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YEREVAN SHOW 2012

Yerevan International Jewellery Show, is a grand international jewellery show held in Armenia. The show is promoted by AJA – Armenian Jewellers’ Association, a nongovernmental organization. At an exhibition jewels from precious metals and batch production stones, unique jewelry of individual execution will be presented, precious and semiprecious stones, pearls, amber, corals, bijouterie, watches, craftwork jewellery tools etc. The special subdivision of Yerevan Police will protect the site and provide for safety of the event based on the Agreement entered into by and between the Show Promoter and Yerevan Police. Yerevan Show 2012 exhibition participates both buyers and exhibitors from many counties and it becomes an effective cooperation platform, which is aimed to develop jewelry business and integrate Armenian jewelry industry in global process. THIS YEAR FOR THE FIRST TIME AT THE EXHIBITION TAKE PART ARMENIAN JEWELERS FROM TURKEY. The exhibition is held under the patronage of President of Republic Armenia (RA) and the Government of RA.

ATTENDIES

GREECE

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 3


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Message from the President

I congratulate all our members, and would like to announce that this year for the first time we celebrate The National Jeweler’s Day. Henceforth it is declared to celebrate in Armenia every last Sunday of October. It is a gift to all Armenian jewelers and our Association, which is already 15 years old and I am hopeful that even after fifteen years, we will once again meet in Yerevan to attend the Yerevan Show and to celebrate this holiday together with our compatriots.. I am sure that the AJA will develop more and more with every year. I am confident that together we will be more successful in this difficult business, and being unified we can be more useful to Armenia. Gagik Gevorkian ÞÝáñѳíáñáõÙ »ÙAJA-Ç “áÉáñ ³Ý¹³ÙÝ»ñÇÝ Ù»ñ ÙÇáõÃÛ³Ý 15-ñ¹ ï³ñ»¹³ñÓÇ Ï³å³ÏóáõÃ۳ٓ: Ø»Í áõñ³ËáõÃ۳ٓ áõ½áõÙ »Ù ݳ¨ ï»Õ»Ï³óÝ»É, áñ ³Ûë ï³ñÇ ³é³çÇÝ ³Ý·³Ù Ù»Ýù г۳ëï³ÝáõÙ ÝßáõÙ »Ýù ¨ë ÙÇ Ï³ñ¨áñ ïáÝ: ²ÛëáõÑ»ï, ³Ù»Ý ï³ñí³ ÑáÏï»Ù“»ñÇ í»ñçÇÝ ÏÇñ³ÏÇÝ å³ßïáݳå»ë ѳÛï³ñ³ñí³Í ¿ àëÏ»ñãÇ ³½·³ÛÇÝ ûñ: ê³ Ù»Í ïáÝ ¿ áã ÙdzÛÝ Ù»ñ ÙÇáõÃÛ³Ý ³Ý¹³ÙÝ»ñÇ Ñ³Ù³ñ, ³Ûɨ ³ß˳ñѳë÷áõé Ñ³Û áëÏ»ñÇãÝ»ñÇ: гÙá½í³Í »Ù, áñ 15 ï³ñÇ ³Ýó Ù»Ýù ÝáñÇó ÏѳݹÇå»Ýù ºñ¨³ÝáõÙ ïáÝ»Éáõ ³Ûë ·»Õ»óÇÏ ûñÁ ³Ù»Ý³ÙÛ³ ¦ºñ¨³Ý Þááõǧ ßñç³Ý³ÏÝ»ñáõÙ ¨ Ñáõëáí »Ù, áñ ï³ñ»óï³ñÇ AJA-Ý ³í»ÉÇ ÏáõŻճݳ ³Ûë áã ¹ÛáõñÇÝ “ǽݻëáõÙ ÙdzëÝ³Ï³Ý ÉÇÝ»Éáõ ßÝáñÑÇí ¨ ³í»ÉÇ û·ï³Ï³ñ ÏÉÇÝÇ Ñ³Ûñ»ÝÇùÇÝ` г۳ëï³ÝÇÝ: ¶³·ÇÏ ¶¨áñ·Û³Ý

6 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


Message from the President

The Government of Armenian Republic Decision 23 August , 2012 # 1070 About the Celebration of the Jeweler’s National Day in Armenian Republic According to the law of Armenian Republic “About Holidays and Memory Days” part 18, the Government of Armenian Republic took a decision : 1. To celebrate the last Sunday of October as The Jeweler’s National day in Armenia; 2. This decision joins into force the next day after its of¿cial publication. Prime Minister of Armenian Republic T. Sargsyan Yerevan 28 August

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 7


INSIDE THIS ISSUE AJA NEWS 14 AJA meetings in Artsakh AJA Visits Washington AJA Visits Lebanon AJA Leaders Visit Turkey AJA Front and Centre at Annual Sporting Event AJA Makes Pitch for CIBJO Congress in Yerevan AJA Member Elected to Russian Watch Board New AJA East Coast Chapter Board Announced

MAIN TOPIC 20 Happy Anniversary, AJA! Memories and expectations

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GOLDEN ROOTS 28 Treasures from the Noble Land Rare jewelry items from Vaspurakan

FACES 34 In conversation with the ‘King of Cufflinks’ Interview with Robert Tateossian

BUSINESS 38 Tips to fix the start-up businesses Bill Boyajian’s column Gold prices erase borders Interview with Ara Shishmanian

AJA WINGS 44 Beautiful Anjar and the Jewelry Trade AJA Lebanon How can the Thai market attract? Interview with Arto Artinian

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COVER JEWEL 50 ”Born to Fly” By Gevorgian

34 50 8 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

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AN RS AR

A J A !

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY,

at page 20

Y

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MASTERPIECE 52 «The phoenix» Masterpiece by Shiroyan

HOROLOGY 56 Steps Ahead of Time “Cvstos” by Sassoun Sirmakes

GOLDEN YOUTH 60 Zeghani by Simon: A new player brand-name backing

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ART IN HEART 62 ARMAN: Born to create A Blend of Byzantine and Goth

DIAMOND CLUB 66 Armenian diamonds shine bright in Russia In conversation with Aram Gevorkian

EVENT 68 JCK Las Vegas 2012 They came, they saw, they bought. YAJA party Siimon G party

10 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

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ARMENIAN JEWELLERS ASSOCIATION

International magazine October 2012 | №4 Editor in Chief: Gayane Manukyan

Dear Readers, In this, our fourth issue, AJA magazine takes a look back at some of the key industry events and the role the AJA and Armenian jewellers played in showcasing the hard work and dedication of our members and the beauty of Armenian jewellery. If you are like most jewellers, a year simply is not complete without a trip to JCK Las Vegas. To learn more about what kind of new pieces Armenian jewellers introduced to showgoers, check out our in-depth coverage beginning on page 68. If you are fond of stories about jewelry heritage, I am sure you would be interested in learning more about the heritage of Armenian jewellery and how a unique show is turning the spotlight on decades of craftsmanship many thought would be lost due to the tragedies of our past. I am, of course, referring to the Russian State Museum of Ethnography in Saint-Petersburg, which is home to the priceless jewellery of Vaspurakan. It is a truly breathtaking exposition and we are pleased to give readers a glimpse at the treasures it holds from Van and Vaspurakan. See page 28 for highlights. I think it goes without saying that to be successful in business you need to keep abreast of new trends, technologies, and the ever-changing markets that influence the price of the goods you sell. Nowhere is this truer than in the jewellery industry, and in particular, the metals market. Inside, you will find our exclusive interview with World Gold Council (WGC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Aram Shishmanian. And if you are at all worried about the price of gold and its effect on the future of your business, you will want to know what he had to say. Finally, as an AJA member, I invite you to join us as we celebrate our 15th anniversary. I am very excited about what AJA has accomplished in such a short period and we pay tribute to the remarkable events, faces, and topics that have helped make the AJA what it is today with a wonderful look back at our past in photographs beginning on page 20. I think you can guess which of the many AJA projects I am most passionate about, the AJA magazine! AJA President Gagik Gevorkian’s enthusiasm for this publication was immediately evident to me and I knew from our very first meeting I wanted to be part of this project. The goal of the magazine was, and continues to be, to unite Armenian jewellers from around the globe and to usher in a new era of involvement of our industry on the world jewellery stage. We still have a long way to go, but I am proud of the modest contributions we have made to date, and I look forward to the journey that lies ahead. Editor-In-Chief Gayane Manukyan

12 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

Contributors: Bill Boyajian Movses Dzirani Lusine Ghushyan Graphic design: Ara Poghosyan Photoraphs: Artur Torosyan Press secretary: Aza Babayan

Edition of 3000 copies: Edited in

Kenilworth Publishing Inc.

Printed in «Nushikyan print» publishing house, Address: Manandyan 33/6 street, Yerevan, Armenia, tell: +374 10-46-46-60 www.ajainternational.com Editorial Of¿ce: 4 Vetkina Street, Moscow, Russia Tell: +7495 988 77 55 (ext. 2563) e-mail: editor@ajainternational.com

Founder and Publisher: «Armenian Jewellers' Association» Non-governmental organization. Address: Republic of Armenia, Yerevan, 1 Amiryan Street State Registry Certi¿cate: 03073105, Issued: 29.09.2006

Representatives Abroad: Armenia: Hagop Darbinian e-mail: darbinyan@dahako.com USA East Coast, NY: Berge Abajian e-mail: berge@bergio.com USA, West Coast, LA: Sarkis Nourian e-mail: sarkisnourian@yahoo.com Canada, Toronto, Pierre Akkelian e-mail: Pierre@canadiangem.com South America, Argentina: Martin Moroian e-mail: martin@martingroup.com Europe, France: Hovel Chenorhokian e-mail: hovel@hexagone-sa.com Asia, Thailand: Arto Artinian e-mail: arto@artinian.net


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AJA News

SCHOOL STEEPED IN TRADITION

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rtsakh’s jewellery roots run deep, with old traditions of jewellery art intertwined with the culture of the region. Thus, it only seemed fitting that the Armenian Jewellers Association (AJA) chose Artsakh as the location for its new jewellery school. On April 22, Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan met with an AJA delegation led by AJA President Gagik Gevorkian to officially open the new school in Stepanakert. Also in attendance were the Artsakh Republic Prime Minister and various ministers. The AJA delegates were given an update on the current economic state of the Republic, followed by a discussion on issues related to the development of the jewellery industry. After the meeting, the Head of the State and guests cut the ribbon to open the new school, which President Sahakyan

referred to as a “symbolic start of successful co-operation with the AJA.” “The government of Armenia has ambitious plans regarding the development of the Artsakh Republic,” Sahakyan said. “And one of the upcoming areas of development is the jewellery industry.” “AJA has much to do in Artsakh to increase the number of employees in the region,” said AJA President Gevorkian. “The main goal of AJA activities in Artakh is to let the young generation who attend the school find a suitable job in their homeland.”

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AJA News

AJA FRONT AND CENTRE AT ANNUAL SPORTING EVENT

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rmenian Jewellers Association (AJA) President Gagik Gevorkian and his wife, Madine, were named honorary Presidents for the 37th annual Navasartian Games & Festival in Encino, Calif. Joining the Gevorkians was a strong California contingent of Armenian jewellers who packed the banquet hall to celebrate the accomplishments of participating athletes. More than 500 Homenetmen members, supporters, and guests attended the event, including dignitaries like Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian; n Consul General Grigor Hovhannesyan; and Homenetmen Central Executive Members Hagop Tufenkjian and Viken Tavitian. The official program concluded with President Gevorkian er delivering a speech. Although not a Homenetmen member h himself, Gevorkian expressed the familial ties he feels with the organization. He commended the organization’s philosophy and commitment to linking youth with sports and exercise, and conveyed his conviction that Homenetmen represents a powerful structure that continues to grow since its establishment over 90 years ago.

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AJA MAKES PITCH FOR CIBJO CONGRESS IN YEREVAN

AJA News

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JA Executive Director Аrtak Udumyan and AJA Foundation President Pierre Akkelian were AJA’s representatives at the recent CIBJO Congress, held May 17 to 20 in Vicenza, Italy. This is the association’s first visit to the Congress since joining CIBJO. Udumyan used the opportunity to meet with CIBJO President Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri to discuss ways AJA can step up its participation in the organization and to hear what its members and executives thought of the 2012 Yerevan Show. Udumyan also suggested CIBJO consider holding its 2014 Congress in Yerevan to coincide with the 2014 Yerevan Show.

