Lumina Gem was founded by Bradley “Brad” Bass, a graduate of East Carolina University with a concentration in metal design and also the Gemological Institute of America, (GIA) in Carlsbad, California. At GIA, he was awarded the institute’s prestigious Graduate Gemologist diploma, having long been regarded as the jewelry industry’s highest academic credential. He is also accredited by the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.
After graduating from GIA, Brad started his career in Wilmington with a local retail jewelry store, where he worked for 5 years. In 2009, he decided to go out on his own, and founded Lumina Gem, with offices at Lumina Station. His emphasis was on appraising, custom design and brokering fine gems.
In 2010, he partnered up with Jeannie Bethel to locate Lumina Gem within Home Again. In the time since, the business has grown to be a full service jewelry store that specializes in all aspects of the jewelry business.
Brad was born and raised in Nashville, NC, a small town where many of his family members live today, and a place where he still has strong ties. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, golf, surfing, working out, volleyball and boating. His favorite gemstones are the phenomenal gemstones which include alexandrite, star ruby and sapphire, labradorite, and opal.
For over 20 years, Ms. Bethel was an executive in the wholesale side of the furniture industry, as VP of Sales of two major furniture brands. Her work took her all over the globe including Europe, South America and Asia.
Having lived in Wilmington since 1987, she always felt that there was a need for an upscale consignment store in the Mayfaire/Wrightsville Beach area, and she opened Home Again Fine Consignments in 2009. Fine jewelry was always an interest of Jeannie’s, and after a chance meeting in 2010 with Brad Bass, the founder of Lumina Gem, the two partnered up to locate Lumina Gem within Home Again.
Jeannie Bethel was born and grew up in Camden, South Carolina, and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.
Jenna Watkins Malowany
Jenna serves as Lumina Gem’s store manager. She literally grew up surrounded by gemstones, as her family owns and operates Hiddenite Gems in Hiddenite, NC, the only emerald mine in the United States that is open to the public for prospecting emeralds. She is an NC State University Alumni and also a Diamond Graduate from the International School of Gemology.
She was a buyer/inventory manager for America’s Auction Network, a home shopping network in Florida, for five years where she bought a multitude of gemstones and jewelry for their 24 hour network. She has a wealth of experience in the jewelry business including market trends, custom design and jewelry repair, appraisals, and gold buying.
Jenna has a huge passion for colored gemstones, music, animals, and cooking. Her favorite gemstones are the gemstones found in the beryl family (emerald, morganite, aquamarine, heliodor).
Casey Cobb is Lumina Gem’s in-house jewelry extraordinaire. If it is possible to repair a piece of jewelry, Casey can do it; the level of his professionalism and precision is unparalleled.
Casey has been repairing jewelry for 23 years, and he is respected nationwide. He has a rolodex full of stores that have trusted him for repair work, including Tiffany & Co.
Under his direction, not only does Lumina Gem do repairs for their own clients, but for other national jewelry stores as well. Casey’s favorite gemstones are tanzanite, garnet and topaz.
Our ray of sunshine at Lumina Gem is Megan James! She has been with Lumina Gem as a sales associate from the very beginning, and brings a vast knowledge of designer brands, from Alwand Vahan to Slane, to the store.
Prior to Lumina Gem, Megan served as the manager for S. Burke Jewelry for many years. She has a huge following of loyal customers who trust her knowledge and input with their jewelry buying decisions, and also her genuine friendliness and willingness to help.
Megan is a graduate of the High Point University, where she attended on a tennis scholarship, and her favorite gemstones are turquoise, diamonds, and tiger’s eye.
Jamie LEIGH WILSON
Jamie's degree in Marine Biology at UNCW has given her a natural interest in the gemolocigal part of the jewelry industry.
Jamie is well versed in all aspects of the jewelry business. She is geniune and eager to help our customers find the perfect piece of jewelry that will last them a lifetime. Jamie also has an eye for detail and loves perfection. This ocean lover is attracted to aquamarine, Paraiba tourmaline, larimar and chalcedony because of their beautiful color.