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From Cape Town to 5th Avenue, New York

The journey of the Shimansky brand from its creation over two decades ago is that of one man, its founder, Yair Shimansky. It is a tale punctuated with international travel, dazzling diamonds and a love story, all of which have polished Yair Shimansky into who he is today.

Visit the 5th Avenue, New York Showroom and meet the man behind the brand, in person.

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Founder, Yair Shimansky

An interesting life, Yair Shimansky

There are few people who have had a more interesting life than the founder of Shimansky. Yair Shimansky wanted to be a pilot or a surfer. Instead he founded Shimansky, a premier jewelry brand.

Shimansky was born in Israel in 1967. His mother was a stay-at-home-mom, while his father worked for a large shipping company, captaining a maritime tanker. Shimansky often joined his father at sea. “From the time that I was three months old I would spend one-and-a-half, to two months at sea. This continued until I was 12,” he recalls.

This was both a happy and an educational experience for the impressionable young boy. “Being on the boat was just marvelous because it was like a huge playroom. It was great fun; I would play in the engine room the one day, and on deck the next.” During this time with his father, he visited numerous countries, learning about different cultures, “I could not have wished for a better education,” he shares. Of course, there were no other children on board, which meant that Shimansky only interacted with adults, maturing much faster than other children of the same age. He spent many hours poring over books. Fantasy books were a special fascination; this helped to develop both his imagination as well as his creativity.

Over the years Shimansky acquired an eye for selecting the finest diamonds.

As a young man at the tender age of 22, Yair Shimansky embarked on a two-year journey to Japan, which served not only as a rite of passage into the world of diamonds and jewelry, but also as a major learning curve. It was there that he studied the art of diamond cutting and polishing, and where the Japanese culture of perfection made a life-long impression on him. Having learnt the intricacies of diamond qualities and different cuts, Shimansky was armed with a unique perspective and experience in life.

After developing a passion for the diamond industry, Shimansky set his sights on New York. Now in his twenties, it had been a childhood dream to establish a business in the United States. But, his dream would have to wait. On a visit to see his parents in the jewel-studded lands of South Africa, Shimansky met his future wife, who would bond him with the country in a whole new way.

Romancing the stone, the Shimansky brand takes root in South Africa.

Drawn to the beautiful lands of South Africa and with an abundance of natural resources - diamonds and platinum - the Shimansky brand was established in 1991. From humble beginnings selling jewelry at a marketplace before opening his first retail jewelry store two years later, Yair Shimansky develops an eye for carefully selecting the finest diamonds, ethically sourced direct from South African mines.

Where passion meets precision.

While Yair Shimansky designs jewelry for his clients in the early 1990s, the manufacturing process was outsourced. Yair Shimansky soon realized that in order to deliver higher quality in a consistent manner, a hands-on approach would need to be taken. To this affect, he establishes jewelry manufacturing studios in-house employing a team of expert craftsman to bring his unique, designer jewelry creations to life.

During a business trip to the US at the time, Shimansky discovers platinum, the most precious metal of all. This sought-after metal had only just started gaining popularity after it was banned for the manufacturing of jewelry during World War II. South Africa is home to 80% of the world’s platinum. It was an instant match. Shimansky is the first to introduce platinum to jewelry creations in South Africa, which earned him the affectionate title 'The Platinum Pioneer'.

The same is said for diamonds. Driven by the constant pursuit for perfection and dissatisfied with the quality of the diamonds available to retailers in the mid-1990's, Shimansky entered the world of diamond cutting and polishing, also opening in-house diamond cutting and polishing studios.

The Millennium Diamond Ring, Iconic by Design

The existence of every Shimansky jewelry creation owes itself to founder, designer and creator, Yair Shimansky.

The art of design lies not only in form and function, but also in creating a symbol of love and devotion that becomes part of you and stands the test of time.

Inspired by the special moments in your life, Yair Shimansky has designed a range of signature jewelry creations including The Millennium Diamond Ring, Two Hearts and Evolym; which are iconic by design. Adding to this, a number of patented diamond cuts including the My Girl diamond and Brilliant 10 - hailed as the most brilliant cut diamond in the world.

Many of his jewelry designs are inspired by his travels. Exposure to art, nature, architecture, science and more, serve as inspiration. A true designer at heart, his vivid ideas translate into images that take shape in the form of conceptual sketches. Overtime they evolve. At any given time, Yair Shimansky has a series of prototypes on hand, and he is mindful to give these time for experimentation and expression. After all, you can't rush iconic design.

His insatiable pursuit for perfection, combined with first-hand involvement in every step of the process ensure that you receive a masterpiece to treasure forever.

Diamond Cutting And Polishing Studio at the Shimansky Rockwell Showroom, located in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Journey To New York

After almost a quarter of a century since Yair Shimansky began his endeavor, he embarks on a new journey.

Holding onto his childhood dream to establish the Shimansky brand in the United States; At the ripe age of 50, Yair Shimansky set's his sights on New York. He relocates his family in 2017 to the capital of the world and establishes Shimansky USA LLC.  

Meet the man behind the brand, discover signature jewelry designs or create your own bespoke design. Visit us at 580, 5th Avenue, Suite 3110 New York.

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