The Royal Jewellers S04 ep10 : KARP Jewellery [Hong Kong]
Interview with Smit Virani
With over four decades of experience and expertise in the diamond trade, KARP caters to international luxury brands. Apart from being a DTC Sightholder, the group is recognised as an "institution" in the industry, using the most technologically advanced manufacturing systems in the business. KARP manufactures a huge array of products, from 0.005-carat goods to stones weighing 10 carats and above. It excels in the production of certified fine makes, fancy cut goods and fancy coloured diamonds. The manufacturer is one of the few companies that has achieved up to 5-micron precision in diamond manufacturing. .
KARP is four brothers “K” “A” “ R” “P” stands for Kishul, Amile, Rameish, Pankaj. I am Smit Virani, I am the son of Rameish.
KARP originally is from India. We were the pioneers of fancy cut diamonds, the first fancy cuts and we perfected them. We
started initially in Surat, that’s where our headquarters are. We have our manufacturing factory over there, where we have
perfected diamond polishing.
I was not pressured into this. I have grown up around diamonds. There is a saying in my family that we have more diamonds in
our blood than blood itself.
Diamonds have this emotional value. For when you see the stone from rough, you cut it, you see the end product. You see it
going to a client, to a lady or a man and the happiness that it feels in them, it’s very satisfying.
I have not studied GIA. At GIA they teach you certain things. We as KARP always have believed that we are very technologically
advanced. I have learned to rough diamonds and manufacturing from there. We do have our departments and actually help the
GIA and the GIA also helps us. So it’s a continuous learning curve.
We have our own R&D departments. We make our own machines as well in collaboration with another company. So it’s kept in-
house and we have our own technology. Actually my uncle and my cousins, some of them are engineers as well. So they look at
the machine and see how they can enhance it. We don’t only look at technology within the diamond industry, we actually look
at technology outside the diamond industry as well. For example, certain amount of laser or something. You can see maybe this
laser machine cut specifically for another industry. For example steel, and we bring it into the diamonds, because a laser is a
laser, it’s a point.
Diamonds are actually first found in India. So if you look at history with the maharajas wearing all the big necklaces, all the
precious stones. If you look in the Koh-i-Noor diamond on the Queen of England, that stone is from India. There is always this
relation that we have had with these precious stones.
We have a designing department in Hong Kong. We also have a team that is forecasting. This helps us to have an idea and keeps
us in alignment with our customer base and obviously with new customers in order to forecast future trends.
They are being jewelers in India, but you have to understand that India is such a big country. It’s as big as Northern America. You
have different types of taste. You have a big South Indian retailer but you will not be successful in North India because not India
has a different taste. They use different types of goods. If you look at East India and you compare it to West India, you have the
Taatas, you have the Reliances who are big jewelry manufacturers and big retailers. But these are modern times and the times
are changing. Back in the days it was the maharajas personal friends are maharajas themselves used to do it. They used to have
their employees, we used to call them Baboos Indian terminology for a jewelry manufacturer.
I am GIA trained. I have a Master’s degree. I learnt polish and sorting for one and a half years under one of my uncles.
And now with my other uncle I have done rough for almost a year as well. I have started buying rough and I’m into jewelry as
well because my father handles jewelry. So I have my hands in all things.
We are one of my manufacturers. We will make anything from one cent all the way up to 50 carats if it’s diamond. Everything
can move we don’t believe that on the small things, big can move. Then it’s up to your sales team in honor to serve these things.
My favorite diamonds are colored diamonds. I love the yellows, we have learnt color maximization, where we cut the diamond
in a way where we enhance the most color naturally obviously. Its through all cutting skills versus through optical fusing science.
I had a diamond of where I predicted one color and as I was cutting it just kept on getting darker and darker and darker. This
was when I was learning actually and my uncle knew this and he wanted to teach me a lesson. He said okay if you think it’s this
make it into this and I just kept on making it, making it, making it and it just turned out to be a fancy color. That was very
interesting learning stage, that’s where my eyes really opened up in rough cutting.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Karp Jewellery