Drawn To Detail: Excellence in Fine Jewlery Design

Actress Angelina Jolie with Robert Procop, an expert in fine jewelry.

For ideators and designers alike, it all begins with a sketch. On a raw, colorless page, the precision is shown in a contrast of sharp lines and imperfect edges. Acting as a rough draft for a soon-to-be gem, the piece of paper is paramount. The smeared details, while tedious and hard to replicate, draw in the consumer and ultimately form a lasting impression. The sketch sets the expectation.

Robert Procop, leading diamond and gemstone expert, finds proper craftsmen to sketch the designs for his California-based fine jewelry brand, and he says it’s key to success in the industry. Procop believes that this doesn’t happen by gliding with the status quo, but rather by pushing boundaries to find what works. Over time, this garners deeper admiration and respect. It was an intrepid concept Procop may have adopted from his father, who worked as an engineer at General Electric.

Born and raised in Southern California, Procop’s boldness and determination were wildly evident even from the time of boyhood. What started as a desire to collect rocks and gems in early adolescence evolved into buying and selling gems for trade. He worked in a jewelry loan office and fervently acquired the tricks of the trade. “I traveled the world and learned the techniques of making fine jewels,” Procop said. Not only did he absorb this knowledge at an impressive pace, but he earned enough money to financially support himself as a young and spirited college student.

After immersing himself in the fine jewelry world, Procop embarked on a journey to Bogotá, Columbia where he quickly mastered the art of faceting a gemstone using a polishing machine to cut and buff the gem into a size that was suitable for sale. This tedious task, along with his love for lighting, formed an unrivaled appreciation for the design process.

Procop’s next phase of life sharpened his business acumen even further. The aspiring jewelry professional accepted roles like wholesaler, retailer, and store owner. He even began his very own luxury jewelry business in the heart of Beverly Hills called Diamonds on Rodeo, serving distinguished clients like President Ronald Reagan with exceptional, hand-crafted accouterments.

Procop now leads an advanced business concept of his own, using his familiar moniker as the foundation of the eponymous jewelry brand. Gaining notoriety along the way, Procop made his mark with royalty when he cared for the crown jewels under Queen Elizabeth. Additionally, he commissioned pieces for celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Brooke Shields.

To showcase his infectious love for fine jewelry, Procop recently collaborated with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to curate the exhibit, “100 Carats: Icons of the Gem World.” The display is a true depiction of the jewelry designer’s most covetable gemstones, including a 120-carat Mozambique ruby known for its brilliance and strong fluorescence. Each gemstone in the collaboration is over 100 carats, revealing not only the true splendor of each piece in his personal collection, but his dedication to quality.

Procop’s inspiration behind the collaboration shows his adoration for high-end design, and if studied further, his refreshingly unconventional approach. He recalls asking himself, What has never been done before? And the rest fell into place. “The answer and challenge turned into an incredible treasure hunt for the finest gems in every species,” Procop said. “This kind of search and discovery is what I enjoy most.”

The Robert Procop brand also seeks to make an impact further from home. The brand supports proper sourcing and responsible mining as a way to rebuild an industry broken down by society’s harmful impact. Unethical practices and overconsumption have challenged the integrity of the industry and given jewelry brands, like this one, more leverage to reveal these issues and bring them to the surface. The Procop retailer continually strives to educate consumers on how to shop for gemstones, which demonstrates the honest company they strive to build.

Robert Procop doesn’t intend to lose momentum anytime soon. In addition to his design and curation work, the brand proudly participates in charitable work with organizations including Treasures from Angels, a designer resale website where proceeds are given to a women’s family shelter, the Los Angeles House of Ruth (LAHR). Additionally, the brand completes work for the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, a non-profit organization committed to increasing access to quality education for underprivileged children.

Learning the art of gemstones takes time and patience, but the team at Robert Procop would say it’s vital to standing out in the industry. Beyond that, they facilitate a quality approach that is mindful of ethical regulations. Acquiring gems from the mines and firsthand sources has helped them form an honorable reputation. And the final aspect to success has been finding the sweet spot for competitive value.

When asked what advice he’d propose to aspiring jewelry designers, Procop concluded, “Imagine your most creative ideas. Sketch them on paper over and over. Dream of what they will look like,” he said. “And only use master craftsmen.”

About The Author

Covering such high-profile events as runway shows, charity receptions, and luxury galas, Annie DeMuth is a cultured and gifted young writer with an intricate insider knowledge of both fashion design and the fashion industry. She boasts extensive experience in fashion copywriting and has interviewed, reported on, and penned countless stories covering a wide variety of topics — from controversial news to fashion and culture — including a number of notable profiles on luxury fashion designers and prestigious fashion design houses. For editorial consideration please contact editor@jetsetmag(dot)com.

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