Abdulrahim Ephraim LeVian
The LeVian family began making jewelry around 1500, and their fame grew through Persia in the ensuing centuries. The family was known originally for hand-carving, hand-painting, beading, engraving, enameling, goldsmithing and silversmithing. The jewels shown here are from the earliest days in business.
By the 1700s, the family had become a trusted jeweler to royalty and began to work with gems the conquering Persians could now obtain. In 1746, the infamous Nadir Shah asked the LeVians to guard his richest plunder, the Kooh-i-noor Diamond, which he found hidden in the turban of the Mogul emperor when he invaded India. The gem weighed a cool 186 carats at the time. After being plundered again by the English a century later, the Kooh-i-noor was presented to Queen Victoria, who had it cut down to 108 carats; it now resides in the Tower of London among the Crown Jewels of England.
After 100 years of persecution during the 19th century, the family emerged in the 20th century to produce jewels in all the historic styles of the period. A 1920s Art Deco ring with a superb 4.5-ct. ruby is a prized possession because it belonged to current CEO and designer Eddie LeVian's grandmother. This ring "seduced" him into the family business, he says.
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