Benjamin Javaheri, Uneek Jewelry’s Founder and Designer, recently sat down with Tanner Vaughan of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) for a live Instagram interview. The focus of the discussion was “The Vision,” a piece that secured Benjamin two awards in the prestigious 2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards last year.
In a wide-ranging interview, Benjamin discussed the industry, his process, and some of the things that make Uneek unique. With a manufacturing facility and workshop in LA, Uneek’s approach is rare in the industry. As Benjamin mentioned, “At a very young age, I learned that if you don’t do it yourself, you can’t control quality and precision in a timely manner because you have to rely on everyone else.”
This uncompromising attitude has helped Uneek recently celebrate 25 years in the industry. During the interview, the pair discussed “The Vision,” the 11.58 ct blue sapphire and platinum ring that picked up two Spectrum Awards in the Bridal category.
Benjamin shared his design philosophy. “I like first to get the stone, and once I fall in love with the stone, it’s like a piece of art, I believe. The right frame needs to be made to accent the beautiful piece of art.”
Of course, “The Vision” is not the first of Uneek’s platinum and sapphire rings to get the attention of AGTA. Benjamin’s piece from our Royal Blue collection was a winner at the Spectrum Awards in 2018.
“Sapphire is my favorite gemstone. I think it’s so beautiful. In fact, when my boy was born, I gave my wife a sapphire, and we called it Jackson Blue,” Benjamin reveals. “There’s just something about it, the happiness of the color, the depth of it. It’s like the ocean; you’re mesmerized; you can look into it forever,” he adds.
On the subject of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Benjamin admitted it was a challenging and scary time but that Uneek “were blessed, because we had the support of retailers and our clients really supported us during this time.” He adds that technology, specifically photography and video, allowed Uneek to present their products during the lockdown and help the business thrive and grow.
Finally, in light of Uneek’s 25th anniversary, Tanner asked what advice Benjamin would give to designers or businesses who were just starting out. “I believe you have one chance in life, and you’ll have regrets of not doing what you want to do or not following your passion. But you’ll never have any regrets about doing something that didn’t work out. At least you tried 100%.”
Follow this link to watch the AGTA interview with Benjamin Javaheri in full.