Started as a family run gold workshop in Cairo’s historic Al Azhar quarter in the mid 1980s, today My Diamond is one of Egypt’s most illustrious jewellery houses specialising in diamonds, with five locations across the Cairo area. eniGma’s Mariam Nowar, visited My Diamond’s trendy main store in Mohandessin and sat down with founding CEO Tarek Said to talk about his journey in jewellery and My Diamond’s unique artistic approach to the diamond industry in Egypt.
Said was only fifteen years old when he began working after school at the family’s Azhar gold workshop with his uncle, whom he considers his godfather, and he fell in love with jewellery. After around 15 years of work in the gold business, he developed a serious interest in diamonds that culminated in a High Diamond Council (HRD) degree from Belgium. His fascination with diamonds propelled him into opening the first My Diamond store in Mohandessin in 2005.
Recalling the early days of the My Diamond store, Said says, “We all know diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and the wedding diamond is actually a bride’s most prized possession. Back in the 90s, we were the first in the country to offer twin rings for newly-weds, which consisted of a wedding band for the groom and a diamond ring for the bride, and we distributed them all across Egypt. The business flourished and we achieved incredible success.” The twin ring deals allowed his clients to buy both items at a reasonable price. “We offered an affordable variety of shapes and sizes,” he explains. “My designs ranged from 10,000 EGP all the way to 300,000 EGP and beyond. We kept our own unique designs and approach through all price ranges from medium to high-end. We studied the market very well and never halted our development process.”
Said explains that transforming his business from gold to diamonds in the late nineties was not easy. He began by hiring Lebanese designers and a few workers from Thailand. “We started with around five employees working in the diamond sector. Now, the business has grown to over 60 workers of mixed background. Half of them are Egyptian, learning the trade and gaining experience,” he says. It took time for him to develop his own touch and to add his own creative spin on the designs.
“I want my diamond to be amazing!” he says, reenacting the expression he elicits from his clients. He actually decided on the name, “My Diamond,” because of the connection people should feel with their diamond after making a purchase. “When people are deciding to buy engagement packages, I always recommend diamonds,” Said says. “Our approach is different from the rest of the market. We don’t sell jewellery, we sell art. Jewellery is a piece of art that needs to speak for itself. Although gold has its value, the luxury of diamonds combined with their unwavering value, is fascinating. My Diamond is revolutionising how clients view jewellery in Egypt. Preferences change from one personality to the other, but a great indicator that we’re on the right track is when a client tries on the piece and goes, “Wow, this is my dream!” Our goal has always been to spoil our clients!” he adds with a smile.
My Diamond’s precious stones are sourced from Belgium under the strict supervision of quality assurance teams, and they are 100% designed in-house. Said points out that while most girls are looking for the biggest cut stones, he considers the cut and design to be much more important. “Our clients are buying pieces of fashionable art. And if they wish to make an exchange or change the design of a piece, we offer this as well. We share new designs that can be incorporated into old pieces for a brand new look, not to follow trends, but to set them. We have all the resources needed to redesign and renovate,” he adds.
My Diamond rarely produces more than one identical piece, and all of their jewellery has a modern twist to it, even when it is of a vintage design.“We don’t usually create items that are too classic, and we value that our designs are almost one-of-a-kind so that the piece’s connection with its owner is sacred and special. While, generally, people in Egypt somehow have become accustomed to round stones, modern clients today seem to be thirsty for edgier shapes such as pear-shaped, marquise, and heart shapes, which are definitely in fashion, especially in Europe,” Said explains.
Said explains that each piece purchased from My Diamond comes with a life-time warranty; and in case of an accident or a need for repair, My Diamond is more than ready to come to the rescue. In fact, if a fault is spotted in any purchase, Said is ready to make an exchange or a return, after taxes are deducted. Said is also renovating the My Diamond website so that people needn’t be present in Cairo to make an order. Their order can arrive right to their doorstep with a printed warranty and a quality guarantee. “Keep in mind that you’re making an investment when you buy diamonds and they give you a glow, unlike a dress or a bag which are mortal and often non-refundable!” He likes to remind his clients.
Said excitedly announces that My Diamond’s summer collection, full of colours, has already arrived at their stores. “They’re not heavy pieces and they’re equally stylish as they are cheerful, which are both crucial factors of summer!” he exclaims, adding, “We’re also throwing a special Ramadan sohour that we organise every year for My Diamond.”
Despite the slowing of the economy for a while, today, thirteen years after My Diamond’s initial launch in Mohandessin, Said now has branches in Mall of Arabia and Le Pacha Zamalek, along with a window display at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza. “We’re also in the process of opening a brand new store in Korba in Heliopolis,” he says. His plan is to dominate the ins and outs of Cairo, with Tagamoa being the last location that remains unexplored. “We’ll head there soon enough!” he concludes.
Number: (+202) 02-33033471 – 01025355557