When Michail Mirkin and Roman Gurfinkel established the Geraldo Jewelry Company in 2002, they had a clear vision: They aimed to create a fine diamond jewelry company, where all of the stages of the process, from diamond acquisitions through design and processing to the setting and finishing would all take place under one roof in Israel.
Why is it so important for the entire process to be performed in-house? Michail Mirkin explains: “In a world where competition and counterfeits reign, we have succeeded in finding a relative advantage that enables Geraldo to maintain hegemony in the area of fine jewelry, which for the most part cannot be duplicated. In order to manufacture our artistic creations, ongoing interaction is vital between all of the experts in the manufacturing process, including the designer and the engineer. As everything is under our supervision, we are always able to meet our schedules. In addition, I can conduct quality control during each and every part of the process. The end result is a perfect piece of jewelry with superlative finishing.”
Mirkin employs a staff of 20, including polishers, setters and goldsmiths. In addition, there is an engineering department which builds the models. There is also a design department headed by Jenny Abramovich – a ShenkarCollege graduate with honors. And finally there is the goldsmiths’ department, where the models are prepared and processed, the gold is treated and the final piece of art is assembled.
Up until two years ago, Geraldo custom made fine jewelry for well-known actors, singers and celebrities in the US, Europe and Russia, and also served as a sub-contractor for superior brands in Switzerland and France. Mirkin says: “That’s when we decided to develop an independent brand in the area of men’s jewelry as well. Overseas, we sell our diamond jewelry in four fine jewelry stores in Russia and we will shortly open our own stores in Uzbekistan and the Ukraine. We hope to open an additional store in France.”
He continues: “We were surprised to discover that there is a market for fine jewelry in Israel. In Israel we sell our jewelry through a well-known jewelry chain and in addition, in a display room next to our factory by appointment only.”
Geraldo’s collections are both breathtakingly beautiful and highly unique. Each of the collections – such as the Winter Collection or the Animal Collection – includes only a handful of items which are custom made. The Animal Collection, for example, includes animal pendants and pins, from a chameleon embedded with yellow and green diamonds to a mischievous little monkey encrusted with black and white diamonds.
Geraldo has developed a specialization in Invisible Settings, which has no match worldwide. Michail smiles: “We have succeeded in developing a diamond encrusted ball after huge efforts. Geometrically, this should be impossible. Leading fine jewelry companies have dismantled the ball with the aim of trying to reconstruct our process, but without success.We have registered a patent for this item as well as others both in Israel and abroad.”
Jewelry designer Jenny Abramovich says that teamwork which incorporates the designer, goldsmiths, setters and engineering staff enables mutual fruition and the development of very special jewelry. “We aspire to create a classic piece of jewelry that is also fashionable. Not long ago we produced a golden Christmas tree which can serve as adornment for the tree as well as a hanger for luxury jewelry.”
One of the upcoming projects is to design and manufacture kinetic jewelry pieces. “The incorporation of movement in luxury jewelry is not a simple undertaking, but the end result is fascinating. As our collections are small, we can easily adapt ourselves to changes in the jewelry industry.”
The main thing, Jenny stresses, is to create jewelry that will always remain relevant and which can be handed down from one generation to the next.
Not long ago, Geraldo and the Israel Diamond Institute’s Diamond Technology Center (IDT) cooperated in creating a special course for beginning polishers. The graduates, who were hand picked by the jewelry company, subsequently joined the company. Mirkin says: “Our aim is to develop an Israeli brand with added value together with the IDT.”