NEW AJA EAST COAST CHAPTER BOARD ANNOUNCED

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ollowing the Aug. 6 meeting of the AJA East Coastt he Chapter, the following members were elected to the Executive Board: Hagop Baghdadlian, President Ani Minnetyan, Vice-President Nadya Esenyan, Secretary Berc Gokberk, Treasurer Garbis Kazanjian, Information and Public Relations Paul Minoyan, Assistant to the Treasurer Myriam Gumuchian, Member Minas Vanklian, Member Kamer Puscul, Member

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 17


AJA News

AJA LEADERS VISIT TURKEY

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n July, an AJA delegation made an inaugural visit to A Turkey. Executive Director Artak Udumyan and AJA Central Board Secretary Hovel Chenorhokian met with Armenian jewellers in Istanbul. Among other things, the AJA discussed ways on how Armenian jewellers from Turkey and AJA members could work moree closely together. To this end, Armenian jewellers expressed their willingness to participate in all important events and projects to be organized by the AJA Central Board. In return, the AJA invited local jewellers to the Yerevan Exhibition to be held Oct. 29 to 31. As part of their visit, AJA leaders stopped in on local businesses, including the stores of such renowned jewellers as Sevan Bicakci, Norayr Isler, and Suren Cirak

AJA VISITS LEBANON

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s part of its tour of the East, AJA leaders recently visited Lebanon. The country is home to a large and active Armenian community, many of whom work within local jewellery industry. In Beirut, the AJA Lebanese Board held a meeting attended by AJA Executive Director Artak Udumyan, AJA Central Board Secretary Hovel Chenorhokia, and Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Lebanon Ashot Kocharyan. Among the meeting speakers were AJA Lebanese Board Chairman Hakob Dakesian and Central Board members Nazaret Sabounjian and Krikor Yesayan, as well as distinguished jewellery businessmen, Laurence Tufenkjian, Zohrab Istanboulian, and Alexandre K. Fattal. This year was also the first meeting of the AJA Lebanese Board’s Youth Wing, in which George Sabounjian was elected Chairman. As part of the visit to Lebanon, the AJA leaders, together with the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Lebanon, paid a visit to Anjar. Located 85 km from Beirut, Anjar is unique in that jewellery is its main industry, and as such, includes many Armenians.

18 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


AJA News

AJA VISITS WASHINGTON

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n July 27, the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia (RA) to the United States, Tatoul Markarian, met with AJA President Gagik Gevorkian and Vice-President Berge Abajian. During the meeting, the two sides discussed matters related to co-operation between the RA Embassy in the U.S. and AJA, one of the leading all-Armenian organizations in America. Gevorkian used the opportunity to stress the need for more AJA involvement in community programs. For his part, the Ambassador recognized the important role AJA International has played over the years, particularly in uniting the Armenian community and encouraging and supporting Armenian jewellers living in the United States.

AJA MEMBER ELECTED TO RUSSIAN WATCH BOARD

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ikhail Kasparov, one of the newest members of AJA Russia, was recently elected to the Board of the Russian Watch Association. The goal of the association is to help both importers and exporters involved in the Russian watch business. Kasparov explained that one of the main issues affecting Russian businesses involved in the Russian watch industry is the high customs duties—20% for gold watches and 10% for steel watches. Kasparov admits that while the market has a unique set of challenges, there are opportunities to be had. He noted Russian customers are price-sensitive and attracted to only the highest quality of products. One company that has capitalized on this is Pro-Time Rus Company, which was established with Estet Jewelry House. It is a great example of co-operation between AJA members and foreign companies, Kasparov says.

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 19


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RS AR Y On this, the 15th year anniversary of the Armenian Jewellers Association (AJA), we spoke with some members on what the AJA means to them and what the future may hold for the association and the Armenian jewellery community. Ɋʌʔ ʖɸʗʂ AJA-ʂ 15 - ʗɻ ʖɸʗɼɻɸʗʈʍ ɾ: ɝɼʍʛ ɽʗʏʙʘɼʘʂʍʛ ʋʂʏʙʀʌɸʍ ɸʓɸʒɸʖɸʗ ɸʍɻɸʋʍɼʗʂ ʇɼʖ` ʖɼʔʍɼʃʏʙ, ʀɼ ʂʍʐʑɼʔ ɼʍ ʍʗɸʍʛ ʖɼʔʍʋʏʙʋ AJA-ʂ ɸʑɸɺɸʍ:


MAY 1997 Pierre Akkelian and Vartkess Knadjian meet in Tokyo at a Japanese Jewellery event and evolve their vision of assembling Armenian Jewellers together for the benefit of Armenia. SEPTEMBER1997 Under the Auspices of the Minister of Industry of Trade Karnig Nanauglian a group of Diasporan Armenian jewellers meet together with jewellers from Armenia. Under the Honorary Chairmanship of Haik Arslanian the group decide to form the Armenian Jewellers Association (AJA). APRIL 1998 The First Assembly of Armenian Jewellers in Basel- election of the First Board Djanik Oskanian becomes Honorary President, Haik Arslanian and Gagik Abrahamian become Co-Presidents of the AJA. JUNE 1998 The First Board Meeting of the AJA is held in Antwerp- the Statutes are discussed and approved by the Board to present to the General Assembly. OCTOBER 1998 The Second Assembly of the AJA held in Yerevan, Armenia - Statutes adopted and numerous business initiatives launched by members of the AJA. 1998-2000 AJA Chapters created in Los Angeles to cover the West Coast of the USA, in New York to cover the East Coast of the USA, in Toronto, Montreal and Vancover to cover Canada. Other Chapters were created in Sydney, Paris, Antwerp, Geneva, Greece, Italy, Beirut. In addition to these chapters there were members representing, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Dubai, Egypt, Syria.

FROM APRIL OF 1999 TO MARCH OF 2011 AJA HELD ITS 15 Assemblies in Basel every year. APRIL 2011 AJA creates Trust Fund May 2011 The first issue of AJA Magazine JUNE 2011 For the first time AJA had a booth On JCK show. September 2011 From 21 to 23 September, the first exhibition of AJA, timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence, took place in the capital city of Armenia—Yerevan. Famous Armenian jewelers from around the world, including such countries as the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Russia, France, Italy, Thailand and Lebanon, participated in this exhibition. NOVEMBER 2011 On the 5th of November, in Paris, at Grand Hotel, a ceremonial dinner was held in honour of AJA President Gagik Gevorkian. DECEMBER 2011 First AJA jewelry school opened in Moscow April 2012 AJA opens school in Yerevan and Stepanakert May 2012 AJA becomes CIBJO member August 2012 The National Jeweler’s Day will be celebrated in Armenia on the last Sunday of October. The draft decision was worked out by Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia on the proposal of AJA. October 2012 Yerevan Show 2012


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MR.

KNADJIAN, you were at the origins of establishing AJA. 15th years later and AJA is a mature teenager now. How would you rate the last 15 years, and can we say that the AJA equals the hopes and expectations of its founders? - The fact that we are celebrating the 15 years of the AJA means that we can call it a success. In 1997 we were a group of idealists who wanted to bring together all Armenian Jewellers in the diaspora to participate in the development of the industry in the newly independent Republic of Armenia. The initial meetings were fascinating, the energy and commitment of the participants was overwhelming. We set about creating a vehicle to funnel this energy into practical application. This was the hard part, bringing together fiercely independent, successful individuals to think and act together. An additional problem was that Armenia was then not ready to channel these resources into the development of the industry. Our expectations were high and there was disappointment that we did not achieve more in the period. - What was the main purpose to unite all Armenian jewellers together? Was it for creating a successful business, or you and your colleagues have pursued other ideas? - The purpose of the AJA was to create a platform to participate in the development of the diamond and

jewellery business in Armenia. With the break up of the Soviet Union both industries had their supplies of raw material and markets for products taken away from them. On top of that, production methods were dated and needed improvement to increase productivity. The AJA’s objective was to create a centre in Yerevan where all the needs of the industry would be housed. This would include the customs, insurance and banking facilities. In addition there was a project to create training facilities to prepare future generation of jewellers and diamond polishers. Which AJA project, realized over the last 15 years, you find most successful? - I cannot point to any one project as successful. To me the success is that Armenian jewellers from all over the world communicate with each other, meet regularly at trade exhibitions and as a result trade or work together. Its like the tip of the iceberg we only see the fruits of some of the partnerships but if we do a proper audit we will amazed as to how much added value AJA has provided its members. How do you see the future of AJA? - The future is bright. We should perhaps revisit some of the early ideas and adapt them to current conditions. Relationships have matured and the economy of ROA has advanced offering some wonderful opportunities. Globalisation has made the industry very competitive and we must be careful not to be left behind. I would like to see the AJA develop more on institutional lines and become sustainable. This means a broader category of members who actively participate in the Association. Is there a chance for Armenia to become a regional jewelry center? - There is no reason for Armenia not to become a regional centre. However, this is not just dependant on the AJA alone. The political and economic stability of the country is key, as is the support of the government and the building of infrastructure. At the base the local industry has to move to the next stage of development and for this it is vital that funds are available from specialised banks at competitive rates. What role can AJA play in the development of the jewelry industry in Armenia? As the AJA grows stronger so does the platform to help channel the resources in the right direction. The idea of the Free Zone, the Jewellery Show and the training facilities will all help in the development of the industry. What does the AJA mean to you personally ? - I have fond memories of the early days working to make AJA happen. We all knew that it was the right thing to do but feared that we would fail. The growing success of the AJA makes me happy.


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“My wish for Armenian jewellers is for us to have a strong, steady presence in the jewellery industry and continue to become leaders and pave the way for the next generation of young Armenian jewellers.” ZAVEN GHANIMIAN

“As I look back on the year, I am proud to see the Armenian jewellery community come together. I appreciate and support the efforts of the AJA and hope the association keeps up the good work. Going forward, I hope AJA continues to help Armenian jewellers strive for excellence in design. Congratulations to the AJA on its 15th anniversary and I wish all AJA members continued success.” ALISHAN HALEBIAN

“AJA is a very important organization for Armenians such as us living in Diaspora. Armenians are one of the most prominent people in the industry and AJA is a focal point for all of us to communicate and network on the global stage. AJA can do a lot for Armenians living abroad and for our homeland. The current AJA leadership has provided a firm foundation on which we can build in the years to come. Our future is bright and we have much to look forward to.” ARTO ARTINIAN


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“The future of AJA is bright and full of promise. At 15, we are still a young association with room to grow and the promise of more success in the years to come. I have tremendous respect and admiration for the current AJA leadership and that of President Gagik Gevorkian. As I look back to the association’s early years and compare them to present day, I marvel at how far we have come and what we have achieved thus far. Without question, AJA is the success that it is thanks in large part to our members and our branches around the globe. Indeed, the AJA website has been a unifying force providing Armenian jewellers with a forum to network. In addition, the AJA magazine, the show in Yerevan, and the three AJA schools are like a dream come true and reflect the power and importance of AJA and its commitment to unite the Armenian jewellery industry.” SHANT HAYTAYAN

“The AJA fills a global need for Armenians in the jewellery industry to network, support one another, and build life-long relationships. It also provides a united front in celebrating the amazing artistry and history of the contribution Armenians have made to the jewellery industry at large.” BILL BOYAJIAN

“With the new leadership and great executive, I see AJA expanding further. The sky is the limit. For me, meeting new members and having the opportunity to network is an invaluable service AJA provides. I hope we will stay the course, build on past successes, and continue to communicate and work together to help our homeland.” BERGE ABAJIAN


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Golden roots

TREASURES FROM

THE

NOBLE LAND

Text: Lusine Gushyan, A senior officer of the State Russian Museum of Ethnography, Saint Petersburg

“Kamar” (Buckle)( Coll. # 3737-201)

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verything leaves a trace, even a heritage that seems to be lost. When you look at old photographs from your ancestors, or dig through a dusty trunk in your grandmother’s attic, a memory stirs and takes you far away. There, you will find the greatest tragedy of the 20th century—the Armenian Genocide. Despite this, Armenians have left a great heritage, and its pieces are preserved in various museums all around the world, such as the Russian State Museum of Ethnography in Saint-Petersburg, home to the priceless jewellery of Vaspurakan

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n May 18, 2012, the museum opened its doors to a new exposition entitled, “People of South Caucasus,” which includes thousands of items from Eastern and Western Armenia dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. It features hundreds of traditional cultural items, including jewellery. In this sense, the collection, ‘3737’— assembled in Vaspurakan by the famous ethnographer, Alexander Miller, by order of the Russian Museum of Ethnography of the Emperor Alexander III in 1915—is of special interest. Today, this is one of the most inclusive collections, featuring the cultural heritage of Armenians from Vaspurakan. The preservation of Armenian cultural heritage is one of the most

28 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

important areas of work for the Armenian Jewellers Association (AJA). The AJA has begun to catalogue this collection. At the beginning of the 19th century, Armenia was divided by political boundaries of the Turkish Ottoman and Russian empires. It included western Armenia and the areas of Bardzr Hayk, Tsopk, Ahdznik, Turuberan, Mokq Korchayk, Parskahayk, Vaspurakan, as well as the region of Cilicia. The eastern region of Armenia included Syunik, Artsakh, Paytakaran, Utik, Gugark, Taik, and Ayrarat. In the 19th century, Armenian communities also existed outside of these historic parts. During this time, the concept of the ‘Armenian World’ was born, signifying the unity of all Armenians regardless of their place of residence. Vaspurakan is one of the historical ethnographic regions of Armenia.


