The Shimansky story began in 1991, when founder and CEO, Yair Shimansky, arrived in South Africa after spending two years in Japan. Yair started designing and crafting jewellery which he sold at a beachfront flea market in South Africa for one year before opening a small outlet in a popular shopping mall. This lead to the opening of a full Shimansky jewellery store two years later. This was a meaningful milestone in the Shimansky journey.
As a young man at the tender age of 22, Yair embarked on a two-year journey to Japan, which served not only as a rite of passage into the world of diamonds and jewellery, but also as a major learning curve. It was here that he studied the art of diamond cutting and polishing, and where the Japanese culture of perfection made a life-long impression on him. Having learnt the intricacies of diamond qualities and different cuts, he was armed with a unique perspective and experience in life, starting in South Africa, with a never-ending pursuit of perfection.
It was this pursuit that lead him to the sourcing of his own rough diamonds (after carefully examining the colour and cuts of the stones presented to him by suppliers, he realised they did not realise their full potential). This pursuit for perfection is something he carries with him throughout his journey, to every touchpoint. No jewellery creation will be presented unless it has realised its full potential.
A pioneer in the diamond and jewellery trade, Shimansky has been named the “Platinum King” by the media, as he lay the groundwork for the use of platinum in South Africa. His invested interest and involvement in all areas of the business is one of the major contributors to the company’s success.
How did you fall in love with travelling?
My travels started from the age of three months. My father was a sea captain and every year, I spent two months traveling the world. I guess, you could say I was born to travel.
What kind of traveller are you?
I am an explorer. I love experiencing authentic local culture and vibes more than the regular tourist attractions
What’s your travel philosophy?
Go with the flow. Experience the unknown and focus on the people.
What are your top travel essentials?
My phone – mainly for the camera, maps and WhatsApp – and a travel light.
Where was your most memorable trip?
My trip to Tokyo, Japan in 1990. The contrast between traditional culture and advancement in technology as well as the sheer volume of people was an eye opener.
How has travelling changed your life?
A collection of my travel experiences has given me a better perspective into cultures and values which has contributed to my out-of-the-box thinking.
When borders open again and the world starts to return to ‘a new normal’ what’s your first travel destination on your list?
Cape Town for sure. It is where my heart is. I miss the people and nature that is so unique, and often taking for granted.
Best travel advice you can share?
Allow time to get lost and be open to experience the place you are in. Be like a local and have authentic experiences. Don’t use your own views as a benchmark, as each place has its own unique circumstances and heritage.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU FROM SHIMANSKY
We would like to start by thanking you for your continued support. We hope you and your loved ones remain safe and keep healthy during these uncertain times. Considering recent events, we can all use a bit of good news, don’t you think? It was recently announced that the Shimansky Table Mountain Ring, amongst over 100 entries of finalist, has been awarded the Most Compelling Luxury Story by the African Travel and Tourism Awards.
We would like to thank you for assisting us in this journey of telling the story of the Mother City, Table Mountain and our country’s most precious treasures, diamonds and gold. The awards are a celebration of all that lies beneath our African Skies, honouring the stars of African tourism and the enchanting tales they weave.