The Royal Jewellers S04 ep3 : Bayco Jewellers [New York]

Interview with Giacomo & Moris Hadjibay

Jewelry for kings and queens is one way to explain the business model of Bayco. This is, of course, a metaphorical conception of Bayco's audience; the modern idea of royalty has grown to include everyone who hungers luxury and who understands the intricate labor and savoir-faire that goes into every Bayco piece. The sophistication once enjoyed only by half a dozen people in each country has spread to a more generalized—but still rarefied—luxury-loving elite. After Amir moved to Italy in 1957, he used his considerable gemstone experience and contacts in jewel capitals around the world to take advantage of Italy’s postwar taste for gems and position as a trade hub. A little over twenty-five years later, Amir’s sons Moris and Giacomo teamed up in New York, working together as co-CEOs at Bayco. It didn’t take long for the two brothers to find success; they had years of individual and collective experience, gorgeous stones in their collection, and an exceptionally jewel-centric family history.


Bayco comes from the last three letters of our family name Hadjibay. It's a company that my father started, it's a true
expression of where we're coming from. 07:42

When he was fourteen, he went to India because there were English families, not a rich people.
He started to see that the English, they loved rocks. He went to Iran, he bought rocks, brought it
to India, sold it to the people with the mami. He started to buy jewels,diamonds, color stones, go
back to Iran, sell that. With the money buy carpet, bring it back and the things start to become
famous and it may very,very good money.08:24

From India, he went to Iran, he got married, we have an older brother, when he was born he was
handicapped. They said the best place to go,for him, to raise him, it's Italy. So our brother learnt
how to walk, how to talk a little bit, how to write, read and everything. 08:53

I was the first generation in Milan. I was three years old in 1961, when we moved to Italy and at
that time, Italy was avery, very strong market after we went. Post war and the senate was the
best market. They use to buy the most precious stones, the most beautiful jewelry and

Bayco imperial emerald

He was also buying estate pieces, that was a major business that we had, and the stones was the
passion. We use to search for the manufacturer and all the retailers. 09:42

1978,79, Iran lost everything, wrecked and my father said listen,we have so much property in
Iran and everything,I don't want to keep everything in Italy, in one basket.When I came into
business, they sent me to, he sent me to United States.10:08

Our father was buying from the Marages, buying from the royal families everywhere.So that
was where we were and still today,one of our strength is to buy from collectors and from estates,
from families who have owned jewelry, from the decades, because the beautiful important
stones, they don't they're not mine, all of them today. 10:38

When we grew up in Italy, our father sent us to boarding school in Switzerland. At age fourteen,
fifteen, we were already exposed to, you know, international arena. So speaking Italian, French,
English, Farsi, Spanish, all these languages, was already vey, you know hip. So by going to New
York is a dream for any young man at the age of eighteen, nineteen, twenty, is beautiful. 11:13

Bayco rubies bracelet

The crown of the jewelry industry were on Fifth Avenue, was Vissiya, Harry Winston,
Bulgari Agustan, they were in the (period time, Tiffany. All these were the crown you know, the

We grew up in this industry, our family, our father. He used to bring the stones at home, at five
seven, eight,nine years old. And he used to put them on the dining table at night and we use to
play with it. and it was you know, for a child to play with these beautiful rocks, for us it was like
candies. Color stones, diamonds, they're all different colors and we were taking them and look.
And our dad use to ask us, "What do you think, which one is the nicest? put them together, how
would you put them together? so it was beautiful. We use to go to the office and sit on the
corner and look how our father was buying and selling. He was very passionate and we really
wanted to come in the business. That was the whole idea from the beginning. 12:31

Once he was not yet in the business,my father owned a very important necklace from
craftsasapphires. There were twenty-nine cash sapphires emeralds and fifty five karat, all
emeralds in a magnificent necklace, was done in India long time ago. He wore it, everyone want
to buy it. My father offered more, he bought the piece. They wanted to buy it back from him.
He said it's not for sale. He kept it, kept it, kept it, twenty years, silently he decide he has to sell
it. Somebody came in , made an extremely big offer, they bought the necklace, We sold it, we
made money but if today, we can have that necklace, it's priceless. there's no second one,you
understand. In after thirty-five years that we sold this necklace,still, we haven't found another
one that is, we can't find one, one stone, we're talking about, that resemble, but like this story,
we have a lot of stories that our father sold important pieces, one of a kind,we sold , we had the
opportunity to buy and sell things that we sell and regret.14:03