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he collection of A. Miller includes 225 items of traditional Armenian culture from Vaspurakan. It includes several complex costumes, jewellery, charms, and embroidery from the cities of Van, Mush, Bitlis, Shatah, sat Alur, Holy Cross, Vanah, Anatai Harymshat, Eren, Kartchikan, Vanik, Tatyk, Aldzhas, and Berdak. It is undoubtedly one of the most representative collections of the region in the world, with such notable and valuable pieces like a Chapkan—a jacket for boys decorated with Kauri shells, a Knar, also known as a tiara, and a Qamar, which is a woman’s belt buckle. In addition, the unique embroidery is executed in the traditional art techniques and methods of ornamentation, such as a neckerchief, or vznots. It should be noted that during the genocide, the inhabitants of this region were either killed or became refugees. This tragedy has caused irreparable damage to Armenia, thus collecting pieces from the traditional way of life became impossible. That is why the collection of A. Miller is unique and particularly valuable to the whole of Armenian culture.

“Diadem” (Coll. # 3737-197)

“Bracelets” (Coll. # 3737-211)

THE MILLER COLLECTION

Golden roots

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 29


Golden roots

«Refugees from Van» Coll: № 3973 Alexander Miller,1916 Russian State Museum of Ethnography

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aspurakan (transliterated as Vaspuragan in western Armenian or Vaspowrakan in Armenia) means ‘noble land’ or ‘land of princes’ and was the first and possibly largest province of greater Armenia. Later, in the Middle Ages, it became an independent kingdom centered around Lake Van. Located in what is now called eastern Turkey and northwestern Iran, the region is considered the cradle of Armenian civilization. In the 9th century BC, Vaspurakan was part of Urartu. In the 6th century BC, it became part of Satrapy of Armenia. In 189 BC, it was one of Armenia’s greatest provinces. Then it became part of the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia. After the division of 387, it was included with Persian Armenia. In the 8th century, it fell under Arab control. Many rebellions took place in Vaspurakan. In 885, within the territory of the Kingdom of Armenia, it became free. During most of its history, it was ruled by the Ardzruni Dynasty, which managed to create the first

30 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

principality in the area. At its peak in 908, Vaspurakan comprised the lands between Lake Van and Lake Urmia (also known as Kaputan). In 908, Gagik I of Vaspurakan was recognized as King of Armenia by the Abbasid Caliph in competition to the Bagratids, but later reconciled with Ashot II, who appointed him King of Vaspurakan. In 1021, Seneqerim Ardzruni gave Vaspurakan to the Byzantine Empire, receiving estates in Sebasteia and surroundings in exchange. After Vaspurakan was ceded to the Byzantine Empire, it was conquered by Seljuq Turks. In the 13th century, part of Vaspurakan was liberated by the Zakarids, but was then conquered by the Mongols, and later by the Ottoman Turks. Notable is the Siege of Van in 1915 during the Armenian Genocide. This noble land endured many invasions and different governors, however, the Armenian culture’s roots run deep and objects of this culture remained in carefully stored chests of those who escaped the tragic 20th century or in world museums.


Golden roots

JEWELLERY TRADITIONS

rmenian women and men from Vaspurakan differed in their needlework talents. Women from Vaspurakan were famous for their laborious, time-consuming craft— embroidery, lace and carpets. The most popular crafts among men were stone-cutting, forging, copper engraving, weaving and, of course, jewellery art. In the 19th century, there were very specific technical and decorative techniques developed for jewellery making throughout the various Armenian historicalethnographic regions. For example, in Artsakh and Syunik there was a preference for mob, niello, pressing, stamping and enamel, while in Vaspurakan, cast moldings with black inlays of precious stones and glass were popular. Karin and Akhaltsikh were known as centres of filigree. Jewellery was an integral part of the traditional female costume in Vaspurakan. It included a large amount of jewellery pieces: head and face (temporal and occipital chains), hand (bracelets and rings), and breast (chains, necklaces). Jewellery was given to children, but they wore only small earrings and necklaces, and amulets of beads. The costume was complemented with a belt, which could serve as a long shawl, folded several times, or movably connected to the silver, sometimes gold plaque,

with a large buckle. In the Vaspurakan Region up to the beginning of the 20th century, the vast majority of women’s belt buckles were made in the form of a stylized frog—an archaic symbol of fertility—and decorated with inlays of precious and semiprecious stones. Metal belts decorated with niello on links with filigree clasps in the form of rosettes began to grow in popularity in the early part of the 19th century. Girls could wear two or more braids, with plait adornments attached in the form of silver chains with balls of wool or brushes. The head was covered with a cap (called a gtak) with a complex set of jewellery that included a silver front headlamp attached to a chain of leaves; beads, eyed-amulets (‘ward’), silver-temporal sideways pendants (called ‘eresnots’); and a cap made of silver or gold (called a ‘tas’) plated with ornaments in the form of birds, plants, angels, and the sun’s rays. Married women from Vaspurakan wore a complicated headdress consisting of a dense ‘crown’ cylindrical in shape with a headband decorated with different types of metallic elements. The status of married women was emphasized by the headscarf, tied so that the chin and lips were covered. Tubes, balls, and almond-shaped ornaments decorated the headdress, while silver or gold chains framed the face.

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 31


Golden roots

“Van” (Coll. # 3887) A view from the fortress Alexander Miller, 1916

Van, 2010

32 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


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in WITH THE‘KING of

Faces

Robert Tateossian

A

In

Conversation

with the

RMENIAN JEWELLERY DESIGNER ROBERT TATEOSSIAN IS A MAN WHOSE UNIQUE AND ORIGINAL STYLE HAS REVOLUTIONIZED NOT ONLY THE INTERNATIONAL CUFFLINK INDUSTRY, BUT ALSO THAT OF MEN’S AND WOMEN’S JEWELLERY. AN ELEGANT MAN WITHOUT PRETENSION AND FLUENT IN SEVEN LANGUAGES, TATEOSSIAN WAS BORN IN KUWAIT AND EDUCATED AT FRENCH SCHOOLS IN ROME. HE SPENT SEVEN VE YEARS YEAR RS IN INVESTMENT VESTMEN BAN KING BANKING BEF E SETTING SETTING OU ULFIL BEFORE OUT TO F FULFIL HIS DREAM EAM OF O WNING HIS H OWNING WN BUSINESS. USINESS. W H OFFICES OFFICE IN N OWN WITH ONDO ON N AND AN ND A WORKSHOP ORKSHOP IN LONDON IGHBOUR NG BIRMINGHAM, M NGH HAM NEIGHBOURING

34 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

‘King of Cufflinks’

TATEOSSIAN STARTED CREATING WHIMSICAL AND UNIQUE STYLES OF CUFFLINKS FOR DISCERNING BUSINESSMEN. HE HAS FAR OUTGROWN HIS ORIGINAL CREATIONS, HAVING EXPANDED HIS BRAND TO INCLUDE A WIDE RANGE OF PRODUCTS LIKE WATCHES, MONEY CLIPS, RINGS, AND NECKLACES, ALL COMPRISING INNOVATIVE AND STRIKING MATERIALS SUCH AS LEATHER, 18-KARAT GOLD, AND SILVER. THE TATEOSSIAN BRAND IS NOW AVAILABLE IN MORE THAN 45 COUNTRIES. AJA MAGAZINE RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH THE FAMED JEWELLER TO DISCUSS HIS RISE TO THE TOP OF THE JEWELLERY RANKS, HIS ARMENIAN ROOTS, AND WHAT THE FUTURE MAY HOLD FOR THE ‘KING OF CUFFLINKS.’


Faces

’ Where of Cufflinks. g in ‘K e th you? e been called es it mean to o d at h w d AJA: You hav an tle in the e come from coined the ti es lk u o F k ic does the nam rN is a very ssian: Autho over again. It d an r ve o d Robert Tateo use lly as bling, especia as since been m u h d n fi I ’90s and it h e on It also cription and ers out there. n ig es d k flattering des in ffl novative y talented cu tly produce in there are man an st n co to drive ks, ould. gives me the ufflin ak the m e c r b e t t a h a inks t o cre u to and cuffl you t made yo o r o f designs t t hoice Wha nker ical c ground. ment ba g o l t r and ms a back nves reneu at It see business n from i p : e A r J t A io an en your ing th ofess to be y someth leave given e your pr s n o i l g mbit ted to ctual chan er? had a . It was a ew I wan ld, so I s l y l a e as s n r jew ve alw n busines ident. I k shion wo oats. It w a h I c ow acc p so RT: e fa aist n my tirely by e into th igning w e taking u w o to en g ov es er nd d et hin ened nd m ats w happ l Lynch a g fabrics a waistco eded som all knots il e n he Merr importi ure, but t e that I n exciting— d c t y e n t r ffi e r e o v a v st r ! ul ny cessf in my ti ere neve is history travelling inks c u s w a , ffl m y s y o a b n ro sig nt cu nd ey s much r. So, I de est, as th your bra of differe r g le ll smal rcles. The evelopin efcase fu i d i r c n b a and ou bega with Y orld all the w AJA: e th s, since k d in n ffl u u aro aking c about m k in h t o began t although the Lynch wore them, guys from Merrill

you had designed. How long did you keep this up and do you still have that famous briefcase? RT: The collection is now much too big—we currently have more than 400 pairs of cufflinks, which means, unfortunately, I no longer travel with the briefcase. However, I do travel with a jewellery case, carrying a small collection of our 18-karat gold and diamond pieces. AJA: The Tateossian brand includes a complete range of women’s jewellery that can be described as an international statement of fashion and style. What innovative and luxurious materials do you use to create pieces that are so stunning? RT: I do not like to put a limit on the materials I use for my collections. Although I tend to work in silver, I am always searching for something new. I have begun to introduce more gold, as well as experiment with new materials. My goal has always been to create a line of jewellery and accessories for men and women that reflected my own ethos: stylish, unique, and uncompromising quality. For the Tateossian woman, quality is key.

