by Emma Willig
Sindur believes herself to be a keeper of gems and jewelry; a caretaker of these ornaments until they find their rightful home. Her array of valuable talents has solidified her position among the best in the industry. As a graduate gemologist, designer, certified appraiser, buyer and seller, and an industry innovator, her resume highlights years of experience, growth in the field, and a proclivity for connecting with her peers and clients.
When she’s not buried in diamonds, Sindur is a mom, an artist, collector, nurturer, and lover of all things unique. Built by a phenomenal story of overcoming adversity through strength, persistence, and intelligence, she is truly one-of-a-kind. Sindur’s prosperity comes from her unrelenting passion for jewelry, dogged persistence in expanding her influence on the industry, and boundless love for friends, family, and clients.
I had the privilege of sitting down with Sindur and hearing more about the influences in her life that have made her who she is.
Q: Give us a little bit about your background - the basics about YOU and where your passion for jewelry began.
I grew up in Mumbai, India, and moved to the US at age 14 with my parents. While in India, my father was an importer and exporter of rough diamonds, which have an organic feel and look, similar to gravel. When we moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, I found my first job at a local jewelry store working after school. The manager at the time would ask me what I wanted to do after high school, to which I had no response. I did know that in school I loved aspects of science, especially chemistry, which makes sense with where I ended up.
While working at that jewelry store, the manager would bring gemology books for me to read and explore. In a few short months, I read every book from the GIA graduate gemologist program. I wasn’t particularly interested in diamonds at the time, but I have always loved learning about the chemical compositions and rarity of gemstones. After a while, I started to understand and infuse the lingo into my sales pitch to clients. A few months later, I received my first commission check, which at the time, felt like winning the lottery.
That’s the moment I decided to pursue the study of gemology and enrolled into GIA. I was very excited at the prospect of connecting with more international students from various backgrounds in this unique industry. After high school graduation, I packed up my Honda Accord and drove to LA to get settled into my new apartment and start this incredible journey.
Q: Did you have any other dreams as a kid about what you might want to be?
When I was a young girl, I always wanted to be an astronaut. I remember the world being open to me in a different way than other girls. Both of my parents allowed me to do things that other women or girls were not allowed to do in my culture. They always encouraged me to be curious and participate no matter what. My parents definitely made sure I was independent and able to forge my way in the world. No matter the situation, I do my best and always go with my gut. I’ve had the privilege of working in several unique positions and companies, each with their own learning experience and lessons, although ultimately I knew I wanted to run my own business. Branching out on my own has allowed me to bring my own vision to life, creating a unique atmosphere for my clients in my own style, and giving the jewelry industry a holistic approach I know it deserves.
Q:Do you have an all-time favorite piece of jewelry?
That’s a tough one, but yes I do. I wear my thumb rings every day and they are like my own version of a fidget spinners. I often find myself twirling them when I’m deep in thought trying to solve a problem. They hold a special meaning for me because one is an antique cut diamond platinum eternity band, and I love how the unique brilliance and luster of antique cut stones, and the symbol of eternity. The other is a band with two small yellow diamonds on opposite ends - one for me and one for my son. He is the yin to my yang, it just feels right to have this reminder of him.
And I have to add my “S” signature necklace - I wear it every single day, and it truly feels like part of my identity. Small, but mighty.
Q: Okay this is kind of a two-part question: Are there any misconceptions about being a gemologist and maybe because of that, what’s one thing you would change about the industry?
Oh yeah, that’s actually an easy one. If it were ten years ago, I’d change how insanely male-driven the industry was in general. However, in the past decade women have been able to step into their own and that’s been awesome to see and experience! One thing I would change are the price points found at most major retailers nowadays. The markups of jewelry are all over the place, some upwards to 1000%. I believe in the philosophy of being a caretaker of the jewelry and finding its rightful home. For me, that means providing the best value at the best prices around. My hope is that others appreciate the piece as much as I do.
As far as misconceptions about being a gemologist, I think it’s the belief that all GIA graduates produce the same quality of work. We all complete the same extensive training, but the practical use is often widely varied. After school, it’s all about your experience - where you work, and how you keep up with your education and professional development. The more you see and get your hands on, the more you can learn and understand.
Q: Alright so now that leads me to wonder - what’s your favorite gemstone?
Ah, that’s a tough one honestly, but I have to go with Moonstone. Not because of the value, because it’s very affordable, but because of the phenomena associated with moonstone. It’s very mystical and is said to have a lot of healing properties, and I just love that - learning the history and cultural folklore around certain stones along with their holistic properties. The beauty of these stones is often found in their adularescence, which is the optical phenomenon that creates an iridescent quality of spectral colors. Moonstones are sometimes so translucent that you can see all the way through them just by the way the crystal grows. It’s perfect for any outfit, so you really just can’t go wrong!
Q: Do you think there is a way that you connect your feelings about moonstone into your daily work?
Yes, I feel connected to this in my daily work because I’m also a big believer in karmic debt, and paying it forward. One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to know my clients, understanding their story and relating to them. As a divorcee, I get the struggle of having a piece of jewelry that once meant so much to you and now not knowing what to do with it, especially at a time that’s normally full of pain and loss. I want women to know that they can trust that I will do everything I can to get them the value that they deserve from their engagement or wedding rings because, well, I’ve been there!
I’m also really proud of how much I do to make sure I’m keeping up with industry trends for my clients. I travel to shows throughout the year where I take classes to continue my education. And I do all of this not only because I love it, but I am adamant about giving the best quality, and for an affordable price. I love to see women come into my store and be able to buy a killer piece of fine jewelry for themselves without a second thought.
Q: What’s a piece of advice that has always stayed with you?
My dad told me, “sell first, regret later.” I have found that this has always held true to my work. I’m always sad to say goodbye to the beautiful pieces I’ve collected and put my heart into, but I can smile knowing it’s going to its rightful home.
Q: What hobbies do you have outside of your mom and boss babe life?
I love traveling! I would have to put that at the top. This year obviously has had its difficulties, but I’ve managed to sneak a few weekend trips in luckily. I try to take one international trip a year, if I can. I love learning about how other cultures live and operate - trying to find small things that can add richness to my own life.
I also love thrifting. I could spend all day at antique malls, flea markets, and thrift stores looking for that perfect find. The thrill of the hunt is amazing, and I guess that’s really similar to my jewelry business too!
Okay - last Question, and it’s an easy one I promise! Your last netflix watch?
“Away” with Hilary Swank - it was really good, obviously I always love a strong female lead! And *spoiler alert* she makes it to Mars!!