When Jerry Young was 16, he began working with his father dealing gemstones in Cambodia. This was where he learned all of his business acumen, and from whom he developed his deep love for sapphires. In 1971, he was a groomsman in his friend's wedding, and ended up meeting the love of his life, Connie. She was a bridesmaid in the same wedding, and it was through their friends' nuptials that the Young family began. They married the following year, and six months after their wedding in 1972 Jerry started his business along with his new bride. This is what eventually evolved into INTA Gems & Diamonds.
In 1975, the Khmer Rouge, the brutal regime responsible for the Cambodia's 4-year-long autogenocide, launched their first coup targeting educated Cambodians...including jewelers. Jerry grabbed a handful of gemstones and fled from Cambodia. He walked and hitchhiked his way to the Cambodia-Thailand border, and eventually reunited with his young toddler, Steve, and Connie (who was pregnant with their youngest, Peter). The Young family, together again, immigrated to the United States. It was at a refugee camp at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA that the Young family welcomed Peter into the world and began their lives in America.
The small bag of gems that Jerry brought with him from Pailin, Cambodia-only a few cut sapphires and rubies-helped him to establish himself as a jeweler in Southern California. INTA Gems & Diamonds became the very first Cambodian-owned jewelry store in Downtown L.A.'s Diamond District. Much like their father, Steve and Peter grew up with gemstones. Peter has said, "When little kids played with building blocks, we had small gemstones to make rings." Jerry and Connie passed down their honesty, integrity, kindness, and passion for gemstones to their kids, who both graduated from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Steve and Peter left Los Angeles to work in New York for some time, and eventually both Young sons came back to work with their parents.
The Young family has worked tirelessly to help their customers find the perfect engagement ring, gift, or loose gemstone. Their hard work has been celebrated countless times. They have two pieces in the GIA's museum, which is a very prestigious honor. INTA Gems & Diamonds designs have graced many red carpets, stages, and editorial features. Peter's own design was used as the singular state-sanctioned crown in the Miss USA competition for Miss California USA, their Legacy crown.. Ultimately, Jerry, Connie, Steve, and Peter do everything they can to bring joy and satisfaction to all their customers.
Jerry and Connie always say, "We just want to make people happy."
...and that is the INTA Gems & Diamonds way.