Family heirlooms

Family-owned jewelers in Bourj Hammoud are embracing the modern world of 3D printing

Greg Demarque | Executive

Jewelry making has long been an artisanal tradition in Beirut’s working class suburb of Bourj Hammoud. Clustered together near the Beirut River, many of these businesses stretch back generations.

After mingling with gallerists and shopkeepers dotted around the bustling Armenian neighbourhood of Bourj Hammoud – and taking a quick detour for a shawarma sujuk, a local delicacy – Executive came across Hadidian Jewelry, a neighborhood cornerstone. The family owned business was established in the mid-1940s, says Levon Hadidian, a junior family member working in the business.

Their gallery is a fixture on Armenia Street – the main thoroughfare connecting Bourj Hammoud to Beirut’s Mar Mikhael neighborhood – where shoppers can peruse the jewelry displays in search of the perfect bling. Just a few blocks away from the showroom is where Hadidian’s jewelry is designed and manufactured.

Hadidian is a full scale jewelry manufacturer doing everything from designing to setting rare stones and diamonds. On the factory floor, technicians use computer software to design new jewelry concepts and create wax prototypes using 3D printers. Lasers cut the materials – often gold or silver, but also precious stones – to specific sizes before they are engraved and polished.

Their main clients, Hadidian tells Executive, come from the wholesale side of the business. The jewelry maker sells his pieces to many local clients including other showrooms concentrated in Bourj Hammoud as well as other parts of the capital. He also exports his designs, primarily to Gulf countries.

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