Why buy from us?
We have been selling ideal cut South African diamonds and fine jewelry from the same location for over 30 years. Former wholesalers, we now sell directly to the public. Our business model is to give quality diamonds and jewelry at great prices, without sacrificing customer service and attention to detail. What sets us apart from online and chain stores can be summed up in three words: expertise, value, and personal service.
Anthony Taitz, the owner, has 35 years of experience in the diamond and jewelry business. He began his career as a diamond cutter at Goldstein Diamonds in Johannesburg, South Africa. He then continued on to Protea Diamonds South Africa, who at the time were sightholders for De Beers— one of less than a hundred companies worldwide authorized by De Beers to purchase rough diamonds in bulk. Anthony spent three years cutting round and fancy shaped diamonds, as well as sorting, cleaving, and marking rough diamonds and dealing with clients from all over the world. He moved to the United States in 1983 and spent his first three years here as a wholesaler, dealing with clients in all 50 states. Anthony also has experience on the jewelers bench, having learned many skills such as stone setting, pavé and micropavé, wax molds, ring sizing and general jewelry repairs. He has been exposed to all facets of this industry, and holds a certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Diamonds & Diamond Grading. Anthony is fortunate to have been mentored by one of the top diamond experts in the world. When you come into our store you are not dealing with a commissioned sales person, but with the owner himself who has worked in all aspects of the jewelry industry and is passionate about what he does.
Buying a diamond takes knowledge and understanding of the product. Every diamond is unique. Two diamonds of the same color and clarity can look completely different. The most important factor when buying a diamond is its beauty. In other words, does the diamond have sparkle and luster?
What makes a diamond beautiful is a combination of three factors: cut, color, and material (where the diamond comes from). This is why we source all our diamonds from South Africa, which is known for gem quality diamonds. Some diamonds may read beautifully on the certificate and have a very attractive price, but the saying, “you get what you pay for,” is certainly true in the diamond industry. The reasons behind the attractive price are usually lenient grading, poor cut, inclusions that are visible to the naked eye, or cloudy/hazy material. Every diamond dealer in the world buys diamonds by looking at them in person. A dealer will price diamonds based on grading, cut, material, inclusions, and supply and demand. Diamonds trade at market value, and a diamond that is worth $1000 will not be sold for $700, just like a $100 bill would not be sold for $70.
The importance of the ring cannot be overstated! You can purchase a gorgeous diamond and set it in a mediocre ring- it will still look like a mediocre ring. Making jewelry is an art. Fine workmanship has style and finesse. Not all rings are created equal. You can have two rings with the same metal weight, carat weight, and measurements, but the difference in workmanship between a designer, hand-crafted ring and a mass-produced ring is noticeable. At Protea, we strive to make beautiful, quality pieces of jewelry that will last for generations.
We have a boutique-style store, and we work by appointment. In a quiet, no-pressure atmosphere, we educate our clients throughout the process— from factory to finger. We strive for quality and perfection, and for the past 30 years we have had thousands of clients buy quality jewelry from us. We have been voted by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the top jewelry stores in the area, and our reviews speak for themselves. Our goal is to help you create the perfect piece of jewelry, give unbelievable personal service, and have clients for life who will refer their family and friends.