How a Passion for Diamonds and Sisterly Inspiration Transformed this New York Family Jeweler
By Deb Yonick
From mine to market, women play an integral role in the journey of a diamond. This article is part of a series around International Women’s Day that profiles women working in each stage of a diamond’s journey and the impact it has on their lives.
In a city of big-name jewelry brands and dazzling shrines to bling, it was important for sisters Jennifer and Christina Gandia when they took over the family jewelry business more than a decade ago to offer an intimate, personal experience to explore special bespoke designs.
Started by their parents Carl and Milly Gandia in 1976 on Greenwich Street in lower Manhattan, Greenwich St. Jewelers had long offered exceptional service with a high level of expertise. But the sisters dreamed of adding a broader range of services and a more fashionable, curated selection of jewelry.
Today, Greenwich St. Jewelers presents a carefully chosen assortment of styles from classic to contemporary to avant-garde, including sought-after and emerging designers, unique custom designs, and a wide range of engagement and wedding rings. With highly trained jewelry specialists at the counter and master jewelers at the bench, Greenwich St. Jewelers offers skillful custom, restoration, and repair services in a boutique setting that fosters the belief in the bond a perfect piece of jewelry can create between people and memories.
Jennifer comes to the business with a background in fashion marketing and Christina from the world of finance, both noting that although they grew up as daughters of jewelers they were encouraged to follow their own paths. “Then 9–11 happened,” shared Jennifer, who stepped in to help her family rebuild the business, near ground zero on Trinity Place. Comfortable segueing from fashion to jewelry, Jennifer realized she liked jewelry better. “Jewelry is connected to happy times in people’s lives. It’s a joy to work in a business that helps people celebrate special loved ones and life moments.”
Not long after, Christina became involved in the business and pursued her Graduate Gemologist degree at the Gemological Institute of America. She now guides the company financially, overseeing staff and client services, and as a GIA-certified gemologist selects every diamond used. Jennifer provides the creative vision and marketing direction, with a passion for finding brilliant new designers and sourcing fabulous color gemstones for custom work.
Both sisters love sharing a diamond’s compelling story with their customers. “It’s pretty awesome when you think where diamonds come from, this transformation of carbon, how it reflects light in different ways, that it’s the hardest natural substance on earth, and all the lives it touches in a positive way along its journey,” tells Christina. “It’s easy to fall in love with a diamond.”
But not every diamond is right for every customer. “Getting to your perfect diamond starts with learning what you like, from a stone’s cut and size to its style and personality,” explains Christina. “We only show diamonds of brilliant quality and the highest pedigree, whatever your budget, with each one obtained from trusted sources in sustainable conditions. We present an edited selection based on your preferences and guide you through the process so you can make your decision with confidence.”
Antique cut diamonds are a favorite of Jennifer, who recently got engaged with one. “Taking an antique diamond and putting it in a new setting is a meaningful blend of Old and New World.” Not surprising, the jeweler curates Old European cuts, rose cuts, and raw diamonds for an enthusiastic audience. She also sees a trend among their clients for more fancy shapes like marquise and pear in engagement rings and diamond fashion jewelry. In fact, she says delicate diamond jewelry is popular in re-imagined designs that have introduced fine jewelry to a new generation of diamond buyers.
Reading through online reviews of Greenwich St. Jeweler — strewn with adjectives like approachable, comfortable, easy-going, helpful, caring, friendly, and knowledgeable — you see how sisters Jennifer and Christina have created a happy space that inspires meaningful ways to celebrate life.
Click here to read more articles from the International Women’s Day series