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 35


Faces

ion ajor fash you at m r d n fi w e to is n fo on uncomm ns. What t ig o s n e d is t s It AJA: our late playing y collection shows dis ian silver s s o e ? te r a a T e y ne w orites. Th this adline the ique mete which was e n h u s’ d k n a in , Cuffl ely rare meteorite , in 1576, re extrem uses iron na k ti in n and featu e ffl g u r c ielo’ ires, A C A l e s d o 1906 in n o e p u ‘Cam found in est of B s w a w th r e o it n r o d ue— discovere uonionalusta mete t and uniq te. n re e iff d M ly ta whilst the h piece is complete t in their natural s e c s a ts. E re n . a a n d y e n e d e Swe rite p e, as th o m te a e s m e th re na ique no two are e collectio lso introduced un th in le b a a Also avail ollection, we have lement of d e for an e ’c m T lu ‘R o r ica, an v u e o In n up th rth Amer r o tu tN t a th th o e age. mm materials Oligocen acelets clude ma e in th e s e to k Th c r surprise. dating ba stacking b shark teeth lead the trend in r e h s re Th es to ed the n continu y push l l a Tateossia e r e av ite eteor n, we h o s M hick ‘ a e . s is us e ine, t l e u c w RT: Th s s r ma terial n. Ou -inspired h our e ma e h t m h o wit dw man e s wit en an e the Ro combined , to creat darie m h k t s i t boun r o l e o b l — e r n s fo rac let ow p an’ b of e ‘Po eason brace their this s r braided great on er ‘Talism r signatur rge array a v l l e k u leath les’—loo as our si ladies, o ome in a re the r u h c o o c c s r F t m u e s . e e l ‘H ok th ce les, o a l r y — t r b d s e r d r othe on-forwa er braide ed togeth i h er ion a fash idou’ leat great lay re? ribut , t u s t i k b u d f o u Sco s and lo retail world r the r ns fo elop our ound the ntly in a l p colou r! v your ie curre to de ies ar merr What are aspired in key cit . We are ne s d lo y AJA: ave alwa ing stores formalize en standa area. h n lf p n ed I e o u e : p e RT yo sb and in the G tly open b a p h k o r l g n o e netw gh nothin haps dev r possibly and rece he r u o e ts o , yt p h g t o n l a n roo ceived b nt Ko a o i i g s n n s e e o discu ues in H eep Arm re you r e d iq bout ou have n. How w Y a : v AJA Yere re in m a sto e sourced fro inosaur bon d , ia er b Si usks from Armenian marketplace and what does this mean for your business? RT: My father is Armenian and the brand has such a strong Armenian following that it was a very natural progression to open a store in Yerevan. It’s fulfilling to be able to go back to your roots and offer a London twist to the city of Yerevan. We have a very loyal base amongst Armenians around the world. Not only are they intrigued by the ‘ian’ at the end of my surname, but also of our unique designs. I am very grateful for their support, as well as that of our amazing Armenian partner. AJA: As great as kings may be, they are nonetheless men, and men makes mistakes. You have achieved great success, but in developing your business, have you ever made a mistake you regretted? RT: A king has a kingdom. I merely run a jewellery business. Of course, mistakes have been made, however, as someone who has built a career without any official training I have tried to learn from my mistakes along the way. Not making mistakes means not taking risks, and risk- taking is fundamental for any entrepreneur

36 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


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LACK OF LIQUIDITY The single biggest problem for most retail jewelers is a lack of liquidity due to capital tied up in dead inventory. We take it out every day and put it back in the safe at night. We repeat this process, often for years. We think (or hope) something will sell the next day, but the truth is that most jewelry over six months old, and especially over a year old, has little chance of selling. We are better off redesigning the piece, re-purposing it, or simply scrapping it. If we can trade products back to the supplier for something that will sell, both supplier and retailer will benefit.

A VICIOUS CYCLE Here’s how the scenario usually goes: A jeweler sells a new product quickly and uses the money to pay down debt to a supplier whose goods aren’t selling. It’s good to pay down debt, but if you don’t have the capital to reorder your fast seller, you get caught in a vicious cycle of using your limited liquidity to pay down debt on products that haven’t sold. Long-term supplier debt cripples a jeweler’s ability to pay the supplier whose goods sell quickly. So the key to inventory control is to first control buying. Suppliers who insist on large minimum orders often bury retailers with goods they can’t sell. How does it benefit the supplier to make such a sale when they’ll never get a reorder?

THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPPLIERS Most retailers don’t understand that the single most important aspect of their business lies in their suppliers. The top five to six suppliers will create over 50% of the sales and profits; 10 to 12 suppliers will generate 70 - 80% of sales and profits. Suppliers, in large part, control your business, so it only makes sense that we have to control who we buy from, how much we buy, and what we stock. Specifically, we must not buy out of whim, expectation, or obligation. We must buy strategically. We must buy what sells.

38 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

BY BILL BOYAJIAN

W

hen I was President of GIA, I recognized a desperate need for business management skills for independent retail jewelers. In 1992, we began servicing independents with inventory control software, and training them on how to run their stores by interpreting concrete data provided through their management system. We didn’t take the romance out of selling. We simply added objective criteria to help jewelers understand their businesses, and utilize the power of quality information in making buying and selling decisions. As industry people, we have a tendency to fall in love with our jewelry. But there is really only one criterion we should use to better understand our business: what customers buy. In the early 1990s, many jewelers weren’t computerized, and even fewer understood the importance of running their stores as a business. You’re in business to make a good living, and far too many jewelers are still not making the profit they should because they don’t have control of their inventory, their buying, their pricing, and even their selling.

MANAGEMENT BUSINESS

Bill Boyajian

INVENTORY CONTROL

Business


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Business

MAY 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 39


Business

GO LD

PRICES ERASE BORDERS In conversation with Aram Shishmanian Questions: Gayane Manukyan Translated to Armenian: Mariam Badalyan-Chakhoyan

THE PRICE OF GOLD EXPERIENCED FREQUENT GAINS AND LOSSES IN 2012, ALTHOUGH IT REMAINED SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER THAN ITS RECORD HIGH OF $1923.70 IN SEPTEMBER 2011. TO FIND OUT WHAT’S IN STORE FOR GOLD PRICES, WE CAUGHT UP WITH ARAM SHISHMANIAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) OF THE WORLD GOLD COUNCIL (WGC).

ɝɡɨ ɝɎɘ ɨɊɩɔ ɐ, ɔɟɢ ɬɡɩɚɊɌɎɨɟɎɩɑ ɖɡɦɡɫɝ Ɏɟ Ɏɧɩɡɞɔ ɡɩɣɎɦ ɨɊɩɊɍɩɊɝɔ ɧɎɩɊɪɝɊɟ ʞ ɍɡɕɊɩɔ ɡɩɣɎɦ ɊɟɘɊɞɡɫɟ ɨɊɩɊɍɩɊɝɔ əɎɥɊɟɘɊɩɟɎɩɔ ɝɊɦɔɟ: ɣɊɩɏɎɕɡɫ əɊɝɊɩ, ɒɎ ɔɟɢ ɐ ɦɣɊɦɧɡɫɝ ɡɦɘɡɫ ɠɡɫɘɊɞɡɫɝ, ɝɎɟɭ ɏɩɡɫɪɎɪɔɟɭ ɡɦɘɡɫ əɊɝɊɠɖɊɩəɊɞɔɟ ɖɡɩəɩɍɔ (WGC) ɌɡɩɗɊɍɔɩ ɨɟɮɩɎɟ ɊɩɊɝ ɠɔɠɝɊɟɞɊɟɔ əɎɨ:

AJA: It’s been an extraordinary year for gold. What was the biggest factor to affect its price? AA: The demand for gold is driven by the jewellery and investment markets, together with central bank holdings. Supply of newly mined gold is relatively static with recycled gold (up to 40% of supply) playing an important role. The price of gold has risen eleven years in a row and 2012 could see a twelfth year of gains. Whilst jewellery is the largest single driver of demand annually at 50% compared to 70% five years ago, investment demand has become increasingly important. Investment demand was 19% of total gold demand five years ago now it is 35%. An important factor affecting the current gold price is the unprecedented global crisis. In the US, poor payroll data and rising unemployment are dampening what was forecast

AJA. ɡʔʆʏʙ ʇɸʋɸʗ ɸʗʖɸʔʏʕʏʗ ʖɸʗʂ ɾ: ɡɶʗʍ ɾ ɸʋɼʍɸʆɸʗʞʏʗ ɺʏʗʅʏʍɿ, ʏʗʍ ɸɽɻʏʙʋ ɾ ʏʔʆʏʙ ɺʍʂ ʕʗɸ: - ɡʔʆʏʙ ʍʆɸʖʋɸʋɹ ʑɸʇɸʍʒɸʗʆɿ ʑɸʌʋɸʍɸʕʏʗʕɸʅ ɾ ʏʔʆɼʗʐɸʆɸʍ ʏʙ ʍɼʗɻʗʏʙʋɸʌʂʍ ʎʏʙʆɸʍɼʗʏʕ, ʂʍʐʑɼʔ ʍɸʞ ʆɼʍʖʗʏʍɸʆɸʍ ɹɸʍʆʂ ɹɸʁʍɼʖʂʗʏʙʌʀʏʕ: ɟʏʗ ʇɸʍʛɸʇɸʍʕɸʅ ʏʔʆʏʙ ʋɸʖɸʆɸʗɸʗʏʙʋɿ ʋʍʏʙʋ ɾ ʇɸʗɸɹɼʗɸʆɸʍʏʗɼʍ ʆɸʌʏʙʍ ʕɼʗɸʋʎɸʆʕʏʉ ʏʔʆʏʙ ʍʆɸʖʋɸʋɹ (ʋɸʖɸʆɸʗɸʗʋɸʍ ʍʆɸʖʋɸʋɹ 40%), ʂʍʐɿ ʆɸʗʞʏʗ ɻɼʗ ɾ ʄɸʉʏʙʋ: Ɋʍʘɸʅ ʖɸʔʍʋɼʆ ʖɸʗʂʍɼʗʂ ɿʍʀɸʘʛʏʙʋ ʏʔʆʏʙ ɺʂʍɿ ʎɸʗʏʙʍɸʆɸɹɸʗ ɸʊɼʃ ɾ, ʞ 2012 ʀʕɸʆɸʍɿ ʆɸʗʏʉ ɾ ɻɸʓʍɸʃ ɸʌɻ ɺʍɸʊʂ ʖɸʔʍɼʗʆʏʙɼʗʏʗɻ ʖɸʗʂʍ: ɝʂʍʐ ʏʔʆɼɺʏʗʅʏʙʀʌʏʙʍɿ ʇɸʍɻʂʔɸʍʏʙʋ ɾ ʑɸʇɸʍʒɸʗʆʂ ʇɸʋɸʗ ʖɸʗɼʆɸʍ ʎʏʙʗʒ 50%-ʂ ʋʂɸʆ ʄʀɸʍɿ ʇʂʍɺ ʖɸʗʂ ɸʓɸʒ ɺʗɸʍʘʕɸʅ 70%-ʂ ʚʏʄɸʗɼʍ, ʍɼʗɻʗʏʙʋʍɼʗʏʕ ʑɸʌʋɸʍɸʕʏʗʕɸʅ ʑɸʇɸʍʒɸʗʆʍ ɸʔʖʂʊɸʍɸɹɸʗ ɸʕɼʃʂ ʋɼʅ

40 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


Business to be a strong recovery. In the euro area, the sovereign debt crisis remains a persistent threat to stability and the continuing uncertainty. All of these symptoms of a global economy in crisis are leading investors to move into safe assets like gold. Jewellery demand from the two largest markets, India and China, is a critical driver of demand and will continue to be so. as a billion new consumers emerge The third key driver is the renewed demand for gold from central banks and gold’s re-integration into the fabric of the world financial system. Emerging country central banks are now major purchasers of gold as they look to diversify their foreign currency reserves and protect the wealth of their nations. After over two decades of selling national gold reserves, central banks today are again buying. This year is likely to represent a record level of purchases, approximately 500 tonnes, the highest since the early 1960’s. AJA: Some experts believe the price of gold is a bubble. What is your view on this? AA: Talk of gold bubbles ignores some basic facts, namely, the gold price has risen every year since 2001 and the market has consistently adjusted to higher price levels. Gold’s long-term demand dynamics remain strong and diverse, especially as new supply to the market has become increasingly constrained. The World Gold Council does not make short-term price forecasts. Our role is to help shape the future of the market. It is worth noting that the recent price fluctuation is similar to its behavior prior to the Lehman bankruptcy in 2008 when the price fell by as much as a third as financial institutions in need of ready cash sold gold. This selling illustrated gold’s function as a liquid asset, which can be sold in times of trouble. However within six months, the price had recovered, and from February 2009 onward, gold returned 156% over the following three years. AJA: As the CEO of the World Gold Council, your perspective on the gold market is likely different from most. Given that prices remain high, do you believe there is still opportunity to profit from investing in the metal? AA: The core reason for holding gold is for wealth protection and it should not be merely viewed as an asset to trade or speculate on short-term profit. Gold is becoming part of the fabric of the financial system, used as a store of value, a source of liquidity and a longer term investment, whether it is via gold coins and bars or exchange traded funds. It is important to reiterate why investors hold gold. Today investors are harnessing gold’s unique properties to protect wealth in an uncertain world where trust in the financial system has broken down. Gold is a physical asset with no counterparties which offers simplicity, transparency and security in a landscape of increasingly volatile financial markets. Over the longer term, gold competes on the basis of its diversification qualities and ability to mitigate market risks, rather than its returns. Portfolios that contain even a small allocation of gold are proven to be generally more robust and better able to cope with market uncertainties than those that do not, showing improved stability of returns. World Gold

