What a Gem

Gemologist-IMG 3709Royal Jewels now boasts a genuine gemologist who’s ready to offer additional services to downtown Rye. 


By Janice Llanes Fabry


Gemologist-IMG 3709Royal Jewels now boasts a genuine gemologist who’s ready to offer additional services to downtown Rye. Owners John and Nanette Givelekian didn’t have to search far to find someone with the most prestigious credential in the industry. He was right there working alongside them for seven years. Their son, Michael, decided to broaden his repertoire and enrolled in the Gemological Institute of America, touted as the world’s foremost authority on diamond grading and gemstone identification.


“I always had a fascination with gemstones and minerals, so I decided to gain a better understanding of how gems form,” explained Michael. “Not only did my education satisfy my own curiosity, but it has been very helpful for our clients.”


Indeed, Michael’s newly acquired technical expertise and hands-on experience makes him a great resource for any kind of appraisals. Distinguishing between synthetic and natural gem stones and determining quality and cost, he is gratified to makes customers feel confident about the value of their jewelry.


The young jeweler is also eager to share interesting nuggets about “the big three:” rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, or the four types of pearls: freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian Black, or South Sea. Naturally, he says, “diamonds are in a realm of their own.” Ask him about any gem’s physical properties, be it chemical composition, hardness, luster, rarity, or aesthetic value, and he graciously offers a mini-education with enthusiasm.


“Gem stones are natural from the earth and form over millions of years,” noted Michael. “They’re nature’s gift to us.”


Requiring him to take a hiatus from his full-time schedule at Royal Jewels, Michael’s GIA graduate gemologist program proved to be quite rigorous. He attended school five days a week from 8-3 for eight months and was tested every Friday. After school, he’d stay in Manhattan and work at Royal Jewels Setting Company with his Uncle Hachik Givelekian. The final exam entailed the precise identification of 20 gemstones in a row, many of them rare or synthetic. A 19 out of 20 wouldn’t cut it. 


“I feel very proud of Michael’s latest accomplishment,” remarked John. “The gemology course teachers raved about him. He’s the authority on diamonds and gem stones now.”


Made from the same mold, both father and son fasten their loupe to a chain and tuck it into their shirts’ front pockets. Though the patriarch is the designer, Michael works alongside him, keeps up with the fashion trends, and now shows clients renderings using 3-D printers.


Nanette, who has noted a little more polish in her son, observed, “He utilizes his knowledge and can talk about what makes a gem richer in color than another with confidence. John has the creativity on the jeweler’s bench and Michael the knowledge. They’ve completed the equation.”


Michael Givelekian