• 1913 Paris

    Charles Kazanjian, a goldsmith by trade, flees Turkey with his family, passing through Paris on their way to America. An eye infection prevents his youngest son, Harry, from gaining passage on the steamer bound for Ellis Island. Harry, under the tutelage of his uncle, learns the art of lapidary in Paris and becomes an expert cutter of precious stones, ultimately supplying Cartier, Tiffany, and Mauboussin. This small twist of fate became the start of the Kazanjian Family’s storied history with gems.
  • 1918 Springfield, Massachusetts

    Now an accomplished artisan, Harry finally joins his family and opens a small lapidary in America with his older brother, James. Traveling, they buy, sell, and recut gems to maximize value. Harry & James soon set their sights on larger goals; the major jewelry centers of Los Angles.
  • 1928 Westward Bound

    Crossing the country in an old Packard with their father, mother, and german shepherd, Harry & James set up shop in Los Angeles -- buying, cutting, and selling loose colored stones. The Brothers work hard -- Harry cutting rough stones into fine finished, polished gems, with James building the business, primarily buying and selling precious rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Weathering the Great Depression, the Kazanjian Brothers begin gaining a reputation for their knowledge, the excellence of their colored stones, and the superb quality of their cutting. It is a reputation that will soon come to be recognized worldwide.
  • 1947 Queensland, Australia

    Seeking new opportunities, Harry travels to Australia and acquires “The Star of Queensland,” a 1,157 carat black star sapphire. Kazanjian signs an exclusive contract for the purchase of all star sapphire production from the Queensland mine in Anakie, making Kazanjian the largest supplier of star sapphires in the world.
  • 1948 Thailand, India, and Burma

    Beginning in 1948, the Kazanjians travel to Burma, Thailand, Ceylon (current Sri Lanka), and India, acquiring rough gems to cut and supply leading U.S. manufacturers and retailers. As the Company grows, the Kazanjian brothers become known internationally for star sapphires and rubies. They soon supply Hollywood jewelers and celebrities with their stones.
  • 1950 - 1954 Los Angeles

    In 1950, James & Harry Kazanjian acquire a large unpolished black star sapphire and fashioned it into likeness of Abraham Lincoln. This is the first of the four Presidential Busts to be carved, including Washington, Jefferson, and Eisenhower.
  • 1955 Africa

    From the legendary King Solomon’s Mines, Kazanjian acquires the world’s largest rough ruby (as per the Guinness Book of World Records, 1960). The final carving, finished into an American Bald Eagle perched atop the Liberty bell, weighs 8,500 carats and is complimented by 50 one carat diamonds. Dubbed “The Liberty Bell Ruby,” the stone tours the nation.
  • 1957 The Kazanjian Foundation

    In 1957, The Kazanjian Foundation is formed to support scientific, artistic, cultural, and other worthy causes. Taking custody and selling the largest gems in the Vaults, the Foundation provides scholarships for foreign students studying in the United States. Eventually, the Foundation would evolve to acquire jewels owned by notable Hollywood celebrities, including Clark Gable, Bob Hope, and Madonna -- ultimately forming the “Jewels for Charity” program. The collection tours the world with sales funding scholarships including the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
  • 1960 Montana

    Kazanjian purchases the entire inventory of a British mining syndicate’s rough sapphires at the Yogo Mines in Great Falls, Montana. Stan Kazanjian, son of James, takes the Montana stones and fashions them into an exquisite 178 ct sapphire necklace. This necklace is considered to be the most important American gemstone piece ever created.
  • 1967 Australia

    Formerly exhibited in London in 1937 for the Coronation of King George VI as part of the famous Kelsey Newman Collection, the 263.18 carats “Flame Queen” is eventually acquired by Kazanjian. “The Flame Queen” takes its place in gemological history as the most important opal ever discovered. Its unusual color pattern is created when opal in-fills a cavity – flashing from vivid red to fiery bronze when viewed from different angles and in different light.
  • 1969 The Star of Queensland

    Discovered in Australia, this sapphire becomes the largest in existence. Weighing 1,157 carats, the stone is cut by Harry Kazanjian into the famous 733 carat Black Star of Queensland, one of the rarest gemstones in the world. The Kazanjian family loans it to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. It is displayed alongside the Hope Diamond, the largest blue diamond in the world. The priceless gemstone is eventually sold to a private collector, with the proceeds funding scholarship programs at the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
  • 1969 Rodeo Drive

    Moving from downtown Los Angeles, Kazanjian settles into its contemporary Beverly Hills offices in the historic Frank Lloyd Wright building at 332 North Rodeo Drive. Michael & Stan Kazanjian expand the diamond business and begin manufacturing fine jewelry -- selling to Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels and other fine stores in the United States.
  • 1970 Bangkok

    Kazanjian establishes cutting factories in Bangkok and helps build the industry in Thailand to become the largest cutting center in the world.
  • 1984 Martin Luther King, Jr. Sapphire

    Carved by Vasily Konovalenko, one of the world’s foremost gem carvers, the King Sapphire weighs over 3,200 carats (original weight: 4180 cts) and joins the Presidential Busts collection. The carving represents Konovalenko’s first masterpiece after leaving the Soviet Union. The bust is currently on display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
  • 1988 The White House

    On loan to Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the Presidential Busts are ceremoniously donated to The White House. During President Reagan’s second term in office, they are prominently displayed in the Oval Office.
  • 1992 Moscow

    Kazanjian establishes the first Russian-American Diamond company (RADcorp). This agreement leads to the acquisition and sale of many of the world’s most important Russian diamonds into the world market through Kazanjian.
  • 1995 Beverly Hills

    Kazanjian moves to its current home at 9489 Dayton Way, occupying the third floor of the venerable and iconic Van Cleef & Arpels building directly across the street from Via Rodeo. In the early years of Beverly Hills, this charming suite of salons had once been a private residence. Today, it still maintains much of its unique charm.
  • 2008 The Kazanjian Red Diamond

    Kazanjian continues searching the world for rough and cut gems for worldwide distribution and is provided the opportunity to acquire the “rarest diamond of all” - the Kazanjian Red, an Asscher cut diamond weighing 5.05 carats. Kazanjian re- introduces the Red Diamond to the world with an exclusive event at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. This incredibly rare gem, once lost to the world, is now on prominent display in the American Natural History Museum in New York.
  • 2013 One Hundred Years

    Kazanjian celebrates its 100th year through four generations of Kazanjian ownership. In honor of this special year, a rare rough stone stored in the Vaults for 50 years has been transformed into the largest Black Star Sapphire ever know. This exquisite pear shaped six-ray star weighs in at 888.88 carats. With the design skills of Robert Procop and participation from Angelina Jolie, the stone has become known as the “Star of Jolie” and will begin its world tour, assisting charitable causes.