Discovering the Artistry of José Echevarria Diseñador
Custom jewelry designer from Puerto Rico celebrates 23 years of partnership with Stuller.
José Echevarría, renowned custom jewelry diseñador (designer) from Puerto Rico, has more than 30 years of experience in the fine jewelry industry with truly stunning work. Together with his eldest son, Ricardo, they operate a custom jewelry store in Ponce which is open by appointment only.
In addition to elaborate wedding and engagement ring designs, José has a line of class rings for graduates as well as a line of men’s bracelet and ring designs. His main mission is to please customers by making their dream jewelry a reality.
Decades of Design: From 2000 to 2023
Formerly known as Fine Gold Designers, the brand is now known as José Echevarria Diseñador, and they have partnered with Stuller for their materials since 2000. In the beginning, everything was hand-made from a block of wax by José, painstakingly chiseled for many hours to get everything symmetric and looking great for each client. Making the casts and having them come out perfect every time was always a challenge.
“Having new machinery that ensures the consistency of each cast is a huge help now,” Ricardo says. “We have a team of three CAD designers — each one has a 3D printer that enables us to create many samples of the finished product with a fast turnaround.” Implementing 3D printers and other technological advancements has enabled them to double their business in the last two years alone!
What hasn’t changed over the years is the initial consultation — the process of working with a client to help make their dream design a reality. In the span of one hour, José gets to know the client, find out what they like, talk about budget options, and help them to feel comfortable with opening up and building a relationship.
Ricardo says his roles change every day depending upon what needs to be done — from designing and helping in the workshop to accounting and IT tech and many things in between. “Dad has given me a big platform to work with, and we’ve transformed everything to digital, software-based methods instead of printed paper.”
Throughout their 23 years in business, José Echevarria Diseñador has found unique ways to stand out in the jewelry industry. Each jewelry piece is custom made in-house — they design, print, cast, and polish there. In addition, they design and create all of their packaging in-house. They implement a hands-on approach to everything and enjoy not having to depend on anyone else for the fabrication.
All of their jewelry is made with love and care for each individual customer. They rely on Stuller for next-day shipping so they can get all the materials they need rapidly to create a customer’s perfect piece in a timely fashion.
Approximately 95 percent of the stones they use in their designs are either lab-grown diamonds or Moissanite from Stuller. José was an early adopter of Moissanite back in 2007, and it is a very popular gemstone in Puerto Rico. His clientele prefers larger stones at affordable price points.
“We create big, bold, strong jewelry pieces,” says José. “Most of our pieces are squared off at the bottom, not round. This gives the piece strength.” Through the years, José has developed a certain taste to where he feels a piece has the right proportions and the right appeal, so that it’s neither overbearing nor lacking.
He also likes to combine different colors of gold on almost everything to create contrast. White gold with yellow gold, rose gold with yellow gold, and so forth.
A Few Favorites
José’s favorite jewelry piece is a recent ring design he created for a friend of his to give to his wife in celebration of their love. The center stone is a heart-shaped tanzanite with pear-shaped tanzanite side stones and cabochon rubies with multiple white diamonds. José explains, “It looks stunning in a way that calls a lot of attention to it — it’s not just a ring. It is THE ring.”
Another favorite project is a ring that was designed to commemorate the wedding anniversary of a couple who had been married for 44 years in the Virgin Islands. While it was being created, the husband passed away from cancer in the hospital. The white gold wings are the representation of the angels who care for him now and the ring is worn daily by the wife. The center is an emerald cut black Moissanite, symbolizing mourning and respect for her beloved.
American Cancer Society Pendant
The men in the Echevarria family are grateful for what they have and believe in giving back to the community. Two years ago, José was chosen to be an ambassador for the American Cancer Society’s “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign which raises donations towards breast cancer research.
José designed a very delicate pendant that combined a bicycle with the breast cancer logo. Each piece was sold for $69 USD and raised $20,000 to help fight breast cancer!
With over two decades under their belts, Jose and Ricardo are looking forward to expanding their business’s reach. They take advantage of being able to have virtual calls with customers around the world and are looking forward to greatly expanding their clientele with digital consultations.
The father and son duo embrace all the opportunities coming to them and feel truly blessed to do what they love doing every day. “We want to thank Stuller for always being a very welcoming company to our business, and that has always played a big part in our success,” they say.
Cheryl holds a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her extensive experience in the radio and print magazine industries along with her love for custom jewelry and people paved the way for her to become a Stuller storyteller.