Gemologist Erica Jacob, 31, of Macedon, never forgets the moment her passion for gems ignited.

Gemologist Erica Jacob, 31, of Macedon, never forgets the moment her passion for gems ignited.

“I took geology as an elective in college,” said Jacob, “and when we reached the section on gems, I was awestruck.  I knew then what I wanted to do with my life.”

Since that defining moment, Jacob graduated from the Gemological Institute of America in 2003, and then worked as head diamond buyer for David Connolly, Inc., a well-known Connecticut jewelry manufacturer, for the next three years.

Empowered by her experience at Connolly, Jacob tapped into her entrepreneurial spirit and started her own business in 2007: Voelckers-Jacob Jewelers, a specialty jewelry business that provides customized pieces, one at a time.

But a funny thing happened on the way to building her business in Connecticut: Jacob longed to return to Rochester.  Early this year, she and her husband Ben and their three young boys made the move.

Although “word-of-mouth” advertising worked well in Connecticut for the years she was there, Jacob realized she would need to jumpstart her business here and so spent the next six months developing a website, vjjewelers.com.

While Jacob prefers meeting with customers in person, and often does, she said she also appreciates the value of “virtual relationships” and has confidence that her business will thrive online, as well.

“Typically, customers approach me with a vision of what they’d like, whether it be an engagement ring or a necklace, and then I work with them to make their dream a reality,” said Jacob, whose close relationships with choice diamond and gem sources, as well as premier casting houses, allow her to fulfill those dreams at very competitive prices. “In cases where customers don’t know what they want, I have the experience and expertise to provide direction and design assistance.”

What she believes makes her a standout in a sea of sparkling competition is her highly personal service.

“I work extremely hard to get to know my clients,” Jacob emphasized. “Which means, I embrace everything about the jewelry-buying experience: my client’s taste, budget, timetable, hopes, dreams – everything! It’s a special time in someone’s life, and I feel privileged to be part of it.”

Jacob also stressed that because of the nature of her business – providing custom pieces versus stocking premade inventory – she is able to keep overhead costs low and pass along excellent savings to her customers. She admits to “getting a thrill” when she locates the perfect gem at a price that will surely make her clients smile.

“Creating customized jewelry to celebrate life’s extraordinary moments is my mission,” said Jacob. “Although I’ve developed a reputation for diamond rings, particularly engagement rings, I want customers to know that I can fulfill all their jewelry needs, from rings with colored gemstones to earrings set with sentimental stones from their own collection.”

For more information, contact Erica Jacob at (585) 749-7648 or via email at Erica@vjjewelers.com.