Rare Gem Collection

Our History and The Journey

Joseph Zaroovabeli has always been an adventurer by nature. Born in Iran, his penchant for exploration came at an early age. At 16, he would embark to the United States alone. From his early college years in the 70s, he would hitchhike fearlessly in the Midwest. Whether he rode a motorcycle across the States, or hopped trains from Turkey through Europe, he loved to travel across the globe. 

His journeys through life gave him a down to earth experience at every level: night shifts at canneries, hospital work, waiting tables, importing carpets, studying chemistry, and recreational skiing, Joe embraced any opportunity that presented itself.

Eventually, Joe’s eye caught the beauty of gemstones and he instantly fell in love.   In 1977, Joe established his first company: M.Z. Impex in New York. Over the next 40 years, Joe regularly imported gemstones from all around the world. 

He combed everywhere looking for gemstones: Thailand, Tanzania, Italy, Israel, China, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, India, Brazil, Egypt, Singapore, Dubai, and many others. He bought and sold every stone he could get his hands on.

Joe with his wife, Azita

An early member of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), Joe earned a reputation as an honest man with a keen eye for semi-precious and precious gemstones. What began as a business of selling gemstones soon became a hobby to collect the ones he valued most. Today, this collection is finally revealed. Rarity cannot be owned by all, but it begins with us, and we are finally ready to share his collection. There can be only one Rare Gem, and the collection begins here.    

Genuine Alexandrite

One of Joe’s most recent Trips to Tanzania