Founded in 1980, Zoltan David offer exceptionally unique, custom-created jewellery collections, all handcrafted in Austin by Zoltan and his close team. Using only conflict-free diamonds and eco-responsible precious metals, Zoltan is committed to creating authentic jewellery that people are proud to wear.
Constantly evolving the tools, technology and techniques, the brand thrives on innovation and pushes the boundaries of authentic and original jewellery. We chat to Zoltan about why he feels so blessed to be able to make beautiful things that make people profoundly happy.
When did you first fall in love with jewellery?
“I was fascinated by jewellery at a very early age, how it was made and what made it so beautiful and special. I knew I wanted to be an artist when I was 16. I was in my backyard on a sunny summer afternoon in Edmonton, Canada, carving a block of Soapstone when I realised the love I was feeling for the process of artistic creativity. I knew then and there I would be an artist. It wasn’t until the age of 19 when I started to probe further into the jewellery industry that I realised I could someday become a designer and a goldsmith. I could feel it inside me that I wanted to design and I knew with determination, I could be good at it.”
How has your childhood influenced you as a designer?
“The decorative arts of the Hungarian culture have a strong influence in my work. I was born in Budapest Hungary and my early years were greatly influenced by the architecture and decorative arts in Budapest. My parent’s will power and strength to endure some very hard times has always been an example to me to never give up.”
"My parent’s will power and strength to endure some very hard times has always been an example to me to never give up."
How did you get in to the jewellery industry?
“After examining the environment of a jewellery maker, I knew I could spend a lifetime absorbed in this process. And because of its complex nature, I knew I needed to be taught by the best. I was fortunate enough to find a highly skilled designer/goldsmith to train me and I learned a lot from the Swiss and German masters I worked alongside for 8 years. After 8 years of training and learning in 1980, I started my own brand.”
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
“Inspiration for my work comes from 3 main sources: the materials I work with, the techniques and tools I use and my clients. My clients are all wonderful and interesting individuals, and their uniqueness always sparks my creativity. The jewellery is made by me and my very talented assistants. We very much enjoy our work and respect each other; the work is performed in “Dancing Metals Studio” here in our facilities in Austin Texas.”
"My word is my bond. If I say I am going to do it, I do so."
Values are hugely important to us at Jewelstreet. What are your core brand values?
“I personally value freedom, self-reliance and integrity. All 3 of these values are woven into my work on different levels. Integrity is very important in the jewellery world. Often, I am working with clients who rely on my expertise to deliver the clear facts. My word is my bond. If I say I am going to do it, I do so, if I say it is a particular material or design, then it is so, and if I do not know, I say so as well.”
Are there any clients you are particularly proud of?
“I can think of one client in particular that I am most grateful for. She was a fearless, glorious person. Whatever she did, she did exceptionally well. She was larger than life and a patron of my work. When she passed away, she insisted on holding one of the rings I made her close to her heart. The lion’s share of her Zoltan David collection is on loan to the G.I.A. museum where it sits today on display for all to enjoy.”
"There is nothing more satisfying to an artist than to be free to create. I can do this now and it is a dream come true."
Do you use ethically sourced materials in your work?
“The criteria is that all materials and gems be conflict free and environmentally responsible. This has been our practice for several decades, long before it was fashionable to be socially and environmentally ethical and kind.”
What does the future hold for your brand?
“I am proud of our brand; it is authentic, original and beautifully crafted. There is nothing more satisfying to an artist than to be free to create. I feel like I am just beginning because there so many possibilities and so much more wonder of beauty to be discovered, inventions to be invented and techniques and tools to be developed.”