David Gotlib: this Antwerp diamond dealer is also a lover of cufflinks

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Although he is a third generation diamond dealer and president of the Antwerp Diamond Exchange, based in Antwerp, David Gotlib is also the creative spirit behind a stylistic diversity; eponymous brand of cufflinks. Encompassing six different collections entitled Life is Beautiful, Dare to be daring, Presentation of the Prado, Gold fever, Logos of life, and Oh my game, the The David Gotlib brand is distributed in 13 different American luxury boutiques, including Charles Krypell in Greenvale, New York, Jewelry A. Marek in Oak Brook, Illinois and Jay feder in Boca Raton, Florida. Gotlib’s creations are also offered in the rarefied kingdoms of Paris Hotel de Crillon and that of Monaco Fairmont Jewelry, as well as in various high-end Belgian boutiques.

While many Gotlib models feature white, yellow, brown, and black diamonds, others sparkle with rubies, sapphires, moonstone, onyx, and even pearls. (Although every piece in its six collections is classic and therefore ageless, it’s fascinating to see how many of Gotlib’s designs are unisex in style and allure.) Long-time lovers of design, diamonds, architecture and applied arts, Gotlib was inspired by his first collection of cufflinks in 2014, a few months after the death of his beloved grandfather.

Yet as Gotlib and his family mourned the death of their patriarch, they also celebrated the 13e birthday of Gotlib’s eldest son by planning his bar mitzvah, an event Gotlib wanted to be as “unique and beautiful” as he and his family could. A few days before the celebration, Gotlib recalls: “My grandmother called me, saying that she wanted me to wear something that had belonged to my grandfather during the event.” It was a moving moment for him because he had been very close to his grandfather. “During his youth,” explains Gotlib, “my grandfather spent more than three years in the Nazi death camps. Upon his return to Antwerp, he decided to look ahead and rebuild his life from scratch without complaining. This dynamism and optimism, ”he continues,“ were what characterized my grandfather until his very last day, and these are qualities that I deeply admired then and today.

Assuming she wanted him to wear one of his late grandfather’s ties, Gotlib dutifully went to visit his grandmother only to be handed a small box. Inside was a pair of elegant 18k gold cufflinks which he recognized as having belonged to his grandfather. The sight of these precious jewels from the past triggered equally precious memories from some thirty years ago. “My parents and I were in Zermatt, Switzerland,” Gotlib recalls, “and we would go from store to store, looking for a special gift for my grandfather, who was 60 that year. They had to find the right gift that would honor this incredibly strong man. “

As Gotlib recounts, “I remembered the excitement of my parents once they realized this was the perfect gift, and more importantly, I remember how my grandfather wore these cufflinks so well, with so much appreciation for these special pieces. ” Moved by the memories and thoughtfulness of his grandmother, Gotlib also remembers feeling a pleasant surprise. “I was amazed at how beautiful cufflinks looked in 2014 as the day my parents bought them.”

Communicating aesthetically and emotionally with his grandfather’s cufflinks, Gotlib realized that “I had finally figured out how to combine my love of diamonds with my creativity and love of design. Ever since my first collection saw the light of day a few years ago, ”he recalls,“ I think I’ve worn them every day. In my personal collection I have a little over 30 pairs of cufflinks. Each of them tells its own story, as most jewelry should.

Considering his status as a diamond professional, it makes perfect sense that all David Gotlib cufflinks are created with the highest quality diamonds. “We are sparing no effort in this area. Before starting to work with diamonds, ”he explains,“ they are all sent to the IGI laboratory here in Antwerp. They are first selected and verified to be 100% natural diamonds. Once this is established, the lab will confirm that the color used is “collection white” which means they are of a high quality white. The same procedure is followed to check the purity, to ensure that there are only diamonds of VS and VVS clarity in the cufflinks. Once the jewelry is made, Gotlib notes: “We send the pieces back to the laboratory to confirm that diamonds of this quality are present in the cufflinks and the laboratory then issues a certificate confirming this fact.”

Gotlib admits that when he started his eponymous cufflink company, “There was no clear line for a collection and certainly not six! I just saw each model as something unique, and in a way that is still true today. I was looking for inspiration then, ”he continues,“ and basically everything I liked turned into a unique piece. When the number of cufflink designs really started to increase, I divided them into collections. I started with three collections and as I continued to create new designs the collections also expanded. (As of September 2021, there were 53 cufflink designs offered by David Gotlib.)

When it comes to the design of its collections, it is clear that Gotlib relishes every phase of the process. “Every cufflink design primarily starts with an idea and a simple sketch, and I work with two designers who are amazing at figuring out how to take that idea and create a stunning piece. At the moment, we are working with a team of seven highly skilled craftsmen to create the pieces. His collection is an ongoing creative work in progress, and according to Gotlib, he studies his inventory every day with a critical eye. “I try to make it more beautiful. I ask myself: “Should I adapt a collection, delete a model, change a part?”

While the Logos of life the collection shines with philosophical symbols such as diamond peace signs, Yin and Yang symbols as well as talismanic celtic knots, there are also charming evil eye and hand of Fatima, aka Hamsa, cufflinks for those who want to accessorize with a bit of traditional luck, as well as elegance. With its football, baseball, soccer and tennis themed cufflinks, Oh my game epitomizes sports fans with exquisite designs that will literally enhance their wrist play. With lightning bolts, diamond-encrusted ruby ​​lips, skulls and other striking symbols, Dare to be daring offers a range of models that will appeal to all genres. Shimmering with diamonds and composed of classically sculpted textured patterns in various finishes, Gold fever sums up how and why gold cufflinks can be some of the most versatile, wearable, and enjoyable accessories in anyone’s jewelry box.

While Gotlib is “Life is beautiful” collection is alive with super vibrant designs inspired by living creatures such as the ladybug, blue bird, feather charm and Pacific Sea Star cufflinks, this collection seems geared towards women as much as it does to men. Without a doubt, the most eye-catching design of the Life is Beautiful The collection includes “Golden Elephant” cufflinks with intricate details. This duo of artistic and realistic elephant heads is set with F / G, IF and VVS diamonds, as well as yellow diamonds. These incredibly shiny pieces of jewelry sell for $ 40,000 and, as Gotlib says, “It’s such a challenge to lay so many beautiful stones when space is at a premium. This piece is always waiting for the right buyer, and I can only hope it will be someone who loves and has an eye for detail.

Gotlib says his love for various styles of applied art and architecture is the main driving force behind the Presentation of the Prado collection, adding that “I really believe that some of my designs will find their way to women as well as men.” Something he has realized since he started making jewelry is that “women have always understood better, long before men, the philosophy of fine jewelry, how a single piece can elevate a look even more. perfect. Women definitely have the edge over men when it comes to appreciating the smallest details. In recent years, however, judging by the red carpet and everyday life, Gotlib is venturing to say, “More and more men are embracing what I call the ‘finishing touch’ and spending more. attention to creating their own look, including quality jewelry. ”

To develop its brand, Gotlib moved its workshop to a new facility to accommodate more craftsmen. “I’m planning a small selection of exclusive pairs of cufflinks to debut in 2022,” he promises. These, he says, will be even more exclusive than those currently animating his six collections. “I really appreciate everyone who wears my cufflinks,” says Gotlib. Whether it’s adding a little art to their ZOOM wardrobe, celebrating a special occasion or just adorning their life, whoever wears David Gotlib styles their hair with that “finishing touch” that only his buttons. cuff in 18k gold, diamonds and precious stones can bestow.

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