The late Alan Friedman makes our list of the 1,000 Most Influential People in the Industry. Alan was destined to be a jeweler and by the age of five, he was already working, cleaning displays at the family jewelry store, Borsheims in Omaha Nebraska. in 1965 at age ten, Alan was sporting a tie and helping customers pick out jewelry and watches. Alan’s father, the legendary Ike Friedman, owned Borsheims, a mom and pop retailer that eventually grew to become one of the most prominent independent jewelers in the country.
In 1988 the Friedman family sold the business to Billionaire financier Warren Buffet as his entry into the jewelry business.
Alan was now spared the task of working retail and would move to California to follow his dream as a jewelry designer. Friedman picked up a graduate gemology degree at the Gemological Institute of America GIA and began designing and supplying unique jewelry to retailers and special customers. He met and married the love of his life, Layna Silvagni Friedman, and the talented duo would go on to create Alan Friedman Designs in Beverly Hills.
At a time when there was little demand for colored diamonds. Friedman bet the farm and risked over a million dollars to buy pink diamonds to manufacture into prized pieces. His bet paid off! Alan became known the “King of Pinks” by diamond industry insiders because of this great love for, and authoritative knowledge of, pink diamonds.
AWARDS AND WORLD RECOGNITION
The gemologist also became a well-known figure for designing celebrity jewelry. Many of his clients (and repeat clients) over the years included Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, and Lady Gaga.
Friedman also won numerous awards for his unique designs, including the distinguished 2003 “Best of Show” award at the American Gem Trade Association’s Spectrum Awards.
Alan Friedman passed away in 2015 at age 60. His legacy will live on forever with the thousands of unique jewelry creations in the world that bear his name.