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Article: Diving into the Jewelry Trade, Head First!

Anup Jogani

Diving into the Jewelry Trade, Head First!

Ah, the elusive perfect gemstone. Just one could take millions of years to form and rise to the earth’s surface, months of deliberation and planning, and weeks of painstaking, steady-handed cutting - and an instant to take your breath away.

I’m Anup Jogani, and I spend years treasure-hunting and countless hours working with gem cutters and master jewelers. I’m dedicated to putting iconic stones in the most unique and artful settings, to create gorgeous heirloom pieces unlike anything else on the market.

Though it can be difficult, I can't imagine a cooler job than mine. The unending chase for something special, the hours spent at pawn shops and estate sales, the quirky and wonderful characters I meet, the incredible artwork that passes through my safe and into my showroom -- it's different every day, and it's never boring… and I want to share the journey with you. On this blog, I'll give you an insider's view of the fine jewelry world and show you a perspective you've never seen before.

This blog will be a look into my daily life as a jeweler. We'll dive into:

  • The art of hunting for treasure: how I identify and value the most unique, beautiful, and iconic pieces on the market
  • Tales from the world of pawn shops, estate sales and antique shows
  • The making of the wildest deals
  • Insider talk on great old cuts and stones that mainstream jewelers aren't bringing you
  • What to look for when shopping for fine jewelry, and what to call BS on.

I'm going to be as open with you as I am with everyone I meet: there are no trade secrets, there will be no pulled punches -- just straight talk about the best and worst of what I find in my travels around the world of jewelry.

What I Do and Why:

My approach as a designer is heavily shaped by the things I find frustrating and boring about today’s world of high jewelry. The industry places a huge emphasis on uniformity and hyper-engineered cuts designed to maximize brilliance, but I’m dedicated to hunting for special stones that bring soul and romance to the jewelry.

My work offers an alternative: each piece is a singular ode to the crystal, an homage to the material itself. I want to bring gemstones back to an emotional place. My pieces -- whether they're my originals or classic, rare treasures curated by my expert team -- are a rejection of computer-engineered, too-perfect modern stones. I look for the most charismatic, unique, and special stones and cuts available. I look for stuff that gets my heart beating. I look for stones I can't live without.

A lot of designers today pay homage to the Art Deco era... but without bringing consumers the amazing precision and workmanship that I love most about that time. Why? Well, a big design house or jeweler just can't make money putting a master craftsman to work on a single piece for a year or 18 months of his life the way they might have in the 1920s. Art and massively scalable business are mutually exclusive. But without that kind of loving, painstaking, all-consuming attention, Art Deco style jewelry isn't worth the effort! That's why I've maintained my business as a boutique, a labor of love. If we grow beyond the scale where I can give each piece the level of attention and care I feel it deserves, I'll get out of the business.

A few top design houses have  share that same old stone mentality, bringing charming stones into the modern era. Great designers have in some way, revolutionized the way jewelry is presented. My goal is to do the same thing, on whatever scale I can manage -- to fundamentally change how stones and materials are arranged and bring you jewelry that's totally unique.

My vision is to bring you the industrial, hard-and-soft motifs of the Art Deco era along with novel materials and arrangements that nobody else in the world has ever done.

If you're interested in jewelry, keep reading. If you'd like an inside look at my crazy life, my design process, my treasure hunting and stone sourcing process, my thoughts on the good, bad, and ugly of the jewelry game It's going to be exciting, it's going to be different, it's going to be beautiful! Stay tuned.

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