WWD: Fine Jewelry Firm Tacori's Colorful View

by:  Marcy Medina

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LOS ANGELES - Tacori is making the rainbow connection.

The Glendale, Calif.-based fine jewelry company best known for its bridal line is expanding into the colored gemstone market for spring with the 18k925 line, launching in 30 doors nationwide next month.

The family-run company, founded by Haig Tacorian in 1985, began with platinum and diamond engagement rings and wedding bands, and added a fine jewelry fashion line four years ago. In 2007, it launched Tacori IV, a line of platinum-clad sterling silver and cubic zirconium pieces sold exclusively on QVC.

The 18k925 line, named for the 18k yellow and rose gold and sterling silver used in it, aims to capture the attainable luxury market with a 100-piece collection priced from $350 for a sterling chain link bracelet to $3,000 for a gemstone pendant necklace with diamond accents. Most pieces feature faceted colored stones such as rose amethyst, red onyx, citrine and lemon, smoky and cognac quartz.

All four collections feature the trademarked Tacori crescent shape and the company's contemporary heirloom aesthetic.

"We realize there are customers who are not shopping for wedding rings and that the opportunity in this category is huge because it's a larger marketplace," said Paul Tacorian, Haig's son and senior vice president of sales and merchandising. "Our initial goal is for 18k925 to become a $100 million business. Not in the next 12 months, but eventually."

In order to differentiate the line in the market, Haig Tacorian and lead designer Garo Karounian created details such as intricate metalwork visible beneath the center stone on cocktail rings and combinations such a clear quartz over turquoise or mother-of-pearl doublets, giving the stones a different color when viewed from the side or above.

"We needed to give women a reason to buy by creating a distinct look," Haig said. "Bridal will always be the core of the company, but the possibilities are endless with fashion jewelry."

Tacori will roll out two 18k925 collections a year that will retail at Michael C. Fina in Manhattan and Solomon Brothers Fine Jewelry in Atlanta, among others, and eventually plans to introduce a men's line.

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