Engagement and Bridal

About The Founder

MEET TAZ.

 

Taz Watson is a sought after South African fine jewellery designer and a 3rd generation gemologist with a passion for gemstones and expertly-crafted, unique jewellery. Each of her pieces is designed with the intention to be functional and comfortable, but with an air of whimsical eccentricity that brings joy and delight to the wearer.

Through her exquisite use of colour, thoughtful design details, sentimental touches and a high-quality finish, Taz manages to transform gemstones and diamonds into eye-catching, modern heirlooms that echo her unique voice.

“I don’t believe that fine jewellery needs to be too serious or trend-driven– it should be a celebration of individuality and have a meaningful, heirloom quality about it. I believe jewellery is about the feelings it evokes in you – if you feel something special when you look at it, then it will always be meaningful and timeless”.

 

About us

How it all started

qualifications

While Taz grew up with an in-depth knowledge of the industry and was mentored by her grandfather, parents and older brother –  all gemologists themselves – she formalized her expertise by attending the esteemed Gemmological Institute of America (GIA). Taz studied jewellery design (JD) at the New York campus before moving to the head campus in Carlsbad, California where she graduated with Graduate Jeweler (GJ), Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Gemology and Diamond grading diplomas.

THE BEGINNING

Taz co-owned a demi-fine jewellery business in Canada for several years and continued to run it even after she returned to South Africa to gain experience in jewellery retail, custom design and manufacture. Taz also worked as a jewellery buyer for several high-end boutique stores throughout Southern Africa and has travelled to jewellery trade shows all over the globe. After several years gaining a wealth of practical and technical experience, Taz decided to start her own African fine jewellery brand, KiiRA, which is best known for its high-quality and iconic Table Mountain designs and playful African gemstone and diamond jewellery. Recently Taz expanded her business by creating a luxury brand under her own name and debuted Taz Watson Fine Jewellery with an exclusive 3-collection collaboration with Strauss & Co in 2022 with Jo-Ann Strauss as the face of the collaboration.

DEEP ROOTS

Taz’s family’s business has specialized in gemstones, diamonds and fine jewellery for several decades. Taz is fortunate to be able to draw on these deep industry connections and have access to some of the world’s largest and most trusted diamond and gemstone cutters and suppliers. Taz’s father is a top gemologist and jewellery and diamond expert and has been her greatest mentor whom she continues to work closely with to source exquisite, fair-priced gemstones and diamonds from all over the world, keeping provenance and the stone’s ethical footprint in close consideration.

DESIGN

From a design perspective, Taz has been mentored over the years by international lecturers and designers with experience from some of the world’s top high-jewellery houses as well as expert gem-cutters and highly experienced goldsmith’s whom she works closely with to push creative boundaries and bring her whimsical designs to life.

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