When was Raffi’s established?

Raffi’s was established in San Francisco, CA.  September of 1980, although I started my bench work, in 1977 @ the age of 20 as a diamond setter in Beirut, Lebanon & later going to Paris, France enrolling in a six months intense course for designing jewelry. Raffi’s has been @ The Giftcenter & Jewelrymart, located @ 888 Brannan St. since 1986, I myself have been working on the same bench since 1977, that shows the amount of passion, dedication &  consistency, I have for designing & manufacturing jewelry.

Can you customize a piece of jewelry?

Working with each client to have a piece customized to their desire, thus having a unique piece, is a passion for me. The process  starts from a rough sketch, to a colorful rendering, sometimes a wax (if the customer desires) to finishing the piece, always keeping the client informed of the process & making sure the piece is to their liking/satisfaction, making changes if they desire along the way.


My reward?  Seeing a happy , satisfied & smiling client.

Do you design your jewelry?

Yes, most of my jewelry is designed & manufactured by me, I enjoy mixing colored gemstones, with colorful contrast, unique curves, bold lines, different finishes, shiny or matte. I am glad to say that Johnny, my son who graduated from the GIA campus completing the jewelry design course, has teamed with me working on his own creations & designs.

Are you a direct importer of your diamonds & gemstones?

Thru the years of experience buying directly from overseas Diamond & Gemstone cutters, we offer our clients the best prices as we by-pass the middle man, although there are times where we use local gemstone cutters to offer our clients a vast array of unique shapes & gemstones. As for diamonds we are part of a network of overseas Diamond cutters & sight holders with whom we have been doing business for over 22 years. Most of the fine diamonds & some gemstones we offer our clients are GIA & AGTA  graded.

What inspires your designs?

I am inspired by different shapes & cuts, colors & materials, it all starts by laying the stones I have chosen for a specific piece on a piece of white paper & trying different configurations, till a unique style/shape is achieved, once I have reached that point, then I decide what piece to design. I follow almost the same steps while designing an engagement ring, once the center diamond is picked, then I decide on the shapes of the other stones to be incorporated in the finished design.

What quality Diamonds & Gemstones you use in your designs?

Most of the diamonds I use in my designs are F-G color VS1-VS2 clarity, for the High end pieces I do for my “Private” clients D-E color, VVS1 clarity diamonds are used, as for the gemstones, I try using beautifully cut gemstones with intense color & brilliance. My belief is that when I design a fine piece of jewelry, it should be made with diamonds & gemstones of quality to be qualified to be considered fine jewelry.