for Gemologist Nesrine Hamati
By Al Parker 11/2/09
Nesrine Hamati, owner of Diamond Galleria, the elegant new jewelry store at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, remembers clearly when she first broke into the jewelry game.
I was nine years old and my dad used to take me on the floor of his shop, recalls the 27-year-old entrepreneur with a smile. Ive had a passion for the business ever since.
For many years her family has operated several MJ Diamonds stores across the Detroit area. Born in Lebanon, she was a three-year-old when her family came to the U.S. in 1985. Shes one of four daughters and the only one to follow in the family business.
Now the energetic Hamati provides quality diamonds, elegant Swarovski Crystal, fine watches and other elegant items to visitors and customers at her cozy 900-square foot shop, tucked just inside the main entrance of the resort in the Gallery of Shops.
Since opening in June, shes filled the place with sparkling gifts of all types, including diamond rings, earrings, necklaces and wristwatches, including the high-end Deachi diamond watches.
We have a real nice assortment of everything from $50 to $10,000, says Hamati, a Michigan State University grad who later earned her certification as a gemologist at the Gemological Institute of America. We offer things that are unique, but affordable.
The Swarovski Crystal display is particularly impressive, taking up much of one wall. Its perhaps the only Swarovski assortment in Northern Michigan and its filled with dozens of glittering pieces of the sought-after crystal.
Swarovskis figurines are highly collectible, with a stylized mouse being the very first figurine created. A smaller version of this mouse, now labeled the replica mouse is still available to purchase. There are many types of figurines from ladybugs to limited edition Disney collectibles.
Swarovski is very prestigious and theyre a big part of our inventory, explains Hamati. Theyve come out with a new contemporary line that is very beautiful. And they are reasonable, ranging in price from $75 to $200. They make wonderful gifts.
If clients are interested in selling their any of their gold pieces, Hamati is currently paying cash for gold items.
Since opening, Hamati has already been visited by a number of repeat customers who are always greeted with a smile.
Once they come in, theyll be treated like a precious gem, she says. To us, every customer is a gem.
Diamond Galleria, located at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa on U.S.-31 in Acme, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call