New Kid on the Block: Fine Jewelry School

Reade Street between Broadway and Church has a fancy new tenant, with another on the way. Jeweler Kristin Hanson recently moved her Fine Jewelry School—it had been in Prospect Heights—to the space where Anbar Shoes used to be. The entire complex is 8,000 square feet. The vast ground floor and lower level will be home to the Kristin Hanson jewelry gallery when it opens in a month or two. The school is in below that.

“I call it my villa,” says Hanson (above, at left).

The school has space for 12 students at a time. “We’re teaching jewelry as a profession,” says Hanson. “The students learn to design, create, and hand-fabricate their own pieces. At the end of the two-year program, they’ll have an up-and-running business—no other school in the country does that.” Besides the full two-year program, students can sign up for coursework in various increments, starting at 36 hours. “The school is about keeping the traditional art of gold-smithing alive. This whole villa is about rare jewels in the classical European style.”

Originally from Montclair, N.J., Hanson studied jewelry design privately for six years, and then she trained in Italy. “But it’s not just me doing the teaching,” she says, citing one instructor who is a master goldsmith with 35-plus years’ experience.

Kristin Hanson, the company, is “the first house of natural color diamonds in the world,” she says. “They’re the rarest type. I specialize in the Argyle Pink Diamond from Australia. Only 10 dealers in the world specialize in it.” (This is when Hanson’s adorable little dog, Tinka, and I paused the conversation to have a moment together.)

Hanson chose Tribeca not just because she lives here, but because there aren’t a lot of jewelry stores. “And my clientele is here,” she says. “The neighborhood’s vibe is in line with my brand.” That’s relevant because in Brooklyn, her jewelry had only been sold by appointment. The new gallery will function as more of a shop, with jewelry in the windows. Downstairs, she plans on hosting dinners for clients. “It’s about creating an experience,” she says.

Fine Jewelry School is at 60 Reade (between Church and Broadway), 212-374-9274;

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1 Comment

  1. Kristin, good luck! I loved your pieces and look forward to visiting you in Tribeca. Hope to see you in The Hamptons.

    Margie Larkin