His Grand Designs
Local jeweler celebrates 25 years
By Jessica Laskey
Aquamarine Jewelers’ motto is “Your jeweler for life”—and owner Aiman Nasrawi means it.
“My business is built on trust,” says the master jeweler, designer and store proprietor, who recently relocated his 25-year-old business to Five Points Plaza in Carmichael.
“To me, selling an item is not what I’m after. I’m not here to make a bunch of money and leave. We specialize in custom designs—retail is secondary, so we don’t have a high markup. We’re all about getting to know people, making them happy and having repeat customers. We’re in it for life.”
Nasrawi has, in fact, been in the jewelry business for nearly his whole life. A native of Amman, Jordan, he grew up in the industry thanks to his two uncles who designed pieces for big manufacturers all over the world. After falling in love with the process of jewelry making—seeing it go from “batch to finish” before his very eyes—Nasrawi bugged his uncles until they let him start designing at age 13.
Nasrawi’s brother was also interested in the business and moved to the U.S. to open his own jewelry store in San Francisco, eventually relocating to Sacramento after the 1989 earthquake. Nasrawi followed—initially to be his brother’s best man at his wedding, but he fell in love with the area and decided to stay and work in his brother’s store.
Nasrawi’s talent did not go unnoticed. In 1996, he set up a small shop of his own, Aquamarine Jewelers, to do repairs for larger jewelry retailers (most shops don’t have jewelers on-site). He also started working with Nordstrom Fine Jewelry, which turned into seven years of doing design and repair for the department store’s Sacramento, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton and San Francisco locations.
Nasrawi’s workmanship proved so popular that he eventually had to move out of his 400-square-foot workshop and into a larger space to accommodate the clientele who flocked to him not only for his undetectable repairs of heirloom pieces—his specialty—but also his original custom designs.
“When you love something, you’ll do magic,” Nasrawi explains. “Especially when you see the look on the customers’ faces when they get exactly what they’re looking for.”
A 15-year resident of Carmichael, Nasrawi always dreamed of someday setting up shop in Five Points Plaza—a mere 1 minute from his house. When he finally spotted a “For Lease” sign in the ever-popular center on Arden Way that also houses Bella Bru, 24-Hour Fitness and Matteo’s Pizza & Bistro, Nasrawi jumped on it. He moved into the center in November and has no plans to leave—he signed a 20-year lease.
Nasrawi says he’s been touched by the outpouring of support from the Carmichael community. Neighbors stopped in to welcome him, the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce helped with the grand opening and ribbon cutting, and a representative from Assemblymember Ken Cooley’s office presented Aquamarine Jewelers with a certificate of recognition.
As someone who is very committed to his community (Nasrawi sponsors all kinds of organizations, including Make a Wish, Junior League, Alzheimer’s Association, Roseville Police Department, March of Dimes and Sacramento Fashion Week), the designer is beyond pleased that his fellow Sacramentans continue to embrace him and turn to him for his extensive expertise in the artform he loves best.
“I’ve had some of the same customers since 1996,” Nasrawi says. “A little baby who used to come to the store with her grandmother just had a baby of her own. Being here 25 years, I’ve seen my community grow up—and I’m not going anywhere.”
He’s in it for life.
For more information, visit aquamarinejewelers.com.
Jessica Laskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.