If you’ve ever wandered through the Design Center at JCK Las Vegas, you’d probably recognize Tigren Dorian and his mother, Rose. The friendly duo represent Dorian & Rose, a jewelry manufacturer based in downtown Los Angeles best known for its exquisite 18k and 22k gold jewels—particularly the medallions that are the company’s signature.
Founded in 1977 by Tigren Dorian’s father, an Armenian metalsmith, the company, originally called Titan Jewelry, came into its own when Rose joined the business in 1999. “She started designing, inspired by the jewelry she saw when she was a little girl in Armenia,” Dorian tells JCK. “Women would travel across Europe and would come back with these beautiful pieces, mostly medallions. In that era, big, bold jewels in 18k and 22k gold were in, and they struck her.”
The company first exhibited at JCK in 2007, the same year that Dorian joined the business, fresh out of high school. “People mentioned JCK to us—back then, ah, what a dream,” he recalls. “JCK was this glamorous event, everyone was wearing suits, they had a carpet rolled out.”
Now, as the Dorians look ahead to their 16th JCK show, the plan is to focus on jewels with an unmistakable presence. “For us it’s big and bold chains,” Dorian says. “That’s what we’re going toward. Jewelry was dainty for a while—smaller, minimalist. We’re going to come pretty heavy this year.”
Dorian & Rose’s new square-shape Quad 22k gold and diamond ring is a standout. “If you put it on, it feels like it’s channeling energy,” says Dorian. “It has that mathematical geometric magic to it: four sides, with three diamonds on each side. You can wear it square or as a pyramid. Each face has its own attitude: One’s a little more timid, one’s a little more pronounced.”
He also singles out the 18k gold Dangle drops, which “radiate” when you put them on, he says.
It wouldn’t be Dorian & Rose without a fresh selection of medallions, many rife with spiritual symbols, including a swallow (to represent renewal), a sacred heart, a cross, and Joan of Arc. “My mom grew up religious, but she’s not church-religious,” says Dorian. “She’s drawn to female saints.”
And though Dorian’s father remains behind the scenes, his passion for metalwork infuses every part of the business. “He’s such an alchemist,” says Dorian. “He always says, ‘I have to feel the purity of the metal.’ And that you have to listen to the metal because you can hear if it’s singing or crying. You have to treat it like it’s a living thing.”
Dorian had his own experience with the spiritual side of jewelry when he was starting out in the industry and has waxed poetic about it ever since. “I was going to school for accounting but decided to go to work with the family business instead,” he recalls. “I joined GIA and got this new loupe. I louped into this stone and I saw the galaxy: depths and colors and valleys. It was breathing fire. That’s when I was like, there’s something cool in the jewelry world.”
“These materials that come from 90 miles beneath the ground that take millions of years to bake—we’re carrying a piece of the earth, like a baby,” he adds. “We’re very big on juju here. We believe in the energy of it.”
Top: Quad ring in 22k gold with 6 cts. t.w. diamonds, $52,000; Dorian & RoseFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine