Didem’s curiosity about gems and jewelry was sparked at a young age. It was as early as her elementary years that she can remember making weekend visits to her father’s jewelry store in Istanbul, admiring the beauty all around her and being fascinated by his process of helping his customers find just the right piece of jewelry. It was during those moments that her dreams were being shaped before her eyes.
After graduating college in 2000, Didem made the decision to pursue these childhood aspirations and enrolled at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Carlsbad, California to study Gemology and Jewelry Design. Following the completion of her studies in May 2001, she returned to Istanbul and became actively involved in her father’s business.
Didem found great success designing her own line and had a gift for developing strong relationships with her customers – so much so that her father felt it was time to hand over the reins to her. She lead the company for 11 years until she and the love of her life, whom she met during her studies at GIA in 2000, decided to marry and live in California. She carried her business with her to the United States and is now designing her one-of-a-kind jewelry from her home, when she is not running after their two beautiful boys.
Didem was raised in a family where talking about jewelry was part of daily life. Just as Didem learned the business from her father, Talat Alacahanli, Talat first learned the business from his father, Azmi Alacahanli. Azmi established his jewelry business, Tas Magaza, in Malatya, Turkey in 1923. Tas Magaza is still proudly serving its customers to this day, nearly 100 years later.
Talat had always dreamt of expanding the business to Istanbul. But Azmi preferred to keep Tas Magaza and Talat with him in Malatya. Talat lovingly honored his father’s wishes, but following Azmi’s passing in 1970, felt it was time spread his wings. In 1972, he married his love Sema, moved to Istanbul – and though he continued to support Tas Magaza – opened his own store, MUCEVHER, in Nisantasi, Istanbul in 1983.
After graduating from GIA in 2001, Didem returned to Istanbul and took over the store from her father, leading the family business successfully – the third generation Alacahanli to do so – until 2011, the year she married and moved back to California.
Whether you have inherited an heirloom from a family member or have made a new purchase that requires appraisal for insurance purposes, Didem’s knowledge of gemology and her appraisal expertise will help you understand the true value of your treasures – new or old.
Didem has been custom designing for nearly 20 years. She believes every piece of jewelry has a story behind it, and it all starts with a custom design meant for someone special. She loves to hear about her clients’ experiences, hobbies and lifestyles – all important factors which she uses to help her make each piece a real “one-of-a-kind” work of art, tailored specifically to that person.
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