Designers / Industry

Q&A: Sir King Castro on Maintaining Castro NYC’s Important Legacy


Terry Castro, the founder of Castro NYC jewelry, died last July. He was considered a brilliant artist and a lively, warm, and committed friend.

Since his death, Castro’s family—his son Sir King Castro, in particular—has been at work to preserve the self-taught jewelry designer’s legacy. The result is three large projects: a newly updated website, a Castro NYC Certified Program to authenticate jewelry for owners, and a soon-to-be-announced acquisition by a major museum.

Castro NYC is open for business, and pieces are available through email and private messages on Instagram,” Sir King Castro tells JCK in an email interview.

Castro, who serves as the company’s creative director, updates JCK on the steps the family is taking to ensure his father is honored for his achievements and Castro NYC continues.

The news of your father’s death struck the jewelry industry hard as it was a surprise to many. How are you doing? 

My father’s passing came as a shock to all of us. I think we will always feel like a part of us is missing. Those who knew Castro closely know that family and community were extremely important to him. I called him the Connector. In many ways he was the glue that held us together, and he challenged us to connect even when it was hard. He was always full of energy, he really lit up any room he was in, he could always improve your mood, and he always challenged you to expand your mind. So to lose him has been challenging for us. My uncle and grandmother and I are still grieving for Castro. We know he’s in our hearts and still lives on through us. It doesn’t make it easy, though.

Why was it important to you to make sure his legacy was protected and recognized?

As a Black man in this industry, I know how much my father went through to carve this lane in the industry. And I know how much he put into his work for years with almost no recognition. The last three years or so, Castro was beginning to get mainstream attention, with collaborations with De Beers and Sotheby’s, among others. I truly believe if he had stayed with us a few more years, we would have seen Castro NYC break through to the highest level of jewelry. He made his name on Instagram “Museum Pieces” shortly before he died, so I knew where he wanted to go. I now have the option to maintain a legacy, which is something many Black people and people of color never have the privilege of doing.

What can we find on the Castro NYC website now?

On the new site you can read about the story of Castro and the evolution of Castro NYC, leading up to some very big news this year. We also have a small archive with high-resolution photos that you can browse. I wanted to create a sort of virtual gallery so that anyone unfamiliar can get an introduction to the world of Castro.

Tell me about verifying ownership in Castro’s work—I appreciate that you are doing this for collectors.

What I’m most excited for with the website is our Castro NYC Certified program. The purpose of the program is to provide official documentation to collectors. We request that collectors upload photos of their pieces along with other key information. We then assess the piece based on the info provided and send a certificate of authenticity with a permanent serial number. There is a fee of $180 for the entire process. We hope to work with our collectors to increase the value of their acquisitions. Whether they decide keep their piece or sell, we aim to create a healthy secondary market where Castro enthusiasts can trade with confidence.

When might info about the museum be available?

The papers haven’t been signed yet so I can’t share details, but I can say that Castro will be acquired by a very major world museum this year.

Top: Terry Castro, the late founder of Castro NYC jewelry, is being honored through a variety of new projects. (Photo: Simon Groneberg/courtesy of Sotheby’s)

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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