Bayco diamond earrings

Our father knew about this stone through a collector, he had seen this stone approximately
fourteen years ago, would have loved to acquire it but the gentleman didn't want to sell . So you
know, he let he know that one day you wanna sell, why don't you contact me. So I actually,
twenty-seven years, have also the chance to look at this emerald once, for few minutes and I
was like oh my God, this is…So the day came, this collector didn't forgot our father, brought the
stone, and say you know, I'm willing, if you wanna still buy it, I'm willing to sell it to you.

Become more real and more difficult to find important stone. Color stone, especially.In Iran,
there is no big production. Sometime, they ben, they have nice things coming here. For a few
years, you see much leather come out with inclusion, not . I was in Colombia and I had
machine, as my head ,what I was buying merchandise from, from the emerald (curt, but it is like
that, it is dangerous. But we have learnt, you know that by having a good reputation again, that
everywhere in the world they know that we are serious buyers, for the finest, finest, precious
stones. 15:36

But the craziest is been not the selling part.Itbeen the buying part. Where we had to, we wanted
to, you know, when a stone comes at our desk, and we know we want to buy it, it's very difficult
to let it go.But sometimes you have to play a certain role, to be able to at least buy it at the
correct price. So we we've had instances where we had to play a theatrical, because sometimes
you know they can come to us and ask us, do you wanna buy and theygive us a price and if we
make an offer, they wanna take the stone to some competitor and sell it for a little bit more, So
you have to be,you have to , know how to administer that. 16:24

Bayco ring

If you wanna buy this, important, important, important, rare, precious stones, you have to step
up to the game. You have to be able to say, you know what, I'm gonna close my eyes, I wanna
own this,I desire it. I'm passionate for it and we've done this so many times, everyday.This is th
same story about the necklace that Cashmera was telling you and Johnny Bulbary. at that time,
offered to buy it and he was a, were very, retailer, my father was a dealer. He weren't
gonnaoffer much more. Quite the same, it happens,But it happens a lot of times and thank God,
thank God still today, we have opportunity that (ted Burger, started that , this emerald that we're
talking about,for us, it's really a legacy, it makes a legacy of our father and the work that he has
done. 17:33

For the moment it's not for sale. We would like to lend it to museums and let the world see it,
cause it's a true exception. It's exceptional. You know, color stones compared to diamonds.
Diamonds are a beautiful, there is, but the color stone, is a more an artistic side of our industry,
It's more, each stone has a different color, a different tone, a different, so each stone has its own
story, but diamonds, most of them, they look the same. 18:08

We learn also, this business, not just from our father. We learn also from the old, old testament
in our industry you know.They made the jewelry,how they made the jewelry,how did they do
the movements, how did they mixed the colors,you know that's a school, it' a big school.18:32

I have two boys in the business right now and two girls,but they're still you know. I have three
kids, two girls and a boy but they are still too young. My daughter she's a coming now, twice a
week, she designs a little bit. 18:53

When I came in the business, I was always asking my brother and my father, what are the
stones that you bought and sold to get history, that was exceptional and what are the stones that
you didn't manage to buy,that for you, and my father use to always tell me there was one pear
ship, I missed sixty karats which is more beautiful than the rock for sapphire and it drives me
nuts. So one day walking, after many, many years, actually here in Bazar, I was walking
around.A gentleman said I have something I wanna show you. We go and out of a pouch, a
sixty karat sapphire falls into myhand, which is like beautiful. So I called my father and said, I
have your little baby that you missed. He said, “ Why are you waiting, just buy it, “we bought it,
beautiful, and we call it the tear of the suta, It's a magnificent sapphire. 20:00