of the family name Gempalos and Co. in April 2005 and his hope is that he can further the vision begun by his father so many years before him.