Effy Jewelry Founder, Designer Effy Hematian Dies at 79

MajorsMay 02, 2023

Effy Jewelry Founder, Designer Effy Hematian Dies at 79

Hematian is remembered for his kindness, his passion for jewelry design, and his dedication to the company he started from scratch.

Effy Hematian
Effy Hematian, who founded Effy Jewelry after emigrating from Iran with nothing, died Sunday at age 79.
New York— Fatollah “Effy” Hematian, the founder and driving creative force behind Effy Jewelry, died Sunday surrounded by family.

He was 79.

Effy Jewelry shared news of its founder’s passing on social media Monday.

In a statement to National Jeweler, the company said: “With great sadness we announce the passing of Mr. Effy Hematian. Although we will all mourn this profound loss forever, we choose to celebrate all Effy has brought into our lives.

“Effy was a loving husband, father, grandfather, visionary and community leader. His honesty and humility only illuminate the industry-defining change he brought to the jewelry world. Through his unwavering belief in God, he demonstrated that we can live a life of passion and purpose, leaving the world better than he found it.”

Born Dec. 10, 1943, Hematian emigrated from Iran in the midst of the Islamic Revolution in the late 1970s.

Though he trained and worked as an electrical engineer, Hematian started a jewelry company when he landed in New York City in 1979, building his business from nothing, as recounted in a video posted to the Effy Jewelry YouTube channel.

“I’m really proud that I could tell you that [I] came to this country with zero and today we are one of the biggest [jewelry] manufacturers in the States,” he said.

According to the video, Hematian spent most of his mornings sketching jewelry designs, sometimes completing as many as 20 to 30 sketches in a single day. He said his background as an electrical engineer helped him see things other people might have missed.

In the afternoon, he liked to walk the factory floor and keep an eye on the production of his designs.

While his creativity and design inspirations were “endless,” the Effy Jewelry website describes one creature—the panther—as the designer’s “lifelong muse.” 

The big cat became the cornerstone of the brand’s “Signature Collection,” and it became a star at Jewelers for Children’s “Facets of Hope” event, held annually in Las Vegas alongside the Couture and JCK shows. 

Hematian and Effy Jewelry were longtime supporters of JFC and donated plush panthers to give away at the gala for about five years.  

JFC Executive Director David Rocha remembered Hematian as a “lovely man.” 

“Effy was always so kind and would make time to share his latest designs, his inspiration and his process. He was a real icon in our industry. My thoughts are with (Hematian’s son) Benny and his family,” Rocha said. 

Sarin Bachmann, group vice president of the RX Jewelry Portfolio, said: “We were so saddened to learn about Effy Hematian’s passing. Effy has been a wonderful partner to JCK over the years and a force in the industry.  

“We appreciated his deep passion for creating beautiful jewelry stemming from his roots as an engineer. Effy’s legacy will live on with his family, his namesake business, and the wonderful jewelry creations he inspires.”

On social media, members of the trade—including many Effy Jewelry employees—and the brand’s customers reacted to news of Hematian’s passing with similar remembrances, recalling a man who was kind and had a passion and a talent for design. 

Jan Swartz, the group president for Holland America Group, wrote on LinkedIn, “Mr. Effy Hematian was much more than one of the world’s most brilliant jewelry designers and visionary entrepreneurs. 

“Beyond his professional achievements, he had a kind and generous spirit. I admired his craftsmanship, creativity, passion, and love of his colleagues, community, and family. Mr. Effy will long be remembered by every life he touched, and his legacy will live on.” 

On Facebook, a longtime Effy Jewelry customer said, “RIP Effy … your creations have been making me happy for years and will continue to, for years to come.” 
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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