A family run company with South African origins, Tivon Fine Jewellery has sold exquisite fine jewellery and gemstones for over 50 years. As time has gone on, the brand has continued to evolve and adapt to the current times, but it’s never lost its identity. Ariel Tivon now runs the business and has ensured the team’s passion for quality has remained entirely intact. In fact, in 2011 the quality of Tivon Fine Jewellery’s products were recognised by The Queen of England and used as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations. We chat with Ariel about being part of a family business, the strict core values behind the brand and why jewellery is far more than ornamental.
When did you fall in love with jewellery?
“Since the age of 4 years old, when my father put me in a corner and told me to polish the special silverware as part of his business, I knew that somehow I was to become part of the TIVON jewellery family. However, I only started developing a true passion for gems in my late teens when my father took me on a buying expedition to source gemstones. I loved the myriad of colours and quickly took to distinguishing between average and phenomenal gems. The rest is history.”
Who was the most significant person in your life when you were growing up?
“I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, where my father relocated the TIVON business after trading with South Africa for many years. My parents divorced when I was young and I stayed with my father who became my mentor, my teacher, my friend and ultimately, my catalyst to enter the business."
"My father has never been a man of many words so that little statement was his version of saying ‘Job well done!’. After that, I knew I had his uncompromising eye for quality and I’ve never looked back.”
"I recall one instance when my father took me on a buying trip to source gemstones. He showed me how to hold the gems in the special tweezers and loop them to check for impurities and imperfections. He told me to place all the 'bad stones' on the left and all the 'good stones' on the right. After 4 hours of work, there was a massive pile of ‘bad’ stones and hardly any good stones. My father was not pleased as we had very little time and had potentially wasted 4 hours. He took a sample selection of the gems I had rejected and after checking them again, he smiled, looked at me and said, “You’re right. They’re no good.” My father has never been a man of many words so that little statement was his version of saying ‘Job well done!’. After that, I knew I had his uncompromising eye for quality and I’ve never looked back.”
When did the family business expand to the UK?
“In 2003 I made the decision to move to the UK from South Africa both for personal reasons as well as to expand the TIVON business. At first, we were unsure what the niche within the UK market was but we stuck to what we do best and it paid off as my passion for colour and the TIVON passion for quality soon found favour with the British public.”
"Our gemstones are the heroes of our pieces so we ensure that the designs are created around them"
Where do you find inspiration for your collections?
“Inspiration comes at odd times and the rule is there are no rules when it comes to inspiration. However, saying that, it all starts with the gemstone. Our gemstones are the heroes of our pieces so we ensure that the designs are created around them rather than just an arbitrary design, which is then filled with a gem.”
What are Tivon’s core brand values?
“We have a core ethos at TIVON Fine Jewellery: quality, luxury and rarity. We stick to those principles and ensure that our products are of the highest standard and quality, that our service and products exude pure luxury and that the gems we select are so good that few comparable stones can compete thereby ensuring their rarity.”
How do you source your gemstones?
“Our gemstone search has no borders. We seek to find the most beautiful gems from various countries and continents as that is what our customers demand. We do however try to get as close to the source as possible to ensure we adhere to our ethical standards.”
"Our proudest moment is every time one of our special designs finds a good home."
Who are the clients you are most proud of?
“We have a great mix of customers, from retailers for whom we design and supply to private clientele who commission bespoke pieces. Our proudest moment is every time one of our special designs finds a good home, as only then do we feel like our time was well spent and that someone other than us appreciates the effort it took to create that stunning piece of jewellery.”
How do you want someone to feel when they wear a piece of your jewellery?
“We want the experience to be sublime. A stunning piece of jewellery should be far more than ornamental. It should enhance its wearer’s emotions and they should radiate pure joy and confidence when wearing it.”
What has been the highest point of your career so far?
“In 2011 we were selected to be an official partner to HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations together with the Army and Navy Club’s 175th Anniversary. That was a great accolade, a privilege and an honour.”
What does the future hold?
“I never feel like we have done enough. I always feel like there is more to achieve and discover and that we are always a step away from the next amazing creation.”
Tivon Fine Jewellery's collection is available to shop on Jewelstreet here.