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2008 Private Preview: Diamond Dynasty

Jill Newman

Kwiat, a Polish surname that is

pronounced "kwee-ot," might not be a marketing firm’s preference for a brand

moniker, but the Kwiat family is understandably attached to it. Though hardly a

household name, Kwiat is widely known throughout the diamond industry as a

supplier of stones and as a manufacturer of jewelry. Early next year, the name

will crown the company’s first boutique in New York City, and, not surprisingly,

family members will be thoroughly involved in the operation of the store. "My

great-grandfather Sam Kwiat came to this country a century ago and established a

diamond business," explains Greg Kwiat, the 30-year-old family scion. "One

hundred years later, a family member is still involved in every step of the

process from procuring the stones to creating the jewelry—and a family member

will be in the store to meet our customers and facilitate custom

designs."

To mark the opening of the boutique on Madison Avenue at 64th

Street and the company’s 100th anniversary, Kwiat will present its centennial

Decades collection, which features 10 one-of-a-kind pieces, each evoking the

jewelry style of a particular decade. An Art Deco–style necklace with a pendant

made of rock crystal rings connected by cascading baguette diamonds represents

the 1930s, while an oversize floral ring appointed with a vibrant 4.5-carat

orange sapphire alludes to the ’70s. The store also will debut Kwiat’s fancy

pink and fancy yellow diamond jewelry and a new platinum and diamond timepiece.

You will be able to select from an array of designs that range

in price from $1,000 to more than $1 million, or you can commission custom

pieces that will be produced in Kwiat’s New York workshop. "Clients can work

directly with our designer, Janice DeBell, visit our workshop, and experience

firsthand the creation of their jewelry," Greg says in reference to ordering

custom designs.

Although Kwiat is a newcomer to Madison Avenue’s jewelry row,

it has supplied diamonds to the trade since 1907, when Sam opened his store on

Canal Street. In 1951, he moved the business to a midtown showroom in what

became New York’s Diamond District. There, he and his son David remained

important dealers for another four decades. In the mid-1990s, under the guidance

of Sam’s grandsons Lowell and Sheldon, the company produced its first jewelry

collection bearing the family name. Today, eight family members work in the

burgeoning business.

Like each previous generation, Greg plans to advance the

company. He wants Kwiat to become a premier brand on the level of its new

neighbors Chopard, Graff, and David Yurman. "With any good brand, there is a

process of discovery," he says. "People will discover Kwiat, and they will learn

how to say our name."

Kwiat, 212.223.1111, www­.kwiat.com

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