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Meet Sarven Kazanci of Gem City Jewelers in San Gabriel Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarven Kazanci.

Sarven, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am the son of parents who immigrated to the United States from Istanbul, Turkey. Having Armenian background, my parents knew that they would never be completely free. My parents came to the US to start a new life. They started from scratch to build the business that I have today. Archie, the original owner, built our business from the ground up. After retiring, I took over the family business and refined it, so to speak.

With my business background, I created a business that caters to everyone. It’s a diamond in the rough, and I intend to keep it that way.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road started as a struggle… It was in 2010 when the recession hit. That was the same year I took over the business. We started to lose business and the money coming in was minimal. We didn’t know if our business would survive these hard times. In a recession, luxury items are the first to be put aside. We had so many people try to sell their own jewelry to pay their bills. Very little money was coming in. But we kept our heads high and worked extra hard to keep the business alive. After a few years, the recession started to fizzle and every year since then we have been growing every year and will continue to grow as long as I’m around.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Gem City Jewelers. – what should we know?
Our company is technically a retail store. We specialize in custom orders and repairs. However, our business is more than that. It is our duty to make our customers feel at home.  Monrovia is a small town. Everyone knows everyone. We love our city because it’s a community. And we are part of that community. Our shop is a place where we serve 3 generations of a family. From grandparents to grandchildren. Our customers are our friends. So every time we make a new piece or if it’s simply just repair, our heart goes into it. We treat every piece like it’s our own. We care about our community, and I think that is what sets us apart.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My father is my biggest inspiration. He is the founder of Gem City Jewelers. As a child, my father would make me go to work with him. He said that he started to work when he was 12 years old and wanted the same for me I guess. He said that if you want to make money, you have to earn it. He taught me almost everything I know in this business.

The biggest hardship we faced was back when I was 11 years old. A robber entered my father’s store at 10am and shot him twice in the stomach. His intention was to kill my father and take the jewelry. That day changed our lives forever. If it wasn’t for my dad incredible heart and will to live, we would have lost him. But we fought together as a family and pulled through the hard times.

My father is the reason why my business exists today. And I plan to keep the tradition alive. He will always be known as the mastermind behind jewelry operation.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Gem City Jewelers, Inc.
    420 S. Myrtle Ave. Suite A
    Monrovia, CA 91016
  • Website:
  • Phone: 626-358-8173
  • Email:
  • Yelp: Gem City Jewelers, Inc

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Phillip L Nelson

    September 27, 2017 at 01:54

    I wish Archie all the best. Until I retired from the Monrovia Police Department (2008), I was a pretty steady customer of Gem City Jewelers. Archie crafted several rings for me among other things throughout the years and I was never disappointed with his product. Archie had plenty of customers from the PD and he treated us well.
    Sarven, I also wish you all the best and I am confident you will honor your father’s legacy.

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