The State of Gems 1

Diamonds Fine Jewelry

Ninety percent of the jewelry sold at Diamonds Fine Jewelry are custom pieces. Todd Thompson, owner of Diamonds Fine Jewelry, discovered a passion for jewelry when he bought his wife’s wedding ring 18 years ago. “I started by doing inventory,” shares Todd. “It’s hard to break into this industry because it is often a business that is generational, a family business.”
Thompson had generational help in building his business, which he co-owns with his wife Charmenia. His parents co-signed a small bank loan when he started in 2007. Last June, Thompson moved Diamonds Fine Jewelry into a space three times the size of his original location in Meridian. The sizeable showroom allows him to show off the talents of his staff and the  artful beauty of their creations.
“I’ve always been good at creating stuff with my hands,” says Todd. “Now I get to create something beautiful and unique and also help create happy moments.” He holds a glittering ring studded with hundreds of tiny diamonds in his hands. “If you’re buying from a guy who doesn’t have dirty fingers, you’re buying from a salesman, not a jeweler.”
Todd’s state of the art equipment allows him to create any design a customer can imagine. “Anything is possible on the computer but you also need a person who can do the work and make it actually functional and doable.” Thompson’s team includes Matt, a gifted CAD designer, and Lynn, a jewelry maker with 40 years experience. Rounding out the staff is Lance, Todd’s “number one, right hand man,” as well as Cole,  a recent BSU grad who will be an apprentice. “I want to give back to the community and give someone a shot at getting into this business,” says Todd. He’s hoping that perhaps one day one of his three children will be a second generation jeweler at Diamonds Fine Jewelry.
The typical jeweler’s visor magnifies only seven times but Thompson’s setup includes a microscope which can magnify a piece up to 45 times.  “This allows us to see exactly what we are doing and produce the highest quality product. When Lynn used the microscope for the first time she noted, ‘My work is going to improve.’”
From modeling the design using CAD software to creating a wax model with a 3D printer or carving out wax on a CNC (computer numeric code)  machine or hand carving wax, to creating a prototype, the artists at Diamonds Fine Jewelry aim to fulfill the dreams and ideas of their customers.
“We offer an ability to create something unique,” Thompson smiles. “Customers can see the process and be intimately part of it.  We allow the customer to be involved as much as they want to be.”
“There are no limitations,” says Thompson. “If it’s physically possible we can do it. You can be as creative as you want to be.  And we are competitive on price. We can build a custom piece for 15-20 percent less than other jewelers because I’m basically the wholesaler, I’m buying the raw goods and creating pieces and cutting out the middle man.”  He points out that he can work within any budget and has done jobs ranging from $5 to $750,000 dollars. It takes about three weeks to create a custom piece.
Diamonds Fine Jewelry does work for retail, as well as producing jewelry for other stores in the Pacific Northwest. About 30 percent of the work they do is repurposing jewelry–creating jewelry from older pieces.
“My favorite part of the process is sitting down with customers and brainstorming ideas with them,” reflects Todd. “And of course, producing exactly what they imagined.”