ʆɸʗʞʏʗʏʙʀʌʏʙʍ ɾ ʔʖɸʍʏʙʋ: ɧɼʗʒʂʍʔ ʇʂʍɺ ʖɸʗʂ ɸʓɸʒ ʆɸɽʋʏʙʋ ɾʗ ɿʍɻʇɸʍʏʙʗ ʑɸʇɸʍʒɸʗʆʂ 19%-ɿ, ɸʌʁʋ ɸʌɻ ʘʏʙʘɸʍʂʎʍ ɸʊɼʃ ɾ ʋʂʍʐʞ 35%-ʂ: ɡʔʆʏʙ ʍɼʗʆɸʌʂʔ ɺʍʂ ʕʗɸ ɸɽɻʏʉ ʆɸʗʞʏʗ ɺʏʗʅʏʍɿ ɸʍʍɸʄɸɻɼʑ ʇɸʋɸʎʄɸʗʇɸʌʂʍ ʊɺʍɸʁɸʋʍ ɾ: Ɋɝɟ -ʏʙʋ, ɸʊʏʉ ɺʏʗʅɸɽʗʆʏʙʀʌɸʍ ʞ ʘɸʅʗ ɸʎʄɸʖɸʕɸʗʈɼʗʂ ʑɸʌʋɸʍʍɼʗʏʙʋ ʍɸʄɸʖɼʔʕɸʅ ɸʗɸɺ ʕɼʗɸʆɸʍɺʍʏʙʋʍ ɸʕɼʃʂ ɸʍʂʗɸʖɼʔɸʆɸʍ ɾ ɻɸʓʍʏʙʋ: Ɏʕʗʏʌʂ ɺʏʖʏʙʋ ʑɼʖɸʆɸʍ ʑɸʗʖʛɼʗʏʕ ʑɸʌʋɸʍɸʕʏʗʕɸʅ ʊɺʍɸʁɸʋɿ ɸʍʚʏʚʏʄ ɸʍʏʗʏʎʏʙʀʌɸʍ ʑɸʌʋɸʍʍɼʗʏʙʋ ʆɸʌʏʙʍʏʙʀʌɸʍ ʇɸʋɸʗ ʎɸʗʏʙʍɸʆʏʙʋ ɾ ʔʑɸʓʍɸʃʂʛ ʋʍɸʃ: əɸʋɸʎʄɸʗʇɸʌʂʍ ʖʍʖɼʔʏʙʀʌɸʍ ʊɺʍɸʁɸʋʂ ʋɼʒ ʃʂʍɼʃʏʙ ʋɸʔʂʍ ʕʆɸʌʏʉ ɹʏʃʏʗ ɸʌʔ ʍɸʄɸʍʎɸʍʍɼʗɿ ʍɼʗɻʗʏʉʍɼʗʂʍ ʏʙʉʉʏʗɻʏʙʋ ɼʍ ʂʗɼʍʘ ʋʂʒʏʘʍɼʗɿ ʍɼʗɻʍɼʃ ɸʌʍʑʂʔʂ ɸʑɸʇʏʕ ʑɸʔʔʂʕ ʋʂʒʏʘʍɼʗʂ ʋɼʒ, ʂʍʐʑʂʔʂʍ ɾ ʏʔʆʂʍ: Ɏʗʆʏʙ ʄʏʎʏʗɸɺʏʙʌʍ ʎʏʙʆɸʍɼʗʂ` əʍɻʆɸʔʖɸʍʂ ʞ ɢʂʍɸʔʖɸʍʂ ʆʏʉʋʂʘ ʏʔʆʏʙ ʍʆɸʖʋɸʋɹ ʑɸʇɸʍʒɸʗʆɿ ɺʍʂ ʏʙ ɿʍɻʇɸʍʏʙʗ ʑɸʇɸʍʒɸʗʆʂ ɸʊʂ ʆɸʗʞʏʗ ʍɸʄɸʑɸʌʋɸʍ ɾ, ʞ ɸʓɸʒʂʆɸʌʏʙʋ, ʋɼʆ ʋʂʃʂɸʗɻʂ ʐɸʚ ʍʏʗ ʔʑɸʓʏʉʍɼʗʂ ʂ ʇɸʌʖ ɺɸʃʏʕ, ɸʌʍ ʆʑɸʇʑɸʍʕʂ: Ɏʗʗʏʗɻ ʆɸʗʞʏʗ ʄʀɸʍɿ ʆɼʍʖʗʏʍɸʆɸʍ ɹɸʍʆɼʗʂ ʆʏʉʋʂʘ ʏʔʆʏʙ ʍʆɸʖʋɸʋɹ ʇɼʖɸʛʗʛʗʏʙʀʌɸʍ ʕɼʗɸʆɸʍɺʍʏʙʋʍ ɾ ʞ ɻʗɸ ʕɼʗɸʂʍʖɼɺʗʏʙʋɿ ʇɸʋɸʎʄɸʗʇɸʌʂʍ ʝʂʍɸʍʔɸʆɸʍ ʇɸʋɸʆɸʗɺʂ ʆɸʓʏʙʘʕɸʅʛʏʙʋ: ɟʏʗ ʆɸɽʋɸʕʏʗʕʏʉ ɼʗʆʗʍɼʗʂ ʆɼʍʖʗʏʍɸʆɸʍ ɹɸʍʆɼʗʍ ɸʌʔʜʗ ʏʔʆʏʙ ʄʏʎʏʗ ɺʍʏʗɻʍɼʗ ɼʍ, ʛɸʍʂ ʏʗ ɻʗɸʍʛ ʍʑɸʖɸʆ ɼʍ ʇɼʖɸʑʍɻʏʙʋ ɻʂʕɼʗʔʂʝʂʆɸʘʍɼʃʏʙ ʖɸʗɸɻʗɸʋʂ ʑɸʇʏʙʔʖʍɼʗɿ ʞ ʑɸʇʑɸʍɼʃʏʙ ɼʗʆʗʂ ʇɸʗʔʖʏʙʀʌʏʙʍɿ: Ɋʕɼʃʂ ʛɸʍ ɼʗʆʏʙ ʖɸʔʍɸʋʌɸʆ ʏʔʆʏʙ ɸɽɺɸʌʂʍ ʑɸʇʏʙʔʖʍɼʗʂ ʕɸʊɸʓʛʂʘ ʇɼʖʏ ʆɼʍʖʗʏʍɸʆɸʍ ɹɸʍʆɼʗʍ ɸʌʔʜʗ ʆʗʆʂʍ ʏʔʆʂ ɼʍ ɺʍʏʙʋ: Ɋʌʔ ʖɸʗʂ ʏʔʆʏʙ ɺʍʋɸʍ ʓɼʆʏʗɻɸʌʂʍ ʘʏʙʘɸʍʂʎ ɾ ɺʗɸʍʘʕɼʃ, ʋʏʖ 500 ʖʏʍɸ, ʏʗʍ ɸʋɼʍɸɹɸʗʈʗʍ ɾ ʔʆʔɸʅ 1960ʀ.-ʂʘ: AJA. ɔɶʍʐ ʆɸʗʅʂʛ ʏʙʍɼʛ ʏʔʆʏʙ ʎʏʙʆɸʌʏʙʋ əɸʌɸʔʖɸʍʂ ɸʑɸɺɸʌʂ ʕɼʗɸɹɼʗʌɸʃ: ɘɸʗʏɶʉ ɾ ɸʗɻʌʏʛ ɸʌʍ ʖɸʗɸʅɸʎʗʒɸʍʏʙʋ ʏʗʏʎʂʐ ɻɼʗɸʆɸʖɸʗ ɻɸʓʍɸʃ: ɔʍʐʏɶʙ ʆɸʋ ʂʍʐʏɶʙ ʏʐ: - ɝɸʖɸʆɸʗɸʗʋɸʍ ʖɼʔɸʍʆʌʏʙʍʂʘ ʇɸʍʛɸʍʌʏʙʀɼʗʂ ɸʗɻʌʏʙʍɸʇɸʍʏʙʋɿ əɸʌɸʔʖɸʍʂ ʖʍʖɼʔʏʙʀʌɸʍ ʇɸʋɸʗ ʆɸʗʞʏʗ ɻɼʗ ɾ ʆɸʖɸʗʏʙʋ, ʂʔʆ ʏʔʆʏʙ ɸʗɻʌʏʙʍɸʇɸʍʏʙʋɿ ʔʗɸ ʋɼʒ ʋɼʅ ɹɸʁʂʍ ɾ ʆɸɽʋʏʙʋ: ɍʗɸ ʇɼʖ ʆɸʑʕɸʅ ɸʓɸʒʂʆɸʌʏʙʋ ʍʏʗ ʅʗɸɺʗɼʗ ɼʍ ʍɸʄɸʖɼʔʕɸʅ, ʏʗʏʍʘ ʂʗɸɺʏʗʅʋɸʍ ʑɸʗɸɺɸʌʏʙʋ əɸʌɸʔʖɸʍʂ ʏʔʆʏʙ ɸʗɻʌʏʙʍɸɹɼʗʏʙʀʌʏʙʍɿ ʍʏʗ ʀɸʚ ʆʔʖɸʍɸ ʏʙ ʆɸʋʗɸʑʍɻʂ ʕɼʗʒʂʍʂʔ ɻʂʗʛɼʗɿ ʏʗʑɼʔ ʀɼʞ ʇɸʋɼʋɸʖɸɹɸʗ ʚʏʛʗ, ʔɸʆɸʌʍ ʆɸʌʏʙʍ ʏʔʆʏʙ ɸʗʖɸɻʗʏʉʂ: ɢɸʚɸɽɸʍʘ ʆɸʗʞʏʗ ɾ ɺʂʖɸʆʘɼʃ, ʏʗ əɸʌɸʔʖɸʍʂ ʞ ɦʚʌʏʙʓʛʂ ɸʑɸɺɸʍ ʋɼʅɸʑɼʔ ʆɸʑʕɸʅ ɾ ʏʔʆʏʙ ʎʏʙʆɸʌʂ ʇɼʖ: Ɋʇɸ ʀɼ ʂʍʐʑɼʔ ʋɼʍʛ` ʇɸʌɼʗʔ, ɺʏʗʅɸɻʗɼʃʏʕ ʋɼʗ ɸʓɸʍʈʍɸʇɸʖʏʙʆ ʆɸʗʏʉʏʙʀʌʏʙʍʍɼʗɿ, ʑɼʖʛ ɾ ɹɸʗɺɸʕɸʊɼʍʛ: ɡʗʑɼʔ ʁʏʉʏʕʏʙʗɻ ʋɼʍʛ, ɸʓɸʕɼʃ ʛɸʍ ɸʌʃʏʛ, ɺʂʖɸʆʘʏʙʋ ɼʍʛ ʏʔʆʏʙ, ʏʗʑɼʔ ɸʑɸʇʏʕʏʙʀʌɸʍ ʏʙ ʆɸʗʏʉʏʙʀʌɸʍ ʑɸʇʑɸʍʋɸʍ ɸʌʔ ʇɸʔʖɸʖʏʙʍ ɸʗʁɼʛʂ ʏʙ ʊʆʏʙʍ, ɸɽɸʖ ɸʓʞʖʗʂ ʋʂʒʏʘʂ ʄɸʉɸʘɸʅ ɻɼʗɿ: Ɋʌʔ ɺʂʖɸʆʘʋɸʍ ʎʍʏʗʇʂʕ, ʏʗɿ ɽʏʙɺɸʆʘʕʏʙʋ ɾ ʇɸʗɸʖʞ ɺɼʉɼʘʂʆʂ ʋʎɸʆʏʙʀɸʌʂʍ ɹɸʗʈʗ ɺʍɸʇɸʖʋɸʋɹ ʏʙ ʛɸʉɸʛɸʆʗʀʏʙʀʌʏʙʍʍɼʗɿ ɻɸʗɼʗʂ ʋʂʒʏʕ ʂʗɸʗ ʆɸʑʏʉ ɸʕɸʍɻʏʙʌʀʍɼʗʂ ʏʔʆʌɸ ʀɼʃʏʕ, ʇɸʌ ʏʔʆɼɺʏʗʅʍɼʗɿ ɸʓɸʍʈʍɸʇɸʖʏʙʆ ɸʓɸʕɼʃʏʙʀʌʏʙʍ ʏʙʍɼʍ, ɸʌʍ ɾ` ʆɸʗʏʉɸʍʏʙʋ ɼʍ ʃɸʕɸɺʏʙʌʍʔ ɹɸʕɸʗɸʗɼʃ ʇɸʊɸʄʏʗɻʂ ʑɸʇɸʍʒʍɼʗɿ` ʏʔʆʏʙ ʋʂʒʏʘʏʕ ʚʏʄɸʍʘɼʃʏʕ ʂʗɼʍʘ ʔɼʗʍ ʏʙ ʂʍʛʍɸʗʖɸʇɸʌʖʏʙʋɿ:

