Treasure Hunting with Anup Jogani
One of the most unique, unpredictable, and totally fun aspects of my job is the process of treasure hunting. I travel California, the United States, and the entire world looking for stones and complete jewelry pieces that fit my particular vision: old world grandeur and craftsmanship, sweet stones with beautiful hues and great history, pieces that are unique and beautiful.
I sat down with one of my staff to shed some light on what makes my offerings different and what goes into finding the unique gemstones and pieces of jewelry that I bring to the table. Here are my comments:
What’s your philosophy when you are out looking for merchandise?
AJ: I’m looking for the most unique, sweetest merchandise available. Intriguing old stones. Beautiful flat cuts. Mesmerizing colors. Everything must be unique and separate itself from what’s commonly out there. I’m not interested in merely “pretty” or something I know I can sell. It has to grab my attention and not let go. It has to be special.
What are the biggest challenges you encounter when treasure hunting?
AJ: To find the best of the best you have to hunt in many, many different areas; you can’t just go out there and buy everything. It’s a lot of travel: I travel roughly 30 times a year, and put in a ton of leg work. Identifying the right stones, understanding the merchandise on a very deep level, finding the right signatures. Separating what’s trendy & pretty from what’s truly special.
What is your favorite find?
AJ: [laughing] You can’t make me pick a favorite! A supremely vivid yellow old euro…
Came from an elderly lady named Lulu, who was a character and a half. Before I got to see the stone she did some very impressive high kicks and told me about her past life as a dancer. When I did finally see the stone, it was just perfect. She assured me the gem was certified all natural, but it was so perfect I wasn’t sure I could believe my eyes. I took a risk and bought it anyway, and sure enough upon closer inspection it was everything she said it was. It sold in no time at all, and I’ve always regretted selling that stone.
The pink sapphire I bought out of an auction on the East Coast. It was the most vivid pink I or anyone else I knew had seen in a very long time. A great find and I was thrilled with it. [PIC].
What Makes Your Search Process Different?
AJ: My strength is depth of knowledge, first and foremost. I think I have a well developed appreciation for beauty, and an understanding of the architecture of jewelry — what types of stones and what types of construction to look for. I also rely on a well-balanced sense of color play, but most of all: I’m very picky. What these all really come down to is personal taste and preference, of course. I just trust mine implicitly and refuse to compromise on that. I owe everything to that approach. My customers definitely respond.