The joy of jewels

Treasures from earth and air serve as source of inspiration for jewelry design at H.Stern, company's CEO in Israel says.

Israel Kurt and Bar Rafaeli  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel Kurt and Bar Rafaeli
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The H.Stern company’s jewelry designer is the Brazilian Roberto Stern, and it is interesting to hear from Israel Kurt, the company’s CEO in Israel, that “Brazilians and Israelis have similar tastes and preferences when it comes to jewelry. Both countries are filled with people who like original and unique items.”
Kurt lives in Ra’anana, is married and has three children. He is an economist and accountant who has been H.Stern’s CEO in Israel since 1996. In an interview with Gleam, he talks about the company’ s characteristics.
What are H.Stern’s inclinations in design?
At H.Stern we only work with 18K gold, which is considered real gold.
14K gold is also used in Israel, but not by us. Pink gold is a leading world trend and is also popular in our company. Every piece of jewelry we make has an inspiration and a story behind it. In the new Iris collection, for instance, there are rings inspired by the Pompylius snail, earrings inspired by the Mytilus mussels and pendants inspired by Axis, which refers to the coiled starting point of a snail’s shell.What can we expect from the Iris collection?
The new collection, which is led by our presenter Katie Holmes, is based on the sea, its marine life, plants and depths. Preparations for the collection started last year, in light of the success of the Mya Maris sea collection. The collection is being launched all over the world: it starts in Brazil and we’re next in line. Roberto Stern wrote about the collection: ‘The great sea, the adventures connected with it and the abundance of fascinating possibilities that it contains, as well as the unique design of its landscapes and the abundance of animal and plant life in its depths, constitute a source of inspiration, imagination and creativity.’
How are you coping with the state of the global economy?
It’s a rather tough time for us. The price of gold has gone up significantly from $300 to $1,700 for an ounce of gold. We cope with the rise in prices by creating collections that suit a wide range of budgets. You can buy a jewelry item for $3,000 or one with the same design for $17,000, in a different size. That way, you don’t have to compromise on the design, and we can make the collection suitable for a wide range of target audiences.
In addition, we release collections three times a year. We have our classic line and the My Collection line, which is currently being led by model Bar Refaeli. This jewelry collection is meant for a younger audience. It is sold at affordable prices, is made from 18K gold and has a more minimalist design.
And despite their being a luxury, it appears that diamonds will always be a woman’s best friend. Jewelry is an inseparable part of every woman’s life, pertaining to social tradition and even religious customs.
Perhaps that explains why the H.Stern club has some 60,000 active members.