JCK magazine is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year! To commemorate that milestone, we’re talking to 150 veteran jewelry professionals in 2019 for a feature series meant to distill the voices of some of the industry’s most enduring and successful professionals.
We can’t print every interview in its entirety in the magazine—so we’ve been posting full interviews here on JCKonline.com every Thursday.
This week we hear from Brian Gavin, renown diamond cutter, designer, and retailer of loose diamonds and diamond jewelry.
JCK: How long have you been in the jewelry industry, and how has it changed since you joined?
Brian Gavin: I’m the fifth generation of a diamond family originating in Amsterdam. Since emigrating from South Africa to the U.S. in 1985, I have been involved in the diamond business, first in the wholesale arena, and then I was one of the first people to start selling loose diamonds online in 1999. I have spent my life’s work in the optimization of light performance in diamonds, introducing my signature Hearts and Arrows diamonds—and more recently my patented cushion and emerald cuts— online to customers from all over the world. In conjunction, my dream was also to make custom jewelry creation available to the masses. If you visit my website, you will see the realization of my dreams.
Thirty-five years ago I saw an industry that was archaic, held by small business, mostly not open to change, and happy to continue business as usual. It’s incredible to see that 35 years down the road there are still many who hold onto those ideas. I have seen many independents close because they have not been able to move with the times and embrace change. I feel blessed that we were ahead of the game and embraced the new online arena in its very early stages. The new marketplace is even more dynamic than ever and it’s important to be innovative and constantly ahead of the game, with more players trying to enter the online market every day.
What’s your experience with the JCK magazine, and what has it meant to you?
My original journey with JCK started almost 25 years ago, when I was trying to get a booth at the JCK show in Las Vegas. Frank Dallahan, publisher of JCK magazine in the late 1990s, identified our work in light performance in diamonds and was instrumental in helping us get into JCK.
JCK magazine has always been referred to as the industry bible, and I have been an avid reader since my arrival in the USA. JCK magazine has featured us many times, highlighting many of our cutting-edge introductions to the market.
We feel honored to have gained the respect of the JCK editorial staff.
Top: Brian Gavin (photo courtesy of Brian Gavin)
Catch up on all of JCK‘s 150th interviews:
Cecilia Gardner, former president and CEO of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and general counsel and director of the United States Kimberley Process Authority
Sarin Bachmann, event vice president of the JCK, Luxury, and Swiss Watch shows for Reed Jewelry Group
Dave Bonaparte, president and CEO of Jewelers of America
Ettagale Blauer, former JCK New York editor
Lee Siegelson, rare and collectible jewelry dealer and expert
Tamara and Amir Goldfiner, cofounders of Rahaminov Diamonds
Dallas Prince, founder of Dallas Prince Designs
Esther Fortunoff, president of Fortunoff Fine Jewelry
Terry Burman, former Signet chairman
Brandee Dallow, president and founder of Fine Girl Luxury Brand Building & Communications
Tom Chatham, CEO of Chatham Created Gems & Diamonds
Tom Heyman, partner, Oscar Heyman & Brothers
Duvall O’Steen, jewelry publicist, Luxury Brand Group
Pat Henneberry, founder and president of the Jewelry Coach
Marty Hurwitz, CEO of MVI Marketing
Hank B. Siegel, president of Hamilton Jewelers
Erica Courtney, jewelry designer
Robert Weldon, director of GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center
Stuart Robertson, vice president of Gemworld
Bill Furman, longtime JCK magazine ad sales manager
Kathryn Kimmel, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of GIA
Katie Kinsella Murphy, owner of Kinney + Kinsella
Frank Dallahan, publisher, The Retailer Jeweler
Jen Cullen Williams, managing director of Luxury Brand Group
Sally Morrison, chief marketing officer of Lightbox
Susan M. Jacques, president and CEO of GIA
Marie Helene Morrow, president of Reinhold Jewelers
Jenny Luker, U.S. president of Platinum Guild International
Beth Gerstein, co-CEO of Brilliant Earth
Russell Shor, GIA senior industry analyst
Walter McTeigue, cofounder of McTeigue & McClelland
Caryl Capeci, president of Hearts On Fire
Eddie LeVian, CEO of Le Vian
Peggy Jo Donahue, freelance writer and former JCK editor-in-chief
Rebecca Moskal, jewelry marketing veteran
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