Forty years after opening his first showroom in California, Naim Tunca is back on the showroom floor with wife Lorraine by his side.
The duo opened Lorraine Fine Jewelry last month at 21950 East Country Vista Drive, Suite 600, Liberty Lake. The clean white walls, bright chandeliers and open windows allow the gems and diamonds to shine in their fullest beauty.
From rubies and spinels in every shade of red imaginable to a ring with a large yellow diamond surrounded by a halo of other diamonds that could sparkle as bright as the sun even in a dark room, Lorraine’s Fine Jewelry offers lower-priced options to high-end pieces.
Naim comes from a long line of jewelry makers, being the fifth generation in his family rooted in Turkey to work in the industry. He is the first to open his own showrooms, though.
Naim’s family spent decades in the manufacturing side of jewelry making, but when he moved to the United States in 1978, he decided to open his own store in Santa Monica.
In those days, Naim didn’t speak much English. To interact with customers he would write down the price of each item they were looking at on a piece of paper and pass it to them. Within about a year, he said, he spoke much better English.
After an armed robbery at his Santa Monica shop, however, he moved to Spokane. It was here that he met Lorraine, who had been living in Spokane for school. Together they moved back to California. It was during those years after their return to Santa Monica that the business grew and they were able to work with such luminaries as as Madonna, Elton John and Liberace.
After another robbery, the couple decided Santa Monica wasn’t meant for them, and they returned to Spokane.
“There is no coincidence for anything,” Naim said. “There is a reason for everything.”
Lorraine added, “Sometimes, you meet your destiny in the most unexpected way,” referring to the fact they likely would have never met had Naim not come to Spokane that first time and allowed them to return to a place they both already knew.
Upon returning to Spokane, they opened a showroom on North Division and Rockwell Avenue, before closing in 2012 and focusing solely on the wholesale side of their business.
As the years passed, Lorraine found she missed the interactive aspect of the showroom. The couple also had been considering opening an online store to complement the Etsy shop she had already set up for some of her lower-priced pieces. Instead, they decided to open another showroom before building the website.
“Online is great, but it is not as interactive,” Lorraine said.
The showroom now is more than just a retail space, she said, “it is a showcase of what we do.”
Lorraine said they have a very eclectic design philosophy. With Naim bringing his long history in the field and Lorraine’s background as a fashion designer, they design pieces based off inspiration from their travels, what is trending, what the market is missing and the rare gems they select.
“We have a lot of connections that get us really unique gemstones, and we make our jewelry around that,” she said.
Naim said during the 150 years his family has been in business, it has been able to form strong relationships with its dealers.
“We know who we are dealing with. We know we will have the best product, and they know who they are dealing with,” he said.
Those relationships have allowed Lorraine Fine Jewelry to acquire the best gems available when needed and at a price significantly better than competitors, the couple says.
“These days, anyone can open a store,” but to get a comparable uniqueness and quality somewhere else, Naim said, clients would likely pay seven to eight times more than they would at Lorraine Fine Jewelry.
“We protect our clients from A to Z,” he said.
Naim uses all 18 karat gold and all of the large stones are GIA certified (the world’s top laboratory to certify stones). Additionally, Naim said they also only use conflict-free diamonds. The jeweler works with professional casters and diamond setters, who Naim said he holds to the same high standards he sets for himself.
The Tuncas are also members of the American Gem Trade Association, which Lorraine said is the most prestigious society to be accepted into for those working in color stones.
In addition to their in-house designed jewelry, Lorraine Fine Jewelry also offers a variety of services from custom designs, repairs, cleaning, styling services for big events and restoration work.
“There’s a growing need for those kinds of services,” she said.
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