From his meager beginnings as a newly-arrived immigrant, to becoming New York’s King of Bling, Gabriel Jacobs has taken a family business and turned it into one of the most coveted names in eye-catching jewelry.
A third generation jeweler, Jacobs and his family fled Russia for New York in the late ’80s and started their lives anew, opening a small shop on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. Business took off from there, with the family opening up a wholesale operation servicing eight stores, then twenty, until they became a serious force in the industry.
In 2009, Jacobs and his cousins opened Rafaello & Co., which makes custom pieces for discerning clients. They have since built a name for themselves on both coasts, working with everyone from Alicia Keys to Hulk Hogan.
“I definitely can try to make a statement,” he says. “Anybody can make a piece for a client, but we’re always unique.”