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 41


Business

Council research has shown that gold can improve riskadjusted returns on investment portfolios regardless of currency denomination. For these reasons, I expect to see investors increasingly hold a small allocation of gold in their savings and pensions. Gold has never been more relevant given the breakdown of trust in the financial system. AJA: How does the global economy—particularly Europe—affect the price of gold? AA: Developments in the euro-area crisis so far in 2012 have led markets towards the realisation that most outcomes in this on-going saga will be painful not just for the peripheral countries, but also to core economies. As a result, at the same time as retail investors are buying gold in the Eurozone, gold has been sold to provide liquidity for investors in the shortterm and is being lent into the market to provide liquidity, which has had an impact on the gold price. AJA: Does gold remain a safe haven for investors or is the focus now on the US dollar? AA: The US dollar has strengthened against most currencies around the world has led to a resurgence in its safe haven status. It has risen in value this year by between 5% and 10% against most currencies in response to investor concern that markets may fall caused by fragile Western growth, the Eurozone debt crisis and slowing economies in India and China. Investments in the US dollar and in US Treasuries in particular, are also a symptom of investor fear resulting in a move into cash and bonds. Capital flows into the US dollar and its rise in value has been a factor restraining the gold price during 2012 as gold tends to be negatively correlated with the US dollar. In spite of this, the gold price remains robust. The prognosis for the remainder of 2012 is that the US dollar may come under pressure as the a sluggish US economy, the weak jobs market and the ‘fiscal cliff ’ issue necessitate further policy easing that undermines the strength of the currency. In a world characterised by policy intervention, heightened risk and ongoing uncertainty, gold’s role as a time-tested store of value which cannot be artificially devalued by policy makers, as well as a proven hedge against inflation, means that it has a key role to play in preserving wealth. AJA: What, if any, is the effect of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Operation Twist on the price of gold? AA: In contrast to the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing, Operation Twist does not change the size of the US balance sheet and, therefore, is not a long-term driver of inflation. However, Operation Twist should be seen as one part of US monetary policy. The Federal Reserve has already undertaken two rounds of Quantitative Easing and recent announcements suggest that they are considering a third. This programme is likely to increase the risk of higher inflation and prompt investors to seek assets, such as gold, which can act as a hedge against rising prices. AJA: Upward movement in the price of gold forced many jewellery manufacturers to adjust their use of the

42 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

metal in their designs. What advice can you offer them on how to plan for the rest of the year regarding potential price increases? AA: We are seeing a re-premiumisation of the gold market. The symbolic power and beauty of gold means that it is constantly desired. Our recent global consumer insight research re-confirmed that desirability for gold jewellery across the world, including North America and Europe, remains extremely high compared to any other luxury category. Given the current price levels, gold is being repremiumised. We are seeing jewelers adjust their strategies by focusing on the new, discerning female shopper, who not only expresses her fashion personality, but also demonstrates her investment savvy by choosing fine gold jewellery. AJA: When it comes to China and India, it’s clear they are now the market leaders. What other countries are gaining when it comes to the consumption of gold? AA: Yes, China and India are the two largest gold markets and, between them, they account for over 45% of global gold demand and I expect them to continue to grow. All around the world, interest in gold is increasing. In the West, European investors are increasingly turning to gold to mitigate market risks and in the US gold is having a renaissance as a luxury item as consumers looks to fewer, better things. Emerging market economies are continuing to expand amid growing concerns over inflationary pressures in those markets and with a billion more urban consumers emerging from India and China, we see big opportunities for gold demand both in investment and jewellery in the future. More recently, we have seen big increases in demand from countries such as Turkey and Russia. We have also seen a number of central banks increasing their gold holdings, such as the National Bank of Kazakhstan, the National Bank of Ukraine and the central banks of South Korea and the Philippines. AJA: What is your view on Armenia’s future in the gold market? Can it become a leading player in the region? Why or why not? AA: On the supply side, mining for minerals is a significant contributor to the Armenian economy and gold mining plays an important role within this. There are new projects in the pipeline which, if realised, would further boost the gold industry in Armenia and its standing as a respected, though relatively small, gold producer. More importantly, the future for Armenia and the diaspora lies within the gold jewellery market. This is where, as Armenians deploying our distinctive capabilities, we will thrive. As a people, we understand, better than most, the role that gold can play as the constant of value providing security and protecting wealth, as a liquid, freely tradable currency. This understanding, coupled with a unique cultural appreciation of what constitutes enduring beauty, and the golden thread of tradition that binds societies through the centuries, Armenian jewellers have a distinctive advantage in serving the needs of consumers who seek the best that gold can be to demonstrate their love and self-expression.


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AJA wings

B E

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO P A R T O F T H E

VIBRANT BANGKOK JEWELLERY S

C

E

N

E

Arto Artinian

MANAGING DIRECTOR OF ARTINIAN CO. LTD., ARTO ARTINIAN HAS SEEN THE WORLD. HIS COMPANY IS A DESIGNER AND MANUFACTURER OF HIGH-END JEWELLERY, AND IN ADDITION TO RUNNING HIS OWN SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS, ARTINIAN IS A STRONG SUPPORTER OF THE ARMENIAN JEWELLERS ASSOCIATION (AJA) AND SERVES AS THE ASSOCIATION’S THAILAND REPRESENTATIVE. AJA MAGAZINE RECENTLY SPOKE TO HIM ABOUT HIS ARMENIAN ROOTS, THE IMPORTANT ROLE AJA PLAYS IN THE LIVES OF ARMENIAN JEWELLERS, AND WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE PART OF THE VIBRANT BANGKOK JEWELLERY SCENE.

46 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


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OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 47


AJA wings

AJA: You represent one of the most distant and exotic wings of AJA—Thailand. How did you end up there? Arto Artinian: The first time I visited Thailand was back in 1993. It was a business trip. During the two weeks I spent there, I got to see a new, very eye-opening world. It was an interesting experience for me to be in Asia for the first time. I saw the way they produced gemstones and jewellery. It all seemed so different to me, but I was so impressed with what I saw. I like challenge in my life and I saw the chance to live in Thailand as a good one to take. AJA: What are the specifics of the Thai market? What characterizes it and what can it offer a jeweller looking to open a business there? AA: Traditionally, Thailand has been a source for gemstones, especially rubies and sapphires. Thai people are very good at treating and polishing these stones and are excellent craftsman. I find their work to be very artistic, so the market is an ideal blend of art and rare gemstones, thus making it a hub for unique, quality jewellery. It’s a scenario most jewellers would benefit from being a part of. AJA: In addition to running your own successful business, you are also a prominent representative of Armenian Diaspora in Thailand. How active are you in this role? AA: While I am physically disconnected from my homeland, Diaspora is still very much a part of my life. I helped establish and continue to run the Armenian Thai Chamber of Commerce. I have been a member of the Honorary Council of Armenia, and I am very much involved in the Diaspora’s activities, bringing together the Armenian community in Thailand and providing a home away from home for Armenians AJA: You have always played a role in AJA. How important is the association to you? AA: AJA is a very important organization for Armenians living in Diaspora. Armenians are a very prominent part of the jewellery industry, and thus AJA provides a centre for communication and networking. AJA has a lot to offer Armenians living abroad and can do much for our homeland and future generations of Armenian jewellers. AJA President Gagik Gevorkian has done much to help build a solid foundation for AJA, and in doing so, positioning us for continued growth and success in the years to come.

48 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


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Cover jewel

B

risk, lively and very realistic fairy Salamander from medieval beliefs of creative imagination of master craftsmen. The whole image of fabulous creatures subject to the basic idea - a thirst for the flight, the desire to climb up. Mosaic lightest of its wings sounds as delicate as butterfly wings, and looking to the sky unblinking gaze of her eyes is determined to reach the heights seen. Creative design and technical skills of jewelers make GEVORGIAN soul tremble, and reason - to believe in the impossible. White and Yellow Gold 750 째 Product Weight: 988.24 g 847 diamonds - 3,57 ct 1 Emerald - 0,05 ct 22 Sapphire - 0,91 ct Ruby 294 - 54,58 ct Demantoids, quartz, enamel.


Cover jewel


Masterpiece

Ashtray «Phoenix» 740 gr., 18 ct gold, Used precious stones: Dimaonds (white, yellow, green) Topaz, Saphire, Turaline, Central stone—Nephrite.

M A S T E R P I E C E HE WORK “PHOENIX” /RENAISSANCE/ IS THE PRODUCT OF THE COMBINATION OF ART, A THOUSAND-YEAR LEGEND, NOBLE METAL AND PRECIOUS STONES. IT IS THE PROFESSIONAL COMBINATION OF GOLD, WHITE, YELLOW AND BROWN DIAMONDS WITH GREEN NEPHRITE AND TOPAZ. WITH ITS CONTEMPORARY FEATURES AND QUALITY TYPICAL OF “SHIROYAN” CLASSICAL AND LUXURIOUS BRAND, THIS GREAT PIECE OF USIVITY DELICACY ART STIRS ADMIRATION. SHIROYAN COMPANY’S SLOGAN IS EXCLUSIVITY, ALISTS IN 2005 AND LONGEVITY.IT FOUNDED BY A GROUP OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED SPECIALISTS UNDER THE DIRECTION OF ARA SHIROYAN, ONE OF WELL-KNOWN TALENTED L-KNOWN AND TA NT WO HEY GATHERE JEWELERS OF ARMENIA. DUE TO THE FIVE YEARS OF DILIGENT WORK THEY GATHERED RS, DES ERS, JEWELER QUALIFIED SPECIALISTS AND TALENTED CRAFTSMEN: PAINTERS, DESIGNERS, JEWELERS AND SCULPTORS. TODAY SHIROYAN COMPANY IS A GREATLY PRESENTED Y PRES ED D BR BRAND.

52 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


Masterpiece

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 53


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Horology

CVST S STEPS AHEAD F TIME

“Tick tock is the second word I learned,” recalls 29-year-old entrepreneur Sassoun Sirmakes. To appreciate the enthusiasm and dedication of the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of watchmaker, Cvstos, one must bear in mind that from his early childhood he was immersed in the fascinating world of Haute Horlogerie.

56 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


Horology

Sassoun Sirmakes

Antonio Terranova

I

t is often said that entrepreneurial and visionary skills tend to run in the family, carried from one generation to the next. Sirmakes embodies this belief. Steadily, this dynamic young Swiss-Armenian was drawn into the world of sophisticated watchmaking by working weekends and summer holidays alongside his father, Vartan Sirmakes, co-owner and chairman of the Franck Muller Watchland Group. After finishing high school at the age of 17, Sirmakes faced a major dilemma: continue with his studies or join the company that was so much a part of his early life. The benefit of the latter was clear. By working with his father, he would continue to hone his skills and gain invaluable knowledge of this intricate craft. In the end, the choice was obvious. Sirmakes decided not to turn his back on his enduring passion and already-proven talent. One of his first jobs was to restructure the small gemsetting department to optimize its production capacities. Within two years, and with his characteristic decisiveness, Sirmakes transformed the in-house workshop into a large-scale gem-setting company, possibly one of the biggest in Switzerland. Located at two different sites in the Geneva area, it boasted over 50 full-time employees working under his direct tutelage. During this time, Sirmakes was also in charge of purchasing and managing substantial quantities of precious stones. Additionally, his strong vision and organizational skills allowed him to learn the essential accounting procedures of the Franck Muller Watchland Group.

