Inside The World of Diamonds

The Heart And Craft of Diamonds: Ishu Datwani

The founder of the luxury jewellery brand Anmol Jewellers, gives us a sneak-peek into his glittering world of enchanting natural diamonds and celebrity clients

The Heart And Craft of Diamonds: Ishu DatwaniA jeweller to some of the biggest celebrities in Bollywood, Ishu Datwani strives to make a powerful statement of individuality through its head-turning, eclectic creations using inimitable natural diamonds.
A jeweller to some of the biggest celebrities in Bollywood, Ishu Datwani strives to make a powerful statement of individuality through its head-turning, eclectic creations using inimitable natural diamonds.

If natural diamonds exist as a proof of the miraculous powers of nature, there’s a good reason why jeweller Ishu Datwani puts all his faith in them. His career trajectory as a first-generation entrepreneur has had its fair share of miracles. From entering the glamourous fine jewellery industry with no godfather to show him the ropes to dealing with A-list clientele—he’s among the rare few to make the cut. And, this, he owes to his humble beginnings as a small-scale jeweller while still in college. “I’ve always had an eye for beauty and a keen sense of business. Also, spending my working hours enveloped in the scintillating brilliance of natural diamonds was as exciting as it was lucrative,” recalls Ishu. 

Far from it being a setback, as a first-generation diamantaire, he had the advantage of viewing the industry in a different light. “I’ve not had to fit into any moulds or live up to anybody else’s expectations but my own. So I could constantly upgrade and reinvent myself,” he says.

“I realised very early in the game, that to stand out in such a competitive market you need to be very passionate about design and craftsmanship”

Starting young also gave him the margin for error as well as the scope to build confidence. “I realised very early in the game, that to stand out in such a competitive market you need to be very passionate about design and craftsmanship—your jewellery pieces have to speak for themselves,” he says. To make this powerful statement of individuality, he’s always worked with inimitable natural diamonds. “I’ve never been interested in anything else apart from natural diamonds because I’m in this for the long haul. I’m here to forge long-term relationships with my clients and provide them with jewellery that is rare and timeless,” he adds.

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Shilpa Shetty and Ishu Datwani go back a long way, from the time he took the onus of designing her bridal jewellery

Diamantaire extraordinaire

This mantra has found favour with the crème de la crème of the Bollywood industry, with celebrities like Shilpa Shetty, Lara Dutta and Malaika Arora becoming a part of Ishu’s coveted clientele. “The best way to deal with celebrities is to not be in awe of them, but to forge ‘REAL’ relationships with them,” he quips. “It is important to befriend them, visualise their dreams, and understand their needs before creating jewellery that makes them sparkle even off-screen,” he explains. 

Shilpa Shetty and Ishu go back a long way, from the time he took the onus of designing her bridal jewellery. He reminisces the emotional moment of watching her bedecked in her bridal jewellery for the first time, during her dress rehearsal. “She looked surreal like a brilliant natural diamond—a symbol of beauty and grace. She was so overwhelmed with what we had created exquisitely for her that she had tears in her eyes,” he adds. It is this unbreakable bond of trust that makes him less of a businessman and more of a friend to his customers. “My clients have such implicit trust in me, that some have let me create their wedding sets without even glancing at the designs,” he chuckles. Trust—after all—is key for the brand that creates some of the finest natural diamond masterpieces in the industry.

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Ishu Datwani with Lara Dutta at the 25th Anniversary celebration of Anmol Jewellers

Through his tireless endeavour to create treasure troves of statement pieces, Ishu always knew that their competition was not going to be limited to local diamond brands. “Our clients were the kind that travelled and had a keen eye—having seen the likes of fine jewellery brands such as Chopard and Cartier. They expected us to create pieces that would resonate with their evolved tastes,” he explains. That’s when he knew that they had to up the ante. They focussed on finish, workmanship and design flexibility of their natural diamond jewellery to ensure that it was on par with global luxury brands.

“Our pieces are bold yet delicate, keeping mind that we cater to women of all ages, from the daring millennials to vintage loyalists”

His creations sit comfortably in the company of both contemporary brands like Graff and the royal works of Viren Bhagat. While natural diamonds take centre stage in his opulent designs, Ishu admits that he draws his inspiration from the breath-taking intricacies of Italian and Roman architecture. “I’m a big fan of classic silhouettes and I recently made a pair of briolette diamond chandelier earrings for my daughter as a part of her bridal jewellery which perfectly aligns with my sense of aesthetics,” he says. 

The jewellery staple that he believes is eternal and will never go out of vogue is the ‘Patti’ or an elegant single string of natural diamonds. “At Anmol Jewellers we love playing with timeless classics to give them an unusual, modern spin. Our pieces are bold yet delicate, keeping mind that we cater to women of all ages, from the daring millennials to vintage loyalists,” he says.

Anmol Jewllers as a brand has undergone a sea of changes, having been revamped five times in the last 34 years to evolve with the times. “We are currently in the middle of yet another renovation because I believe that if you aren’t moving forward with time, you’re moving backwards,” he quips. Despite being a firm believer in change being the only constant, his love for heirloom jewellery remains undeterred. “Our motto is to create jewellery that transcends time and space. Natural diamonds born of the fiery depths of the earth give you that sense of permanence and timelessness. Like diamonds, we as a brand also want to be known as the custodians of everlasting trust,” he adds.