The year was 2015. The place was Las Vegas. I was attending my very first jewelry show ever, when I stumbled into the salon of Kwiat. That was it - the beginning of a love affair between TheDiamondsGirl and Kwiat that has grown stronger and stronger over the years, as I have grown to appreciate not just the spectacular diamonds themselves, but the people and the passion behind this extraordinary brand!
In this blog post we will get acquainted with the history behind the jewelry house, and also learn more about one of my favorite diamond cuts, ASHOKA® diamonds.
Founded in 1907, Kwiat is a 4th generation family brand. Sam Kwiat, the founder of Kwiat, was one of the first diamond dealers to open a shop in Canal Street in downtown New York City, which was one of the first diamond districts in the United States. Kwiat moved from its downtown New York City location to become one of the first diamond dealers to open on 47th Street, today’s internationally known diamond district. Fast forward over 100 years, The Kwiat workshop is located in the New York City office on Madison Avenue. Diamond graders, cutters, setters and polishers work closely with Kwiat designer to bring their vision to life.
Visiting the Madison Avenue boutique is simply heavenly! You will find the most incredible bridal selection, the most spectacular high and fine jewelry, and some of the most astonishing vintage pieces in the Fred Leighton side of the business (this premier antique and vintage business was acquired by Kwiat in 2009). Not only is the flagship boutique beautiful, but you are most likely to meet Kwiat family members, three dashing sons, Greg, Corey, and Russel. all of whom are intimately involved in the running of the business, or perhaps their charming father, Lowell. I am always drawn to family run businesses. While I can't deny the appeal of larger, global jewelry houses, there is something hugely appealing about knowing that you are talking to someone who takes pride in a piece not only because it is beautiful, but also because it bears his or her name!
While I was there, not only did I meet several of the Kwiat family members, including Lowell, who took time out of his day to show me some of his favorite pieces, but I also loved observing the traffic within the boutique. From a young couple looking to purchase an engagement ring, to a celebrity stylist picking up items to be worn on the red carpet, the boutique caters to everyone with the same warmth and caring attention.
I confess - vintage jewelry is not always my thing...but Fred Leighton jewelry may well change that! Extraordinary, one of kind pieces...for he woman who has her own distinct style, this is your shopping mecca! I also trued on contemporary diamond earrings (above) which were full of movement, and literally swayed with every movement. The selection of diamond rings was astonishing, every shape, size, and color imaginable, but ultimately I pared the earrings with a classic, timeless round brilliant diamond.
Let's turn our attention to ASHOKA®! What is it? The ASHOKA® diamond is a spectacular patented diamond cut that is as distinctive as it is beautiful. A unique arrangement of 62 facets creates a dazzling prismatic effect, giving the ASHOKA® its fiery brilliance.
Kwiat is the exclusive US distributor of the ASHOKA® diamond, and designs and produces a collection of ASHOKA® diamond jewelry that is sold through its own stores, website, and retail partners.The process of cutting an ASHOKA® diamond is extraordinarily precise. As such, ASHOKA® diamonds have the most proportional consistency and symmetry of all fancy shape diamonds – making them perfect for eternity bands and other jewelry that requires many stones of equal size and symmetry. The ASHOKA® diamond guarantees exceptional beauty in every stone. It takes a special diamond to create an ASHOKA®. Fewer than 1% of diamonds measure up to the exacting standards. The cutting process is tremendously demanding, requiring up to six months to produce a diamond that is beautiful enough to be called ASHOKA®.
Why do I love ASHOKA® diamonds so much? The answer is easy! Their unique faceting pattern and brilliance reveals a bigger and brighter diamond that appears 1-2 color grades higher than its GIA grading report, and 30%-50% larger than diamonds of the same carat weight. So it looks BIGGER and BETTER - that's a no brainer to me! :)