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 57


Horology Indeed, through his boundless curiosity and active participation in all facets of production, Sirmakes gradually developed a keen and unfailing eye for the minute details that are the underpinnings of luxury, mastering the entire watchmaking process from the design board to the finished product. In 2003, at the age of 19, Sirmakes’ well-known determination and sharp business-minded vision led to a major opportunity in his young career. Having prepared a business plan designed to respond to changing expectations and consumer demands from the luxury goods market, Sirmakes caught the attention of some major investors keen to join him in his new business venture. The magnitude of his proposed project necessitated the leasing of an 80,000-m2 facility in France, a castle to be exact, in close proximity to the Swiss border near Geneva. In the spring of 2004, Sirmakes decided to branch out and Cvstos was born. The independent brand takes its name from the Latin word for ‘guardian,’ and is a collaborative effort between Sirmakes and his partner, Antonio Terranova. The timepieces are a reflection of Sirmakes’ flair for innovation and creative designs, and are marketed to the world’s trendsetting elite. Cvstos’ watches embody Sirmakes’ own philosophy on life: being always a step ahead of time.

58 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


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Golden youth

In cove with Z rsation aven G hanimi

an

EGHANI IS A NEW PLAYER WITH BRAND-NAME BACKING. THEY STARTED IT 4 YEARS AGO. THE POINT OF ZEGHANI WAS TO MAKE AVAILABLE A PRODUCT THAT HAS HIGH QUALITY HIGH VALUE, AND CRAFTSMANSHIP, WITH NOT SUCH AN EXPENSIVE PRICE. THEY USE 14 CARAT GOLD AS WELL AS PALLADIUM AND MAKE ALL THEIR STYLES IN ABSOLUTE TOP QUALITY AND AFFORDABLE PRICE. THEY WANTED TO ENRICH FOR THE AUDIENTS SOMETHING THEY HADN’T ENRICHED BY PARENT COMPANY- SIMON G. THIS YEAR AT JCK SHOW IN LAS VEGAS ZEGHANI REACH ITS GOAL TO FIND A NICHE FOR THE MIDDLECLASS.

60 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


Golden youth

ZEGHANI RINGS ARE WITH ALL INDIVIDUALLY CUT STONES. THEY DON’T USE COLLABORATED SIZES. YOU CAN SEE FROM THE SIDE PROFILE OF THE RING THE STONE IS ACTUALLY CONCAVED AND THAT’S A SPECIAL CUT THEY DEVELOPED THAT GIVES A UNIQUE LOOK YOU WILL NOT SEE ANYWHERE ELSE. MOSTLY THE DESIGNS WERE DONE BY ZAVEN, HE ALSO HAS A GREAT TEAM THAT BACKS HIM UP AND HELPS TO CREATE. THIS YEAR ZEGHANI WAS EXPENDING ON THEIR DISTRIBUTION, GETTING NEW PARTNERS INSIDE THE UNITED STATES AS WELL AS CANADA AND CARIBBEAN’S. WHAT «ZEGHANI» BRINGS NEW TO THE MARKET? At Zeghani, we are constantly reinventing our strategy to meet the needs of the jewelry market. What makes Zeghani so special is its attention to detail and high quality without the exorbitant price tag. YOU ARE THE WORTHY SUCCESSORS OF YOUR FATHER—FAMOUS SIMON GHANIMIAN. DID HIS HUGE AUTHORITY HELP OR DISTURB YOU TO ESTABLISH AND RAISE YOUR OWN BRAND? Our father is our greatest role model. We grew up watching him wake up every morning inspired to design a new piece. He has instilled integrity and work ethics within us and having his mentorship is truly invaluable. PROBABLY IT WAS NOT THAT EASY TO PICK UP A NEW BRAND IN THE TRADITIONAL FAMILY BUSINESS? It was definitely not easy. Everything we could possibly have thought of had already been done by our father. Since Zeghani was established during a difficult economic time and our core market consisted of a much younger generation, we decided to produce Zeghani in 14K gold. This would allow us to provide an affordable line without compromising the design and quality. DID YOU FIND YOUR OWN NICHE IN THE INDUSTRY OR YOU ARE STILL IN A SEARCH? We have definitely found our niche in the industry. This may change slightly from time to time, but with strategic planning and effort; one can always broaden the spectrum and climb up the ladder. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN FOR THE FUTURE? We would like to broaden our collections and expand over time.

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 61


Art in Heartt

A BLEND OF BYZANTINE B BY AND A GOTH

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rman Sarkisyan grew up in his father’s studio, where he started dabbling as a goldsmith at the tender age of 12. Years later, Sarkisyan prides himself on the old-school methods he learned from his father. His artistic inspiration and training give him the ability to take each piece from conception to birth. Creating pieces with ornate 22-karat yellow gold and oxidized silver, Sarkisyan’s designs draw from gothic and Byzantine-era motifs with hints of mystical and spiritual symbols. His unique designs have earned him much praise. He was the 2009 Couture Design Winner in the ‘Best of Colored Gemstones’ category, and won both an Editor’s Choice and Best in Silver Design Award at the 2010 Couture show. We recently spoke with the famed designer about his career and his Armenian roots.

62 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


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Art in Heart


Art in Heart

AJA: How did Arman come to be? Arman Sarkisyan: Arman Jewelry was founded in 2005 with the help and support of both my father, Hamlet, and my wife. AJA: You have captured several awards at the Couture Show over the years. Why is this show so important to you? AS: Couture is always a great show for us. It is full of fresh and energetic clients. We’re happy to be a part of it, as it affords us the opportunity to broaden our audience. AJA: What is the key to the success of your designs? AS: I attribute a large part of our success to the originality and timelessness of our pieces. AJA: How important is AJA to you and would you like to be more involved in its activities?

64 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

AS: Yes, I would welcome the opportunity to work with the AJA. I am very proud to be part of the global BASELWORLD 1960 Armenian jeweller family. AJA’s mission is very important, as it keeps the traditions of Armenian jewellery-making alive, gives members’ businesses a boost, and creates fabulous networking opportunities with other successful jewellers from around the world. AJA: This year AJA celebrates its 15th Anniversary. As an Armenian jeweller, what do you see as the future of Armenian jewellery on the global stage? AS: As I mentioned, it’s wonderful that AJA can bring Armenian jewellers together from all corners of the world. Jewellery-making is a big part of our culture and history. AJA is a great ambassador for jewellers, both young and old.


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Diamond club

O

NE OF THE PROMINENT REPRESEN-TATIVES OF THE RUSSIAN DIAMOND BUSINESS IS ARAM GEVORGYAN, GENERAL DIRECTOR OF THE UVEST DIAMOND COMPANY, AND MEMBER OF THE ARMENIAN JEWELLERS ASSOCIATION’S (AJA’S) RUSSIAN CHAPTER. WE RECENTLY CAUGHT UP WITH GEVORGYAN AT HIS OFFICES TO DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF COOPERATION AMONG ARMENIAN JEWELLERS UNDER THE AEGIS OF THE AJA AND THE NEED FOR INTERNATIONAL

INVESTMENT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ARMENIA’S DIAMOND INDUSTRY. 66 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

AJA magazine: Why have you chosen the diamond business as your career? Aram Gevorgyan: It was my former job at Estet Jewelry House that brought me closer to the diamond business and from there, I was hooked! In order to accentuate Estet’s unique style and its pursuit of perfection in design, in addition to seeking innovative approaches and new materials, it was very important to focus on finding direct supply channels for high-quality diamonds. This is the basis for Uvest’s founding. AJA: What peculiarities are associated with the Russian diamond business? Why are the costs for Russian diamonds the highest in the world? AG: Dating back to Soviet times, the diamond business here was one of the most developed in the world, mostly due to the scientific approach applied to diamond cutting. In fact, the quality of diamond cutting plays a significant role. As you may know, it is important not to lose the weight of the gem when cutting and to ensure it maintains its quality. In fact, the Soviet Union was renowned for quality and perfection, from the ballet to diamonds. Today, our company does its best to preserve these old


Diamond club traditions. True, the diamond business is far from being a trouble-free one; and one of the most problematic issues is the shortage of rough. In this respect, the conditions are a little more favourable for us, since Russia’s diamond reserves are one of the richest. AJA: How valuable is membership in the AJA? What role does the Club of Diamond Businessmen play in AJA? AG: I think the notion of an ‘association of Armenians’ is very encouraging. AJA can be helpful for Armenian diamond and jewellery companies. First of all, membership is beneficial to single companies— strengthening ties, opening the doors to new opportunities, and encouraging co-operation amongst Armenian jewellery businesses. If, due to the efforts of the association, our AJA colleagues start buying polished diamonds from Armenian diamond-cutting companies, this would be beneficial for both jewellers and those companies and, of course, for the AJA.

I do not wish to bore you with a long patriotic speech, but let me say this: As an AJA member, finding new Armenian friends and partners is good for us all. But that is not what AJA is solely about. Through unity and collaboration, our successes will benefit our nation and preserve the historic work of our forefathers and thus bring continued pride and recognition to our homeland. Indeed, our efforts could help spur development in other Armenian occupations, such as construction or banking. AJA: What is your prediction for the future of the Armenian diamond industry? AG: One should remember that one of the largest diamond cutting factories of the Soviet Union was in Armenia, and Armenian cutters were very famous back in those days. Today, sadly, many of our craftsmen have left for Africa, Canada, and Russia. Nonetheless, this industry is full of traditions that may well be redeveloped and, with investment, the future can indeed be bright.

OCTOBER 2012 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 67


Event

THEY CAME, THEY SAW, THEY BOUGH What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” This famous saying doesn’t hold true this year as JCK Las Vegas, the jewellery industry’s premier event, belongs to all aficionados of luxury and elegance. If you’re like most jewellers, making the trip to JCK Las Vegas is a must. Every year, the finest jewellery wholesalers, retailers, designers, manufacturers, distributors, department store buyers, and admirers from all around the world, attend the most anticipated and celebrated jewellery event in the United States. The scorching heat of the Nevada desert, the massive size of the show, the decadent meals, the late-night gambling—these things all unite JCK attendees in the Vegas experience. Yet, nothing beats the value of gathering with peers, colleagues, friends, and competitors as you embark on presumably the single most important shopping trip of the year. The show’s second year at the Mandalay Bay proved to be smooth sailing. With a 21 per cent increase in attendance over the past two years, the show’s aisles were crowded and the energy in its halls was almost palpable. It was particularly delightful for the Armenian Jewellers Association (AJA), which organized its own pavilion at this prestigious show for the second year. Here is a wrap-up of the best and the brightest jewels and events JCK Las Vegas 2012 had to offer, along with the Armenian community’s movers, shakers, and tastemakers.

68 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


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Event

TAKING VEGASBY STORM

A

rmenian jew ellers came ou t in full force enchanting vi this year, am sitors with th azing and eir collection Enclave, ASK s. At LUXURY Gold, Haytaya and Elite n Jewelers, Si Danhov, DeH mon G, Kirk ago, Bergio, Z Kara, eghani by Sim Tycoon, and on, S.A. Kitsi Sierra all pre Sponsored by nian, sented strikin Platinum Gu g d esigns. il d Internation Platinum Inn al (PGI-USA ovation Awar ), the JCK 20 ds sh designers and 12 jewellers. Win one the spotlight on severa ners were ch l Armenian categories, w osen in seven ith prizes aw different desig arded for ‘Ed in Show’ was itor’s Choice’ n selected as a an d cu ‘Buyer’s Choi lmination of our annual lo ce.’ ‘Best all votes. This ok at JCK’s m formed the b ost noteworth It also inspired asis for y offerings am us to bestow on g Armenian a few honours jewellers. of our own

BEST

W

IN SH OW

hat makes a Vatché ring different than your average diamond engagement ring? It all starts in Vatché’s New York City office, where the famed designer spends most of his day creating the designs that bear his name. Vatché focuses only on engagement rings and wedding bands, sketching and crafting the prototype for each design himself on a jeweller’s bench he keeps in the corner of his office. As a result, every Vatché engagement ring reflects the unique design sensibility and meticulous attention to detail that has given the Designs by Vatché name its international renown. Vatché’s designs are surprisingly affordable. One reason for this is he chooses to create settings for average-size diamonds of high quality. Vatché engagement rings routinely win the industry’s top design awards—not for jaw-dropping feats of jewellery sculpture—but for their classic styles that are somehow fresh and unique while still being timeless and easy to wear. As the designer, Vatché is fond of saying the real test of the quality of one of his rings, or any other ring for that matter, comes not when the couple decides to purchase it or even when the groom proposes and the bride excitedly slips it onto her finger. Instead, the test comes only years later when the ring holds up to the rigors of daily wear and continues to sparkle and gleam. It is then that a purchaser realizes they are not just holding a ring, but a new family heirloom. 70 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

DESIGNS BY VATCHE TAKES BEST IN SHOW WITH ITS SIGNATURE ENGAGEMENT RING, A PIECE THAT ALSO WON THE BUYER’S CHOICE AWARD IN THE ‘ENTRY PLATINUM FASHION JEWELLERY’ (UNDER $2500 RETAIL) CATEGORY.


