Aaron Furlong is third generation in a family of established jewelers and diamond merchants tracing back to 1940. After earning a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America and Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Davis, he returned to Los Angeles and began a six-year apprenticeship with a master jeweler, which eventually led to the creation of Aaron Henry Designs.
We caught up with Furlong to learn more about what sets his jewelry apart, what he’s most looking forward to at JCK Tucson 2020 – taking place Wednesday, February 5-Saturday, February 8, 2020 – and more.
What was the initial inspiration for your brand?
A backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in October 1998.
What else inspires you when designing?
Music, travel and my wife.
How would you describe your brand using only three words?
American. Luxury. Craftsmanship.
Are you partial to any particular stones or hues?
Yes – I am a huge fan of Spinels in every color. I also look for lighter colored blue sapphires, unheated mostly. In any case the cuts are just as important as the color and so often separates a pretty gemstone from an amazingly beautiful stone.
What do you think sets your jewelry apart from other companies that specialize in fine jewelry?
How we curate the gemstones, the designs and the execution of our jewelry. We have a very limited production and are focused on facilitating trunk shows and experiences with our retail partners where we can work with the end consumer to help create and customize something exceptional.
Have you noticed a shift in consumer attitudes since the start of your brand?
Absolutely! There is more interest in how and where jewelry is made along with how the gold and gemstones are sourced. At the higher level, consumers are gravitating towards pieces that are unique and special. They recognize and prefer quality over quantity.
How would you describe your target audience?
Self-confident women, sophisticated and elegant who possess an appreciation for quality, color and bespoke pieces.
What was your favorite part of JCK Las Vegas or JCK Tucson 2019?
Sharing drinks around a fire pit on the Starr Pass Terrace with friends I don’t get to see often enough.
What are you most looking forward to at JCK Tucson 2020?
Food, People, Gemstones and bringing it all together under the Tucson sky.