Shimansky Jewellers Founder & CEO, Yair Shimansky has taken a polished kernel of an idea and transformed the meaning of quality and diamond design into a globally-recognised jewellery brand. From crafting to designing his own creations, Yair sold at a beachfront flea market stall, to an international icon of luxury, quality and impeccable reputation, the Shimansky brand grew immensely in the space of just three decades. But the story of each Shimansky diamond creation begins further back in time than that – 3.3 Billion years back, in fact – when the Earth’s fire was captured and carbon, compressed, into the diamonds which make their way into the brand’s iconic jewellery creations, today.
Shimansky started travelling on his sea captain father’s maritime tanker aged just three months, inspiring a lifelong love of travel in the curious young man. It was a visit to Japan at the age of 22 which set him on course towards the pinnacle of the sparkling diamond world, with the experience he gained there inspiring his pursuit for perfection and putting him on a path he still travels today: to learn everything there is to know about the jewellery and diamond industry.
Two years after this dazzling epiphany, in 1991, he travelled to South Africa to visit his parents and subsequently met the woman who would later become his wife, giving the restless traveller an opportunity to put down roots. The application of his hard-won knowledge of the finest diamonds and the most stringent of jewellery production methods, set his humble beachfront flea market stall apart – and it wasn’t long before Shimansky Jewellers became one of the most luxurious diamond boutiques in Cape Town, by 1994. One store has grown into seven across Johannesburg and Cape Town, a wholesale location in the retail mecca of Hong Kong and a dazzling new location in New York – and possibly the world’s – most prestigious shopping street, 5th Avenue.
Under his guidance, the Shimansky brand has won worldwide acclaim for superb quality, cutting edge design, superior workmanship and unparalleled ethical sourcing & production. Shimansky is also known as the top leading platinum pioneer in the world and was named the ‘Platinum Kings’ of South Africa. Retaining a hand in every step of the process from the selection of rough diamonds – which he still does, himself, literally by hand, from a small pool of artisan South African diamond mines – to the design and production of the brand’s signature pieces, Shimansky is inspired by creating timeless jewellery creations that symbolise and celebrate special milestones in people’s lives.
Key to the hard-won reputation of Shimansky is the ethical and immaculate documentation of each diamond’s journey from deep within the Earth, to its sale as part of a dazzling item of jewellery. After selection, the diamonds follow a carefully-monitored path into the workshops of Shimansky’s expert artisans, where they are marked, cut and polished to the most exacting of standards, with a focus on brilliance, rather than size. International Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grading certifies their immaculate quality and, crucially, no ‘middle-men’ are involved in the progression of the diamond from ‘Mine to Finger’ – meaning the quality, authenticity and history of each diamond is carefully preserved and significant cost savings are passed on to Shimansky’s exacting and loyal customers.
Shimansky’s devotion to bringing out the dazzling fire at the heart of every diamond has led to the development of many patents, near-impossible-to-copy innovations and technologies unique to the brand. Designed and developed by Shimansky and now internationally patented – the world’s first patented diamond cut originating from South Africa – My Girl®’s unique eight-sided square cut creates the ultimate combination of fire, brilliance and scintillation; Millennium® is the most sought-after engagement ring in South Africa, the mark of everlasting love and the devotion of two lives, and copyrighted around the world and Brilliant 10®, which takes three times longer to polish than any other cut and is achievable by only one in 1000 diamond cutters – the most brilliant diamond cut in the world.
The brand’s workshop is situated in the heart of Cape Town, at the Clock Tower precinct conveniently located at the bustling V&A Waterfront and the Shimansky Rockwell Diamond Experience in Green Point – showcased via guided tours – give visitors an intimate insight into the expert craftsmanship needed to create each Shimansky piece, with both complemented by glittering showrooms which showcase the brand’s finest creations.
Equally impressive are the Shimansky Showroom at Victoria Wharf and stores at One&Only at the V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk in Century City and International Departures at Cape Town International Airport, as well as at Sandton City in Johannesburg.
Visit www.shimansky.co.za to locate your nearest store, book a guided tour at one of the brand’s Diamond Experiences or set up an appointment to create a bespoke piece of Shimansky Jewellery, alongside one of the brand’s expert designers.