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WHOLESALE TRADE IN JEWELLERY, WATCHES, DIAMONDS AND OTHER PRECIOUS STONES. HOVENIERSTRAAT 30, ANTWERPEN, BELGIUM. WWW.ARSLANIANFRERES.COM


Event

SIMON G PLATINUM AND DIAMOND PENDANT BY SIMON G RECEIVES THE EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD IN THE ‘ENTRY PLATINUM FASHION JEWELLERY’ (UNDER $3500 RETAIL) CATEGORY. 72 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

S ’ R O T I D E S WIN D R A W A E C I O CH

C

omprising round white diamonds (.47 ctw), Simon G’s platinum teardrop pendant channels a timeless look and exudes elegance. As the name implies, the Platinum Innovation Awards recognizes and praises innovation, quality, and design. Every piece of Simon G jewellery is created with top-quality materials and depicts the expertise of its architect. From vintage designs to classic and contemporary, Simon G provides a vast collection of fashion and bridal jewellery from which to select. When it comes to making beautiful jewellery, no detail is too small to be ignored, so Simon G pays attention to everything. It all starts with the first sketch, which is followed by dozens of others until a design is approved. And that’s just the beginning. As the piece goes from drawing to reality, Simon G maintains 10 quality control stations, one after each phase of manufacturing. The company alloys its own metals, working in 18-karat gold, platinum/palladium, and platinum/iridium This gives pieces greater durability and longevity, and is ideal for the complicated beadwork, filigree, and engraving that achieves the company’s signature look. All micro-set diamonds are hand-set, and inspected by an experienced artisan using a microscope. This ensures they reflect light brilliantly and can prevent the loss of stones.


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Event

E D I T OCHRO’ SICE

HONES

E

IN ONALISHAN

very year, it’s getting more and more difficult to bring something new to the market that stirs interest among consumers and high-end retailers, but Alishan Halebian is doing just that by pursuing his own vision in jewellery. Although a self-taught goldsmith, his treatment of precious metals is masterly. Using sophisticated techniques, he creates seemingly weightless pieces, capturing metallic beauty in a luxe look with textures set to thrill and inspire. Halebian’s Armenian heritage brings together the philosophies of two world cultures—East and West—that burst into creative expression of style in his distinctive ethno collections. His designs are known for their ornamentation, which carries through from bridal to fashion. In addition to winning at the Platinum Innovation Awards, Alishan also captured top honours at the Centurion Awards in the ‘Mixed Metal’ category for an 18-karat hand-hammered gold and oxidized sterling silver cuff with rose-cut natural yellow diamonds. The designer also won the JCK Jeweler’s Choice Award in the ‘Mixed Metal Jewellery Over $5000’ category with the same piece. 74 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

ALISHAN WALKS AWAY WITH EDITOR’S CHOICE IN ‘ENTRY PLATINUM ENGAGEMENT RING’ (SEMIMOUNTS UNDER $2500 RETAIL) CATEGORY.


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Eventt

BEST USE OF COLOUR: CLEAN AND SIMPLE —MAKUR DESIGNS

T

his year at the show, Silvex created a comfortable booth with a charming atmosphere where guests, customers, and showgoers could unwind, enjoy warm surroundings, and indulge in an enjoyable look at highfashion jewellery, featuring semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, cubic zirconia, nickel-free pieces, and the breakthrough of this year, Murano glass. Silvex is a world-renowned company with its own signature style that entices thousands of customers worldwide. The ‘Murano’ collection was the heart of the company’s offerings this year. Although created with an Italian flair, the pieces embody the heart and soul of Armenia, says Richard Frounjian, Silvex’s owner. His daughter, Jena, is also involved in the family business and has even established her own unisex line, Jena Forte Designs.

76 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

L

ooking for pure and modest designs that can suit everyone who appreciates these qualities, we caught up with Masis Hagopian, designer of Makur Designs. Not all pure things have modest beginnings, and not all that seems simple is clean. Yet, Makur exhibited at JCK with an impressive combination of these qualities. The company’s name—Makur—is Armenian and means pure and clean, a well-suited description of Hagopian’s designs. Established in 1995, this family-run corporation designs mainly with 18-karat rose gold, high-quality GVS diamonds, and its signature stone, morganite. A diamond setter by trade, Hagopian personally inspects every piece the company manufactures. Nothing comes from nothing—only pure hands could create such simple and clean jewellery.


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BEST

INDUSTRY

S ELROGV I C E :

IC MATE L

ogic Mate has been developing pr since 1989. With m technology solutio ofessional ns exclusively reputation of reliabiore than 20 years of experience and for the jew Mate’s founding, an lity and customer service often precover 2000 program installations wo ellery industry Jewel-Mate. This so d its success up until now can be att edes it. These values are the basis ofrldwide, its business from their ftware empowers retailers to create ributed to innovation and products Logic and like desktops, generatin and appraisals. g custom reports, customize aspects of their job envelopes, bar code tags,

T R S E E O S N SENSEFOFFAART:: E E DD

I I N N A --A

A

family-owned business, De-ani represents a combined half century of manufacturing and design experience. Founded by Richard Emrasian and his brother 16 years ago, the California-based company produces religious charms and pendants. According to Emrasian, their target market demands high-end pieces, which initially formed the basis for De-ani’s decision to produce one-of-akind creations. The company debuted two new lines at JCK Las Vegas: its Darma collection made in 18-karat gold and a collection of movable jewellery featuring religious designs. Each piece represents elaborate detail, life-like imagery, and unprecedented unique styling created by Sezar Kesheshian, De-ani’s head designer.

78 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012


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COCKTAI

A

JA’s 5th annual JCK

L

PARTY:

cocktail party held at the Mandalay Bay’s Jasmine Hall was a beautiful occasion not only for members, but for foreign representatives of the industry and honorary guests. In addition to catching up with friends and colleagues, attendees were treated with informative presentations like the one from James Courage, chief executive of Platinum Guild International UK, who spoke of the benefits of this pure and white metal. A highly anticipated JCK tradition, the gathering is one of the highlights of the association’s goal to consolidate its position in the jewellery industry. Honorees included David Bonaparte, Reed Exhibitions’ then Senior Vice-President, AJA President Gagik Gevorgian, AJA West Coast Chairman Fatche Frounjian, and renowned jeweller Levon-Shant Haytayan.


B

P A R T Y

est place to find friends at the show Luxury isn’t just about rare gems and hefty price tags. It’s also about atmosphere, as anyone who visited Simon G’s JCK party would know. Fans, friends, and customers of the brand attended the high-styling event held at the Palazzo Hotel, basking in the warm reception of Armenian hospitality. Our compatriot Simon Ghanimian’s renowned Simon G Jewelry House stirred up genuine enthusiasm among guests, which included prominent jewellers and celebrities. Former Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson spoke highly of the exquisite and elegant Simon G pieces she wears.

Melissa Rycroft & Tye Strickland

Gagik Gevorkian, Pamela Anderson, Simon Ghanimian

Overall, it should be noted Reed Exhibitions—the show’s organizer—maintained JCK Las Vegas’s reputation as a high-quality event by ensuring improved exhibitor logistics and unprecedented security measures. Everybody has high hopes this is the year the jewellery industry finally moves past the Great Recession.


Simon Ghanimian, Gagik Gevorkian, Shant Haytayan

Cheryl Burke

Stacy Keibler

Patti Stanger


O

ne of the most important projects of the AJA West Coast in 2012 was the founding of the Young Armenian Jewellers Association (YAJA). Currently, the group has 25 members and its numbers continue to grow. Its first cocktail party at JCK provided attendees the opportunity to get acquainted with the industry’s leaders of tomorrow.


iButterźy ring, in which the butterźy sits on the palm of the hand

iFalcon ring with a captured snake

Be unique iArsine and Zohrab Istanboulian

ZoRaB Jewellery – The Fashion of today, the Heirloom of Tomorrow

Loved by celebrities, high society and fashion aficionados, ZoRaB Atelier de Creation is a name that has risen to the greatest heights of the jewellery world. Owned by Zohrab and Arsine Istanboulian, the business is also very much a family affair with son Henry designing and overseeing production alongside his father, and daughter Lisa managing the USA operations.

T

ogether, Zohrab Istanboulian, well-known and highly respected in the jewellery industry since half a century, and wife Arsine, working relentlessly side by side day and night, made a journey of which others can only dare to dream. This partner team built their business up from a small workshop in Beirut to be ranked among the top 10 jewellery houses in the world, placing them amid the likes of Cartier, Bulgari, and Harry Winston. According to Arsine Istanboulian, they earned this accolade based on the ingenuity of their jewellery, the quality of their artistic creation and the integrity of their company. “We managed to create a brand of original 86 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

pieces with global appeal,” says Arsine, adding that it wasn’t easy but that the duo worked very hard for more than 30 years, step by step, putting together the pieces of this phenomenal success. Leaving their native Lebanon behind in the civil war years, they moved to Bangkok. But, life there wasn’t so easy either. “We endured numerous obstacles – the language, culture, weather,” says Arsine. “Zohrab was a visionary, though, and the pioneer of the business. His unique creativity, skills and know-how saw marvellous creations become translated into fine artistic jewellery.”


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The art of today, the heirloom of tomorrow

Beirut Gold Souks, Lebanon, Tel: +961 1 983 996 THAILAND | SINGAPORE | USA | LEBANON

www.zorabcreation.com | zorab@loxinfo.co.th


iCrab Bracelet

iPanther ring i

iRam ring

Both Zohrab and Arsine strongly believe that jewellery is to be enjoyed rather than being kept hidden away in a safety deposit box. “It should be something for all occasions that you can wear with evening gowns and casual jeans on a daily basis,” says Arsine. With each ZoRaB piece being unique – only one is made of each design – over time its rarity and value increases. Elizabeth Taylor, one of the world’s most famous and avid collectors of fine jewellery had a ZoRaB collection of her own, which was recently auctioned by Christie’s and sold in record time. ZoRaB Jewelry is certainly bold and tailored for a dazzling elite that want to stand out from the crowd. ZoRaB creations have been worn by celebrities 88 AJA INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2012

iCrocodile bangle iTwo lion ngle head bangle

such as Scarlett Johannson, Sigourney Weaver, Katy Perry, Mariah Carey and Ashanti, to name just a few. Closer to home, the recent finals of Arab Idol featured Ahlam wearing ZoRaB’s crocodile bangle and ram ring. ZoRaB’s breathtaking collection, including pieces such as horse head rings and lion bangles, is mesmerising with its beautifully carved details and shimmering gems. Be prepared to fall in love with every piece; Zorab is a must-stop destination for today’s elegant and modern woman. The full collection of ZoRaB creations can be viewed at the Gold Souk in Downtown Beirut +961 1 989 040

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Zohrab was among the first to start using red, pink and yellow sapphires and today he travels the world sourcing new gem discoveries. Jewellery begins by being conceptualised by Zohrab and then the precious gems are shaped to fit his designs. This is in contrast to most jewellers who make their designs according to the shape of the stones. “We give life to jewellery,” says Arsine. Through the years ZoRaB has been the creative genius behind extraordinary and extravagant designs, with nature and animals remaining particularly strong inspiration, all carved from a variety of rare stones. The most recent collection includes Venetian masks and panther inspired rings and bangles.


A. & A. Dakessian Bros. Co., Beirut-Lebanon, Tel.: 961 1 56 25 93


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AJA 4