Anyone can walk into a jewelry shop and pick out a necklace. Only some can have jewelry created for them. That’s what Greg Jezarian, a concierge jeweler in New York City’s diamond district, does for clients around the world — when he’s not riding motorcycles or racing cars competitively. Max Luxe spoke to Jezarian about pieces he’s designed, engagement rings he’s delivered cross-country by motorcycle, and what luxury clients are buying in the jewelry market.
– What’s your typical work day like?
Since I was a kid, I knew I would own my own business, and as I watched other business owners I knew I didn’t want my business to own me. I see private clients by appointment only, one on one. It’s not uncommon to have a engagement ring client in my office on a Monday, a diamond stud sale at my home office on a Tuesday and then fly to a client for a Friday wherever I’m needed. I’ve always been more of a quality over quantity person and I think that reflects in my pieces and certainly in the people who are drawn to my firm.
– What is one interesting piece you’ve helped create for clients?
The prestidigitation ring, which we nicknamed the PrestoRing! At some point, a professional magician was referred to me and wanted a special engagement ring for his love. Naturally, there needed to be some sleight of hand. I hashed out some ideas and met him after a show in Boston. He chose a magnificent long and thin emerald cut diamond and gave me full control over the mounting. What I created was a ring within a ring. First it looked like a simple, hand-carved platinum band until the abracadabra moment; a slight twist of the ring revealed a hidden, flawless diamond which was concealed.
Interesting corollary to the story…I assumed someone with magical powers would be able to nail the one piece of homework I’d given and find out: I asked him to find out her finger size. It was crucial to get it perfect for an intricate ring like this. Not a chance; that was the hardest part of the job! Ultimately he ended up asking a close friend of hers for guidance.
– What’s the most unusual request you’ve received from a client?
Historically, the jewelry industry in NY closes for July, so, naturally, I had a client in San Diego call with an engagement-ring build that needed to be in hand July 14. I explained how I was closing in July to cross a bucket-list item off and ride the entire length of US Route 66 on motorcycle. We brainstormed a bit and he came up with a great idea: I was to deliver the ring to him in San Diego via motorbike. This was a challenge I agreed to immediately.
I left New York City on July 1st with his ring in my motorcycle jacket pocket. His one request was that I stop at every silly roadside attraction on Route 66 and take a photo with the ring. His goal was to have hundreds of random photos of this random guy holding a ring box all over the country and he was going to show his girlfriend these photos on July 14. The last photo, of course, was he and I shaking hands, and a sign reading, “Will you marry me?”
– What trends are you seeing right now in high-end jewelry?
Especially in the last few years, I’m noticing the wealthy are buying $100,000-plus investment-grade diamonds. These types of stones are known to appreciate over time, yet can be worn and enjoyed while they work for you. As I recall, one client lamented, “I wish my Bentley would do that.”
But not all of these diamonds look the part to the untrained eye. I have one client whose ear studs weigh a mere 4.00 carats total weight. What nobody knows is that each ear is holding a perfect 2.00 carat round brilliant certified D-Flawless diamond, approximately $50,000 each. Her rationale: she can be anywhere in the world and have these valuable and liquid commodities with her at all times. If there’s an emergency, she can live quite comfortably from each ear until things get sorted. Try that with a credit card.