How Gabriel & Co. Helped Define Everyday Natural Diamond Jewelry

A conversation with co-founder Dominick Gabriel about the passion and artistry behind the bestselling brand.

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Dominick Gabriel (Courtesy of Gabriel & Co.)

With over 30 years in the jewelry industry, Dominick and Jack Gabriel, brothers and co-founders of Gabriel & Co., understand the importance of knowing their customers, predicting trends before they become mainstream and creating pieces with emotional significance. Sons of master jeweler Elias Gabriel, the brothers started designing jewelry in 1989 to fill a void in the industry; fine jewelry that was effortlessly luxe. Now a well-established category, some of Gabriel & Co.’s bestselling styles are those you’d wear as easily to a dinner date as you would to yoga: stacking bangles and bands, layered necklaces and sleek earrings. Over the years, the Gabriel brothers and team have helped define the everyday pieces, milestone jewelry and engagement rings of generations. Only Natural Diamonds sat down with Dominick Gabriel to discuss the enduring values behind their collections, why natural diamonds are crucial to their designs—and what the future holds. 

Only Natural Diamonds: What is the inspiration behind the tagline “Artisans of Love” and what does it mean to you? 

Dominick Gabriel: When you love someone, you’re connected, and you understand them on a deep emotional level. As “Artisans of Love,” our mission is to become the most beloved jewelry brand. We want to understand the consumer at a deeper level. When we create our collections, we create them with what a consumer or a better way to describe them, a fine jewelry collector, will be inspired to wear. When we design, we genuinely see who we are designing for, who that woman is, what she likes, and what she aspires to wear. Jewelry is wearable art that expresses who they are.

Gabriel & Co. 18K White and Yellow Gold Diamond Stud Drop Earrings, via
Gabriel & Co. 14K Yellow Gold Wide Bujukan Criss Cross Diamond Ring, via

OND: You say on your website that you founded Gabriel & Co because the jewelry industry at the time felt unfeeling and needed a new vision. Can you elaborate on that?

DG: We wanted to create artistry, beauty and bring into existence the concept of wearing fine jewelry everyday. That’s how Gabriel & Co. came about. We wanted to be that stylish, sexy, and sophisticated brand that women could wear comfortably everyday and be able to add bolder more luxurious pieces for an evening event. There wasn’t a brand out there doing what we call it today “comfortable luxury.” We did this over thirty years ago and now it’s a popular thing. 

OND: Your father was a master jeweler. Does any of his influence or design remain in the pieces in your collection today?

DG:  The essence of my father Elias Gabriel remains in every collection and is part of the brand. He always said, “Your reputation travels before you.” It’s all about how you choose to serve. As our brand grew, we stayed true to honoring our promise to create fine jewelry with the highest level of craftmanship. Every piece we make has a serial number – we know which of our artisans designed it, set it, and polished it, all the way through our quality-controlled process to the person who bought it.  We give every single piece the attention to detail that it deserves, with our fine jewelry selections ranging from $200 for our silver pieces all the way to the $75,000 for our gold and diamond pieces. We know it’s going to be somebody’s engagement ring, anniversary gift, sweet sixteen gift or for self-purchasing. Every piece has our name on it and it’s a reflection of our company – this makes our fine jewelry collectors feel an intrinsic happiness.

Gabriel & Co. Wide 14K White-Yellow Gold Multi Row Diamond Bujukan Bangle, via
Gabriel & Co. 14K White-Yellow Gold Bujukan Diamond Circle Huggies, via

OND:  Speaking of quality, why is using natural diamonds in your designs so important to you?

DG:  That’s a very good question. I don’t have to tell you; diamonds take millions of years to form. We said jewelry is art, correct?

OND:  Right.

DG:  When we look at diamonds, each one is a piece of art that nature created. If you talk to any diamond dealer, they will tell you no two diamonds are the same. Each one has its own uniqueness. We want to be authentic. We want to be true to our collectors and believe every diamond is unique and we love that story. As artists, we want to use diamonds because they are unique and rare.

