Anup Jogani likes to unearth hidden treasures. His newly opened Jogani Gallery, 10 minutes from downtown Los Angeles in Silver Lake, California, offers a curated display in an artisan-crafted setting that showcases his passion for gemstones.
Can you explain the enduring fascination with colored gemstones?
There is so much history and [so many] endless stories associated with colored gemstones. Every inclusion tells you about the stone’s origin. The science of gemology really comes alive through colored gemstones.
How does the Jogani Gallery display its gems?
It’s easier to speak passionately about something when you have an inspirational space. The gallery evokes the sense of an atelier, with an Italian-inspired viewing room and a Spanish-inspired office.
Gemstones are grouped together by color: red and pink, blue sapphires and white diamonds, and emeralds and more organic colors. The stones are either mounted, in a ring box, or in custom-made trays of leather and velvet. To enhance the ambience, glass jars filled with less-expensive gemstones sit on shelves along the walls.
What are the most popular colors and stones among your clients?
Sapphires and emeralds definitely take the top spot. Emeralds are exceptionally hot. We’ve also seen a lot of interest in padparadscha sapphires. Rubies have done extremely well this year. Although typically favored overseas, rubies are starting to gain traction in the American market.
How do you source your stones?
We pursue a combination of strategies. Auction houses are an important source, and it’s critical to establish strong relationships with the heads of their jewelry divisions. I attend a lot of antique shows, from the Miami Beach Antique Jewelry Show to GemGenève, which often has incredible gems.
We continually reach out to private estates, especially through social media. Our Instagram has 100,000 plus followers, which brings us a substantial number of leads.
Education speaks to the biggest part of my role. Whether I am selling to dealers, commercial collectors, or individual customers, I go over and above in educating them.
How important is education to your sales pitch?
Education speaks to the biggest part of my role. Whether I am selling to dealers, commercial collectors, or individual customers, I go over and above in educating them about the gemstones. Honesty is paramount.
Most clients ask about provenance, gemological information, and which certifications are most trustworthy. I will delve into minute detail about what to look for in a specific stone, including the type of inclusions. Although we don’t deal with heated stones, I want customers to understand the value of unheated stones. I emphasize the importance of obtaining certificates from specific labs and often insist on clients getting more than one certificate.
An important Kashmir sapphire requires at least three certificates. Price discovery is also important. I refer clients to check auction houses that now offer more transparent pricing for comparison. Armed with an education, clients can develop a collection that will stand the test of time and grow in value.
What trends do you expect to dominate 2024?
More money is pouring into the best of the best, with heavy skewing toward super-fine gemstones. Some gemstones are becoming more sought-after as mines become depleted. A lot of Brazilian stones are breaking records, whether it’s a Paraiba tourmaline or alexandrite. Mahenge spinels are pushing record numbers. I see pink sapphires as trending. Generally, untreated stones that are [high-quality and] natural are very desirable.
Love at first sight
It was a pear-shaped, 12.50-carat, cherry-red, unheated Burmese ruby that got Anup Jogani hooked on colored gemstones.
He began his business in 2006 “in a vacuum,” he recalls, knowing very little about diamonds or gemstones. But white diamonds didn’t hold any special allure for the “scientifically minded” Jogani.
He stared exploring pawnshops, which provided an introduction to different gemstones.
Now a designer as well as a dealer, Jogani looks to the Renaissance for inspiration: “I love the enamel and scrollwork. It’s my favorite period.”
Main image: Anup Jogani. (Heitzel Alvarenga)
This article is from the January-February 2024 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.