We check out Koraba jewellers at Dubai Festival City and chat to the store's owner about their new venture
Why did you decide to start a jewellery store focusing on amber? My family and I have always thought that amber was an amazing material to be used for jewellery because of its unique beauty and mysterious benefits to the body. We’ve dedicated all of our designs to amber because of its eye-catching colours – it’s always a pleasure to create new designs in gold or silver. We try to combine the highest quality amber with immaculate polishing and contemporary designs to create a range of stunning jewellery.
Where is your amber sourced from? We get our amber from the Baltic Sea as it contains the richest and largest amber stones. All of our amber is pre-selected to ensure that only the best amber resin is used for our jewellery pieces and all of our jewellery is manufactured in the north of Poland. We also have top designers from both France and Poland who create some really diverse jewellery.
It is easy to find artificial amber on the market. How do your customers know that yours is the real deal? Koraba is a member of the World Amber Association, which means that all of our jewels are 100 per cent authentic. We have specialised in the wholesale amber business for the past 20 years and we provide amber jewellery to many countries, meaning that we are internationally recognised for our high-quality products. Anyone who comes into our stores will receive a certificate to confirm that all of our stones are pure and natural – we don’t sell anything less!
It has been suggested that amber possesses some healing qualities when worn close to the skin. What are your thoughts on that? There are many different theories that wearing amber brings extraordinary well-being to its owner. Amber is a fossilised resin which has been used for around 60 million years. We believe that touching amber will bring positive energy to your body as it releases a magnetism and warmth from within it. Amber is believed to help relieve stress, enhance the memory, improve blood circulation and increase relaxation. The resin has been also been used as a medical treatment, especially in ancient Chinese and ancient Roman medicine. A lot of our customers find that it really does help.
Do you only sell jewellery for women? No, we have a hand-crafted collection for men including rings, cufflinks, walking sticks and prayer beads which are all made using a range of different coloured amber. The colours of Koraba amber range from a light honey through to yellow, cognac, cherry, white and green. We are now using Domincan amber in some of our product too which is younger than Baltic amber. The Dominican amber is clear green and blue in colour. As well as jewellery for both men and women, we also create large statues, sculptures and lamps made entirely of amber which look beautiful in the home.
What is your best-selling item? Our handmade collection of prayer beads is very popular. We take great care with the cutting and polishing of our stones, which shows noticeable differences between our models and the common machine-made rosaries you can find elsewhere. You will even find the matching amber cufflinks, which make a perfect gift set. We have just launched a new collection of amber, combined with Swarovski crystals, which our customers love. We originally had 10 models but only a few styles are left.
Has your store been negatively affected since the economic downturn? I don’t think it has affected us too badly. I think that our unique designs have meant that our customers keep coming back to Koraba. We’ve just opened our first store in Abu Dhabi, which is doing really well too. We can’t say that it has helped us exactly, but as they say in Arabic, ‘Al Hamdulillah’ (meaning ‘Thanks to God’) our trade is still going well.
Apart from coming into your store in Festival City, how else can we find out more about Koraba and its products? Our website, www.koraba.com showcases most of our amber jewellery and accessories, as well as giving you information about the store. By the end of this summer, customers will be able to buy our jewellery online and they will receive special offers to be redeemed in-store. Our collections are moving fast and we will always find a way to create new items to surprise you. Koraba is situated on the first floor of Dubai Festival City, in front of Paris Gallery. (04 435 5655) and can also be found at the Shangri-la Hotel, in front of Sho-cho and Meat Co restaurants. Koraba is now also in Abu Dhabi in the Souk Qaryat Al Beri (050 90 7729)