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Diamond in the Rough


On any given day, Jacqueline Nerguizian dons rings, bracelets and strands of black diamonds, all of which she designed herself. She’s a petite woman, maybe five-foot-four, but the local jeweler stands taller than most as she has redefined the status quo of jewelry designers. She has created unique pieces for the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bullock and other celebs and, in the midst of this, somehow found a way to delicately balance time between work and family.

“Everybody has a talent,” Nerguizian says. “Find it and go for it.” She found her talent at the age of 9, sketching and designing jewelry and following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather who were both jewelers. Although designing jewelry ran in her veins, being a woman in a man’s world gave her no exception.

“People have this vision that because my family was in the jewelry business that it was just so easy for me,” Nerguizian says. “I’ve gotten stepped on. I’ve been rejected. Being a woman in the jewelry business is very hard, yet it made me stronger.”

Her voice is calm and collected, laced with sarcasm and a swear word here and there. She’s actually in the middle of designing a ring that has “F— You”—without the dashes—encrusted within layers of diamonds, giving a nod to her envelope-pushing style, crossing the traditional line of high-end jewelry. “It’s not your grandmother’s piece of jewelry; it’s taken up a notch,” Nerguizian says. “Yes, it’s still the diamonds, it’s still the gold, but it’s edgy. You won’t go to a Tiffany’s store and see a ‘F— You’ ring or a black-and-white diamond cross, you know, but it’s still beautiful.”

To sum up the philosophy of Nerguizian’s jewelry style is to set the stage for her lifestyle. Originally from Southern California, Nerguizian came to the Valley for her childhood friend, love of her life and man of her dreams. “About five years ago, my husband now, Brent, called and said he wanted to meet me when I was still in California,” Nerguizian says. “On our fourth date, we ran off to Vegas and got married, and it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Their family consists of five children: Joey, Bella, Gabby, Dominique and Carrera, along with five dogs. She notes the heat being her favorite thing about Arizona and is a regular at True Food Kitchen and Binkley’s Restaurant.

For the life of a wife and mother, who also happens to be an in-demand jeweler, it’s nonstop from sun up from sun down, but Nerguzian knows family is first. She strives to keep it that way.

Jacqueline Nerguizian Fine Jewelry www.jacqdesigns.com.