JCK Asks…Robert Procop

The designer boasts a collector’s eye, a commitment to charitable causes, and a love of natural colored stones

Just how exceptional are Robert Procop’s exceptional jewels? He’s actually taken them on tour. The Beverly Hills, Calif.–based designer recently exhibited his ­impressive emerald collection at a select few lucky U.S. retailers. You also might remember some eye-popping emeralds in his Style of Jolie line, created with the Oscar-winning actress ­Angelina Jolie, with all the proceeds benefiting children’s education. But his palette goes far beyond green pieces. Asked to name his favorite colored stone, he replies simply: “One with a rare natural color.”

Age: Somewhere between Drake and Santa Claus.

Number of years in the biz: 40

Family and pets: Very close family full of love and laughter.

Describe your personal style: Enjoy a black-tie dinner and love jeans and a T-shirt for sushi by the beach.

First piece you ever designed: Ruby-eye skull ring, quite ugly.

The single piece of jewelry you’re most proud of: They are like children—I’m proud of them all. This week, an alexandrite cat’s-eye bracelet.

Robert Procop’s 12.71 ct. cushion-cut blue sapphire with diamonds in platinum

Tell us about the piece you’re working on right now: A very intricate bracelet that will take a year to finish.

Best piece of advice you ever received: “Only buy the best natural gem you can afford.”

Worst piece of advice: “Stop buying.”

First job ever: In my father’s engineering plant at 12 years old.

How did you get started designing jewelry? I worked in a pawnshop when I was 16. The following year I bought an old cluster ring and made several contemporary rings from the diamonds.

If you weren’t designing jewelry, what would you be doing? Architect.

Jewelry you’re wearing right now: Only cufflinks.

One of Procop’s exceptional emeralds

Items on your desk right now: Emerald specimen, an auction catalog of space memorabilia, laser flashlight, Apple laptop, and this No. 2 pencil I am writing with.

Songs on your playlist: “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran; “Fantasy,” Alina Baraz & Galimatias; “Crystal Ball,” Styx; “The Hills,” the Weeknd.

Exercise regimen: CrossFit, ski, and surf.

What did you have for breakfast? Oatmeal, smoothie, and an omelet.

Guilty pleasure:
Extra añejo tequila.

Drink (daytime/evening): Fresh juice/fine wine.

First website you check every day (not your own!): Ski reports—MammothMountain.com.

Gardenia in the morning, lavender at night.

How do you unwind? Glass of wine and great food, finished by a hot fudge sundae.

Book you’re reading: The Artisan Soul, by Erwin Raphael McManus.

Book you’ve been meaning to get to: Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow.

One must-visit spot for someone traveling to Los Angeles: Petersen Automotive Museum.

Favorite movie: Too many; La La Land this year.

Who would play you in your life story? Leonardo DiCaprio.

(Gardenia: Kaidevils/Getty; drink: Karandaev/Getty)

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