The San Francisco Story
By Charles A. Frocchia
From the Book of Business
Fine Jewelry Ltd. Is one of the leading wholesale fine jewelers and direct
diamond importers in the Bay Area, a testimony to the successful partnership
of Giraux and Serpoug "Sue" Sarkissian.
Both of Armenian descent, Giraux and Sue started selling jewelry as a
young couple in Beirut, Lebanon in the late 1960s. I the early 1970s,
they moved to Rhodesia where Giraux won great acclaim within the country's
rich gem community as designer of the presidents' ceremonial chain and
the Rhodesian Independence Bell. During a brief return to Lebanon, they
lost everything in the Civil War there. Family and friends enticed them
to the Golden State, and when they arrived in April 1977, they immediately
felt at home.
first opened a small workshop in the Post Street jewelry district. Then,
in November 1977, the couple opened the first fine jewelry showroom in
San Francisco's Showplace. Soon they also opened a retail store on Sutter
Street. They then recognized an opportunity to concentrate on their shared
dream of a special approach to fine jewelry.
In 1983, they became pioneers in the new era of wholesale fine jewelry
at the San Francisco GiftCenter and JewelryMart , occupying the first
of their eventual three fine jewelry showrooms at that location, which
are open to the public by appointment.
Fine Jewelry's reputation is built upon the closest relationship with
their customers. In order to offer them the best values of the finest
quality dazzling gems, the Sarkissians themselves travel to the gem capitals
of Antwerp and Bangkok. They were among the first to introduce Americans
to Tanzanite-a brilliant blue-violet gem they first saw while in Africa.
Satisfied customers continually praise the "honesty, straight-forwardness,
great knowledge, and patience" of the Giraux staff. The Giraux family
of sales consultants now includes the Sarkissian sons and daughter-Sarkis
and Tamar, both GIA certified gemologists, as well as their younger brother
Sarkissians understand that a love affair with jewelry is a life-long
event. Their showrooms feature engagement and wedding sets, as well as
distinctive rings, necklaces, and bracelets perfect for every anniversary
and special occasion. Inspired by his love for Sue, Giraux continues to
design masterpieces that are widely admired and emulated. He helps customers
recognize the beauty of a gem and its setting, and educates them on their purchase. Sue inspires rapport with her customers that often blossom into
lifelong friendships. Treating customers like family, they have earned
a loyal clientele and a reputation for uncompromising quality and integrity.
Celebrating 20 Years, in Style
By Carrie Soucy
Vol. 42, No. 10, May 16, 1998 National Jeweler. A Miller Freeman Publication
Francisco-One of the original occupants of the GiftCenter and JewelryMart
here two decades ago is celebrating its anniversary with a year -long
a gala party held recently, the founders of Giraux Fine Jewelry, Sue and
Giraux Sarkissian, thanked the company's customers. The couple founded
the company in 1977 after immigrating to the United States. Today, their
three children are active in the family business.
feel we have a very loyal clientele and, in this business, you have to
have people trust you, and that's the kind of business (my parents) have
established," said their son, Sarkis Sarkissian, who serves as operations
manager for the company. " We wanted to thank customers who have
kept coming back and, basically, became a part of our family."
was the first fine jeweler to introduce diamonds to the GiftCenter and
now occupies to major showrooms there. The company specializes in diamonds,
especially large-size stones.
The jeweler is known for unique and sometimes extravagant designs. Echoing
that theme in their jewelry, Giraux is also a sponsor of the American
Basketball League's San Jose Lasers and the creator of the world's only
14-karat gold regulation-sized basketball.
the next year, Giraux will be offering special promotions to customers,
including a cruise and a customer referral program.