Now Playing

Jonathan "the Jeweler" Shapero

Fine jewelry from his collection

What a Gem!

Jonathan Shapero, One of Buckhead’s premier private jewelers, shares his health journey, secret celeb clients and insight into his glam world of sparklers.

It seems to me that you’ve given a lot of pleasure to a lot of people.
There’s nothing like jewelry. People never buy it when they’re unhappy—they buy it when they’re happy or want to feel happy.

What kind of people have worn it to be happy?
My platinum and diamond custom chains are worn by Barbra Streisand and Mariah Carey. At the Oscars, my jewelry has been worn by Helen Mirren and Jennifer Lawrence.

Do you have a favorite cut for a diamond?
I do. I’ve always liked emerald-cut diamonds because their facets were actually created to hide intrusions.

Do you wear a pear cut point up?
Point down. It’s an architectural thing. As it goes away from the body it gets smaller.

Is there currently an “in” cut?
The cushion cut, they’re beautiful. Each one is unique. They’re my second favorite cut.

By the way, you look amazing! Just how much weight have you lost?
Seventy-five pounds, so far. I decided right before my 55th birthday that I was going to get into better health. For a long time, I was heavy and unhealthy. I didn’t listen to my doctors. Then, at 54, I started having heart problems, acquired Type 2 diabetes and developed sleep issues. Of course, I never associated these issues with weight!

What type of plan are you following?
It’s called Take Shape for Life. Basically it eliminates sugars and wheat, and balances carbs and proteins.

Has this newfound confidence impacted your business?
I’ve recently remodeled my jewelry shop in Buckhead and am actively looking for a location in Rhode Island to open another shop. I think there is a lot of opportunity in that part of the country. When I first started in this business, I ran a shop in Martha’s Vineyard during the season for several years. That gave me great exposure to that area.

When are you debuting the Rhode Island store?
I am headed up there [soon] to shop for a location. Their season is opposite from the Atlanta season. So I’d love to be there in the summers and come back for the social season here.

You’re doing a lot for a number of charitable causes this year.
I believe in giving back to the community that has been so very generous to me. I did pieces for the Swan House Ball and the Alliance’s A Tony Evening and am working on pieces for Camp Kudzu and Make-A-Wish’s 2013 Wish Ball.

Final thoughts?
Jewelry is an amazing thing—so necessary, yet so unnecessary. The act of exchanging forges a special connection. That’s the cool thing. There’s an emotional response and no more beautiful gift to be given.