Albert Hern: Brand Story by Alberto Hernandez Jr. (CEO)
How exciting and unexpected life’s paths can be, isn’t that right? Today perhaps we think we have it all figured out, our job or profession, the things we are passionate about or the coffee in the morning… But one day, almost by pure chance, we get something new and life-changing.
My name is Alberto Hernandez Jr. Proud successor of my father Alberto Hernandez, leader of the brand he started and we built together. A dedicated man with attention to detail and for whom the love of his family was always everything.
My father was a dental technician, originally from Venezuela, however his highest point really begins in California – United States, where he would later become known as one of the most skilled Venezuelan goldsmiths in the world for the manufacture of fine jewelry.
A love story turned legacy
More than 50 years ago, my father, who was close to his 10th anniversary with my mother Guadalupe, a beautiful woman (and I’m not just saying that because I’m her son), cheerful and radiant, who loved to wear jewelry every day, wanted to give her something that represented her. But all the jewelry he saw didn’t seem to represent the two of them, didn’t feel symbolic or truly personal.
This gift couldn’t be just anything, it would have to be very special and that’s when he decided to make it on his own.
After reviewing the principles of jewelry, he ended up realizing that they weren’t too different from what he was already doing, by then, at his job.
On that day, one of the diamond rings with the most meaning and importance to our family was born. The ring that would start, years later, a family legacy brand dedicated to empower women’s everyday style, in an elegant and timeless way, so that it could be easily passed down from generation to generation.
A worldwide inspiration
My father Alberto began devoting all his passion to the jewelry business, what would later become his personal brand and his own form of artistic expression. I never met someone so passionate about the brilliance of gems, precious metals and the effect they had on the lives of others, with a gift, an emotion and a story that never seemed to die.
In his desire to learn, he took every opportunity to travel to places farther and farther afield – Italy, Thailand, Burma and as much of the Far East as he could explore.
All her travels around the world were full of stories, challenges and, above all, a lot of inspiration that he then turned into a new technique to make ever more demanding pieces, always with the conviction of creating truly representative jewelry full of emotions.
All this mixture of travels, contacts and genuine love for what he did ended up helping him to forge that characteristic style that he has left me and in which all the cultures of the world can feel identified. A true fine goldsmith, timeless and universal. He loved to think that jewelry spoke a single language.
A goldsmith who entered through the big door
In 1964, after having traveled a lot and seen enough for several lifetimes, Alberto Hernandez decided to formally start his professional career as a goldsmith of fine jewelry, initially working behind the scenes for names such as Prince Dimitri, Woody Allen and Liza Minelli.
Once I learned the art of precious gems and fine jewelry I realized how difficult it was to find jewelry that had soul, symbolism and meaning. Beyond a beautiful and shiny metal.
His jewelry seemed to have a mix of his Latin roots, European roots and nods to Oriental art. To discover this was to fall head over heels, like him, to the brilliance of precious stones.
Love that crossed generations
By 1990 my father’s art and his beautiful colorful jewelry were already known throughout much of the jewelry world. His special gems could easily captivate experts, gemologists, artists and private individuals with astonishing ease.
To follow in his footsteps and respond to the passion I inherited from him, continuing his already powerful legacy, I studied at a professional level the world of gemstones, officially graduating as a GIA certified gemologist.
Now my father would have the best ally and together we started building our own brand together. One where we could guarantee, above all things, total quality: ethically sourced materials, natural gemstones of intense color, durable structures, artistic designs and symbolism.
The beginning of a family brand, love stories and timeless gemstones
In 1994 the company “Burma Jewelers” was launched, dedicated to handcrafting meaningful jewelry, each one completely unique in its own way and full of color. All designed for the elegant, everyday style of women like my mother. Starting this journey, by then, in Caracas.
My mother passed away in 2000 and, even though she was not physically there to see all that the works inspired by her achieved, she will always live in our designs and in the jewelry she loved to wear.
Growth brought with it many changes, which led us to leave Venezuela and settle in the United States, a country that gave us every possible opportunity, giving us a second chance in the midst of the darkest days.
My dad remarried a woman who brought color and beauty to his work again, one who loved jewelry as much as he did, if that was even possible.
The confirmation of years of effort: Our AGTA Spectrum Evening Wear winner
In 2013 my father participated in the AGTA Spectrum, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious goldsmithing competitions featuring colored gemstones and fine craftsmanship with cultured pearls.
For this competition my father, Alberto Hernandez, designed an ambitious Black Rhodium ring with a stunning 47.28 carat gem quality Peridot and 170 round cut diamonds. Elegant curves at the base, divided into two rings representing intertwined paths.
The spectacular piece won third place in the evening wear category, from which only the most exquisite beauty was expected.
By this time, my father had let the goldsmith, Frank Caballero, put his name, on the competition. This because of his unwavering love for gems, more important to him than fame or worldwide recognition. However, this award will always remain one of our greatest prides and a reaffirmation of what we have built as a brand.
The official birth of the Albert Hern brand
After so many years of working for others, we decided it was time to have our own identity, to build a name and a legacy. Thus, the trademark “Albert Hern” was created in the United States in the middle of 2018.
We quickly expand to Miami, Santiago de Chile and Dominican Republic. Along with the brand, we decided to take the step of opening new digital channels, it was a challenge, but we were ready. That same year Albert Hern debuted on Amazon, Ebay, Social Media and a website.
As Venezuelans who had the opportunity to create a good life, we feel the need to help those who don’t. That is why Albert Hern donates a percentage of his monthly sales to Friends of Children of Venezuela, a nonprofit organization that works for the health and life Venezuelan children.
We also love to support latinos on their events, as is the case of Dalia Fernandez, a beautiful model, in Premios Soberano in 2014 and Nella Rojas, an amazing Venezuelan singer, that wore Albert Hern pieces for the Latin Grammy Awards 2021.
Moments of Breakthrough and Overcoming
In this time full of triumphs, and seeing our legacy finally crystallize, we could never have imagined what was to come.
In 2020 I lost my father, my teacher, my mentor, my partner and my best friend in the whole world due to COVID-19. One of the most difficult days of my entire life. While Albert Hern had lost his head and leader, who with inexhaustible passion imbued each of his jewels.
But my father’s love, passion and philosophy of excellence did not die out, far from it, it continues to burn stronger than ever in the heart of each of us and continues to fuel the horizon of our brand: timeless elegance, symbolic and of the highest quality.
Get to know our north and that of our family
Albert Hern was and remains as a family business that works tirelessly to enhance the daily style of every woman, with beautiful, truly meaningful and durable pieces. Made to last through generations.
This is the reason why we care so much about the stories behind each piece of jewelry, the meaning they have and how people identify themselves by them. Every piece we make holds a story of love or deep affection.
That is one of the greatest distinctions of our brand: A safe place where everyone can find pieces that are distinct, authentic and full of energy. Even today we continue to make our pieces by hand, so that no two pieces of jewelry are ever the same.
For this to be possible, it is necessary to put all our love into each setting, each metal, each cut, each design… Jewelry worthy of my father’s memory, of his attention to detail and of the sacred moments that our clients (who are like our family) choose to commemorate with them.
At Albert Hern, our doors are open so everyone can get a jewel that makes their inner gem shine and with which to build their own timeless legacy every day of their life.