From his location downtown, Mark Katzeff designs and sells custom, intricate jewellery featuring unique, elegant designs. He works with all types of gold, platinum and silver, and carries a unique variety of gemstones and unusual materials such as mammoth ivory (which is two million years old), dichroic glass, Dalmatian stone, coloured slate, mother of pearl, meteorite, and ebony, which makes for wonderful and exciting designs.
Hailing from South Africa and trained under two top German designers and master craftsmen, Mark immigrated to Canada in 1987. After working for a local jewellery company, Mark felt he could fill the need for a modern approach to jewellery in the Edmonton market using his European style of design.
After winning a best craftsmanship award at the Cameo Craft Show in 1988, Mark opened his studio in 1989 on Jasper Avenue. It was also the year he received the Canadian Jeweller Editors’ Choice Design competition award, and has since won many national awards and recognitions including one of Canada’s most prestigious: the De Beers Diamonds Today award.
Mark says, “I am proud of all the design and competition awards I have received over the past 40 years but one particular award I am very proud of was the first one I received in Canada, the 1989 Canadian Jeweller Editors’ Choice Design award for my Alberta slate and diamond brooch/pendant called Earth’s Bounty. I felt like I belonged in Canada after receiving this award as this piece showcased Canadian materials.”
“Jewellery is an extension of one’s personality and enables you to stand out from the crowd,” he continues. “I always want to make sure that every piece of jewellery that leaves my store is exactly the way I envisioned it to look. I have had difficulty over the years finding goldsmiths with the skill level to create my quality and style of jewellery. I have a part time admin assistant. Otherwise I am the general cook and bottle washer – I work alone.” He laughs, “It’s me, myself and I!”
“I spend a lot of time with my clients to understand what they want and like,” Mark notes. “What sets me apart is that I work within their parameters as to budget, style, size, etc. I always invite the client to play a role in designing their own jewellery and give them the opportunity to see the process from the design to the wax to the finished article. In doing so, changes can be made along the way to achieve a beautiful work of art that is exactly what they envisioned. Since everything is manufactured on site in Commerce Place, this gives each client a degree of confidence to ensure nothing is lost in translation, and being a qualified goldsmith allows me to alter and tweak the piece of jewellery to exact specifications.”
In this age of giant retailers like Amazon, Mark reminds clients to be discerning when it comes to their personal jewellery.
“People think shopping online will save them money, but this is not always the case as they do not get the full shopping experience which includes education, viewing and comparing loose stones in person and having a more personal relationship with creating their piece of jewellery with the perfect fit and after sales service,” he says, and the elated look on clients’ faces when they see the finished piece, along with the fact that he now works with the third generations of his clients, attests to this fact.
“You can have a beautiful, unique piece of jewellery without spending thousands, as opposed to a piece of jewellery that is expensive but boring,” he smiles.
Although some jewellers have moved to CAD drawings, and although Mark has CAD capabilities, he prefers the time-honored tradition of sketching each piece by hand, noting, “Creating a piece of jewellery on a computer takes the romance out of the creative process.”
Mark Katzeff Designer Goldsmith Inc. has been supporting local charities in Edmonton for 30 years, including Compassion House. Every day he is grateful to the community and people that have supported his business over the decades.
Being an avid cyclist, Mark has also supported and participated in the MS 150 Bike Tour raising funds for the cause. Mark’s dream has been to cycle the Sa Calobra in Majorca, Spain which he will undertake this year.
“I thank my beautiful wife Sharon and daughters who have stood by my side and have always encouraged and promoted me. My wonderful parents who made me realize that I had the potential to venture out on my own and always believed in me. My loyal and amazing clients who have promoted my creations and designs to their families and friends all over the world, and all of the fantastic friends who have mentored and encouraged me over the years,” says Mark.
He concludes, “How much more rewarding is personal wealth when it also adds pleasure to daily life? The world of precious gems is a never-ending world of beauty, rarity, romance and mysticism that only nature can create, and the variety of shapes and colours available help make a whole range of fashion statements possible. How satisfying it is to know that you are remembered when the precious gem you own is handed down from generation to generation.”
Mark takes pride in his ability to capture your vision and to create unique pieces of jewellery that showcase his craftsmanship as well as your unique style. All of his design sketches are done to scale, which ensures that you get exactly what you’re looking for. When you need that specific Canadian diamond or any other gemstone and want something incredible, when you have a burning desire to mark a momentous occasion, Mark Katzeff is the designer and goldsmith to make it happen in brilliant ways.
Mark finds it gratifying that from a humble beginning 30 years ago, his jewellery is still admired and has stood the test of time.
Learn more and see Mark’s beautiful design
work by visiting www.markkatzeffdesigns.com,
@markkatzeffdesigns on Facebook and
@katzeffm on Twitter.