My brother was asked a similar question recently, and he had this answer: There is nothing wrong with manmade diamonds. It’s just that when you’re buying a natural, it’s like buying a Picasso, it’s an original. The manmade is a copy. You could produce many copies, but it doesn’t have the same value as the original. It won’t retain, in the long term, the value of art. 

OND:  That is such an apt comparison. We touched on this a little bit in talking about the different personality types of your customers, but who do you design jewelry for? Who is your customer?

DG: Like I said before, we want to be the most beloved jewelry brand. We design for those who appreciate the finest things in life, who want to feel sophisticated, sexy, and stylish. Jewelry is self-expression. My job as a designer is to see what fine jewelry collectors aspire to wear, then design collections every year that will engage them, that they will love so much that they become timeless heirlooms.

Gabriel & Co. 18K White Gold Diamond Floral Open Ladies Ring, via
Gabriel & Co. 14K White Yellow Gold Graduating Diamond Droplet Necklace, via
Gabriel & Co. 18K White Gold Diamond Criss Cross Ladies Ring, via

OND:  This might be a hard question because your collection is so extensive, but do you have a favorite piece in the current collection or a favorite all-time piece?

DG:  The collection that I love is our Gabriel Bujukan® Collection. I love all my collections, don’t get me wrong, but I love the meaning behind this collection. It’s inspired by the Balinese word Bujukan, a term that captures the essence of gentle persuasion. The art of subtle influence—achieved through a fleeting wink, a soft touch, or a whispered word—becomes the soul of each piece in this collection.

The main design element is the sphere. Beautiful luminous spheres are grouped together to create our signature custom sized bracelets along with necklaces or earring sets that complete this collection. Although the spheres appear static, there’s joyful movement and they are extremely comfortable to wear. 

I love the meaning of the sphere, not only representing inner strength, endurance, and resilience but also sensual, soft, and very enduring. It’s the circle of life filled with wisdom and protection, and all contained within a golden sphere which in part of God’s universe. An eternal symbol with no beginning or end.

OND: What jewelry trends are you loving right now?

DG: We’re seeing a lot of the retro style of the eighties coming back. I was talking to my wife eight years ago and I said to her, “The herringbone chains from the eighties are coming back.” We don’t sell herringbone, but last week we had a buyer from a very fine jewelry store come to our NYC showroom talking about how everyone is asking for herringbone chains now. I’m going to give it away, but I’m working on a collection inspired by Punk. Punk was very hot in the early eighties and is the right time to reintroduce it.

Gabriel & Co. 14K White Yellow Gold Bujukan Diamond and Hollow Link Chain Necklace, via
Gabriel & Co. 14K White Yellow Gold Bujukan Diamond Cluster Split Bangle Bracelet, via

OND: Very cool. I’m excited to see the punk collection. What about bridal trends?

DG:  The trends in bridal are changing much faster than before. In the past, the trends changed every ten or twelve years. If you remember, the Victorian-inspired look with engraving and filigree detail was popular. It gave way to the halo, which was very showy and flashy. Now, it’s a simple hidden halo with very thin shanks. What we see is the pendulum swinging completely the other way. Believe it or not, the channel setting is going to be popular again. The wide, yellow gold, chunky look is back. 

OND: How do you envision the future of Gabriel & Co?

DG:  I think the future is very bright because today’s fine jewelry collectors want things with meaning. Millennials and Gen Z are not shallow, they are very wise. The jewelry industry sells products with meaning because it’s the only thing that you can buy and pass on to the next generation. Fine jewelry is wearable art as you wear it, the value goes up because of all the memories collected.

To go back to your first question, that is the definition of “Artisans of Love,” and of being the most beloved brand. It’s not about creating jewelry; it’s creating those moments that take people back to important moments in time. Maybe it was an anniversary gift, or you got a promotion at your job, and you rewarded yourself with a piece by Gabriel & Co. When you look at your piece of jewelry you remember that time. That’s what excites us about the future and drives us—being part of people’s special moments.