Since the early 1900s Avni Patel’s family has sold precious gems. His grandfather started the business as a colored stone dealer in India, specializing in rubies and sapphires. When the second generation took the reins, Avni’s father opened and operated the Hong Kong location for more than 35 years. Today Avni operates the U.S. office located in the New York Diamond District as the third generation of family to take the helm, and he owes it all to his family.
The only son of a second generation family business owner, Avni Patel grew up quietly watching his father develop a
He trained Avni the same way; showing him, firsthand, how to pick the best stones and how to treat customers. His father took him to India to learn how to buy diamonds. He made sure he knew which countries offered the best cut for the value and he taught Avni how to listen and understand what a customer needed. For Avni’s father it wasn’t enough to simply provide a product; he insisted on going out of his way to service his clients and he taught his son to do the same.
Avni recalls “growing up in Hong Kong and learning my dad’s methods in the late ‘80s. He specifically taught me how to treat older customers, making sure I showed respect to them. My father is old school so he always insisted we dress professionally and act professionally regardless of whether the account was large or small.”
In 1992 Avni headed for the New York Diamond District to open and operate the family’s first U.S. based business. His father backed him every step of the way while continuing to operate the Hong Kong office. For Avni, his father was his “guiding light” in helping him understand and establish his business.
Today Sirgold is best known for carrying parcel diamonds and being able to make perfect matches of high quality melee. Although they specialize in round, the company carries both traditional and fancy shapes.
For melee orders they carry sizes from 1 pt. up to .075 cts. Their earring studs range from .20 ctw. to 5 ctw. and come in every shape. They take pride in the fact they carry ideal cuts.
Carrying only loose stones allows them to present their customers with layouts that are identical in cut, color and size so their customers can make their own choices.
Avni knows the value retailers find in being able to present their customers with an enormous selection of stones that are already matched. He also knows how to save retailers time by carrying just about anything they need, whether fancy shapes - think trapezoid, half moon or straight baguette - or traditional like marquise, princess or oval. Sirgold has it all.
“We know that matching diamonds is difficult and we are proud of the fact that we are very good at it,” states Avni. “We are precise with our quality and we go out of our way to make sure our customers get what they need.”
For Avni the business continues to thrive. With more than 500 customers nationwide he is looking toward a bright future.
His father, now retired, splits his time between the U.S. and India where he organizes and runs a soup kitchen for the impoverished people of Cambay, India.
“My father always wanted to give back to his hometown of Cambay. He started the kitchen in 2006, but was a big philanthropist for ten years before that,” recalls Avni.
Passing down a family business can be tricky. It is a lot like singing: there is much respect to be gained when done well.
Sirgold can be reached at 800-840-2734 or 212-840-2794.
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